June 15, 2006
The hotel we stayed in in China had over 30 tv channels to choose from. Nan Fang Station 3 has cantonese opera programmes daily. This station also often shows old cantonese musical programmes from Hong Kong. Central Television has a channel dedicated to Chinese opera, CCTV 11. You can watch Chinese opera from morning to night. In between there may be China-produced movies or dramas.
One afternoon there was a Puju competition. Puju is one of the opera types mentioned by MK in her lectures. There were 5 contestants and there were 4 rounds. In each round they had to show a different skill or talent. And after each round one contestant would be eliminated. The last round in which only 2 contestants were left was the most difficult. They were given the scripts of a pop or non-opera song and they had to sing it in a Puju opera style they chose.
The contestant acting the laosheng was the first to exit. Next was the sheng in the yellow costume. You could see the dejected look on their faces. Poor things, they must have put in a lot of effort. And they didn’t even have the chance to show their other skills.
I think this system is not very fair. It would be better if everyone performed in each round and their scores were totaled up.
Contestant no. 1, the girl in the warrior costume, was the final winner.
The 5 contestants
The first to go