December 30, 2007


Remember, a few days ago I mentioned that hotel rooms in HK are very expensive. Then someone recommended me a guesthouse. You can check it out here:

A twin room costs HK$450 (about S$90), cheap? Not really, just about S$30 less than a 3-star hotel. You also have to consider other things.

Some guesthouses are in sleazy surroundings. What about security, and fire hazard if the guesthouse is at an old not well-maintained building.

When I checked into a hotel, I do read the 'in case of fire' information.

When I take aeroplane I also pay attention to the demonstration on how to put on the safety equipment, etc.

I think these are habits, not that I am particularly safety conscious.

Remember I also said somewhere, human beings are creatures of routine and habits. Sorry, it was said by the great detective Sherlock Holmes.

December 28, 2007


Once I wrote a composition which had to do with democracy. I can't remember the title. In the essay I used a lot of 'would'. The lecturer, a foreigner, commented that it looked as if I 'invented democracy'.

I did not realize that it gave people such an impression. Later when I thought about it, I think I knew what he meant. One reason was the tone. Suppose someone invented something or thought of a new idea, democracy for example, he would be very proud of it and would go around telling people of his great idea. How democracy would be good for the country, how the people would benefit from it and so on.

Actually we rarely write something with a lot of would.

Some students think would is only used for the past tense of will. Would can be used in other ways too. One of them is already shown above - to express possibilities.

Other uses:-
1. expressing a wish - She would like to go to Egypt.
2. making a polite request - Would you mind showing me the opera costume you just bought?
3. making an instruction sound courteous - Mr Guo, the principal would like to see you.
4. expressing a situation that cannot be reversed - He would be 30 today if he had not died in that road accident a year ago.
5. expressing something that is not possible - If I were superman, I would go and hunt down terrorist leaders in the world.

December 26, 2007

Old cantonese movie

This is the movie from which I took the clip for Yesterday Once More.

I put a clip here for you to reminisce about those old movies. From this clip, you will roughly know the story.

A man is in debt. His father-in-law, a very wealthy man in the village, and other family members came to visit him. The man thinks he could get money from his father-in-law. But his father-in-law is a bankrupt now, having gambled away all his money......

December 25, 2007


You may have experienced this. You asked a friend, "Want to go Japan". Your friend said, "Went before already" - meaning he didn't want to go. But he has also been to Taiwan a few times already and still wants to go again.

Probably the actual reason was that he didn't like Japan or didn't want to go there again yet.

I like to revisit old places. There is another type of joy and expectation together with some feeling of familiarity and nostalgia. Some places I have been to at least twice - Ipoh, Genting, Penang, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou.

But HK has become rather expensive. Hotel rates have shot up steeply mainly due to the influx of tourists from China. At periods that coincide with China's holidays, hotel rates can go up 100%. Food prices are also on the high side. Transport is also not cheap. With the same amount of money, you can spend twice as long in China.

Some places I have been to once but would not mind going again - Taiwan, Japan, Beijing, Australia's Gold Coast and Sydney. I have fond memories of them.

And got new places I would like to visit, London and Nanjing for instance.

When I was young, I read stories about gypsies travelling in caravans and staying from place to place. I like their nomadic carefree lifestyle.

December 03, 2007

A break

Hello everyone, I'm taking a break, including a break from the computer. There will be no new post for about 3 weeks. Excuse me for not responding to your comments or your email queries during this period.

You are still welcome to look around and stay as long as you like.

And wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Frances Yip
Here is a song by the inimitable Frances Yip with her powerful voice and clear diction.

廣東小調 - 葉麗儀

December 02, 2007

广州粤剧团 - photos

Young sheng 蔡金敏 performed an excerpt with a lot of difficult moves like the part he did a somersault from a platform more than 2m high.
黎骏声, 倪惠英 in 睿王与庄妃 , a historical story about love and the intrigues and power struggle in the imperial court.

肖婉婷 (a dan) as the child emperor in 睿王与庄妃. She sings well too.

孙业鸿 (a very good comedian) in 异月情缘
- two women with the same name wants to marry the same man, one woman has true love for him and the other only loves his status and wealth

Opera 五女拜壽
- a story that reveals only the third daughter who is adopted and her husband who later becomes the imperial scholar are truly filial to their parents

陆敏渭(second sheng) in 五女拜壽

崔玉梅(second dan) in 郭子仪祝寿 - the prince consort is so furious with his princess wife that he slaps her

Young star 余碧玲 acting as 穆桂英 - in the excerpt she twists and turns, twirls and rotates her body and she shows the audience how to ride a horse, from a slow trot increasing to a fast gallop and how to rein in a horse when it becomes naughty and tries to throw her off.

Another 2 starlets 肖婉婷 as
杨文广 and 屈月梅 as 杨七娘

December 01, 2007

广州粤剧团 - 朱弁回朝

The Envoy's Plight, 29 November 2007

崔玉梅, 黎骏声

This is a good show. It has the flavours of a traditional opera with moving scenes, good songs and even some well-executed fighting moves. It is one of those that gives you the ‘hao kan’ feeling, 好睇 in cantonese.

The opera is unexpectedly short – about 2.5h. I have not seen this before so I don’t know if it has been condensed. Because it was short, no one left the theatre before the end. Usually a minute or so before the end there will be people who are in a hurry to go out. They will stand up, watch for a while and walk slowly out, blocking the view of others. That night no one even stood up, like they were reluctant to leave.


November 30, 2007

广州粤剧团 - 豪门千金

For the Heiress’ Hand, 25 November 2007

This story is adapted from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. You might have read this in your Literature lessons in school. Remember the loan shark Shylock wanted to cut off a pound of flesh from his enemy, a merchant who couldn’t repay his debt on time.

I almost forgot how the lawyer argued and won the case for the merchant. Halfway into the show I remembered – he must cut exactly one pound, not more or less and the man must not shed any blood.

I feel the show is more of a play than an opera. Fans who are pure traditionalists will not like this. I won’t say it is very good but it is watchable and enjoyable. But I prefer the other new-style opera Hua Yue Ying. In many aspects It is much better.


Maids and assistants

November 27, 2007

Chinese orchestra

Another type of performance I enjoy watching is the Chinese Orchestra. The Singapore Chinese Orchestra is a very good one and it has performance regularly. Others like the Lion City CO and the Keat Hong CO seldom have public performance.

Here are two musicians in the SCO.

My two favourite instruments are the Pipa and the Erhu. The SCO has many huqin (erhu, gaohu, zhonghu) musicians and I have seen several of them perform solo pieces. In the pipa section there are only four musicians. I have seen only two of them doing solo - Yu Jia and Hou Yue Hua. Usually SCO chooses Yu Jia for solo. I think because she looks more glamorous.

I also like the sanxian. The only sanxian musician in the SCO is Huang Gui Fang.

To learn to play a musical instrument is not easy. You need plenty of discipline and self-motivation because it can be tough, boring and requires long hours of practice.

November 26, 2007

名曲欣賞 - 三年一哭二郎橋

Hello, does anyone know of any free software that can split mp3 music files?

November 25, 2007

Chinese opera at Capitol ?

Did you read this in Saturday's papers?
Sounds good. Not long ago someone suggested converting Majestic Theatre into a Chinese opera museum. But where got so many people interested in Chinese opera. And how often can they come.

November 22, 2007

Indian food

Remember, a couple of weeks ago I mentioned about this Big Banana eatery. The place is open now. It sells North and South Indian Food. I think it is cooked food - the food are laid out and you pick, not you order from a menu and the cook cooks your order.

Victor is also right - there is a stall inside selling fried bananas.

November 20, 2007

Holiday season

I was at OG departmental store, Chinatown, last saturday. Quite crowded and there were about a dozen people looking for luggage at the luggage section which is at level 5, the topmost level. Months ago there were the most two or three people. The year-end long school holiday has just started. This is a top holiday period for Singaporeans.

The economy is doing well; people are more affluent and travel more and can be lavish in their spending.
Hope they save some money too. Must set aside some fund for belt-tightening days, right? I think oil prices will go up further. This in turn will cause prices of many things to rise.
Inflation is predicted to go up to 5% next year.

And with inflation, investment advisers say don't put all your money in fixed deposits in the bank because your savings will worth much less later.
Also, diversify your investments. But for many ordinary people, I think there aren't many choices. They are not knowledgeable about shares, commodities, forex, etc. Insurance is meant for long-term and must suit your needs. Unit trust is more for medium-term and also does not give very good returns. Investment-linked deposits are not very attractive either. What else?

Synopses of coming shows by
广州粤剧团, please see Chinese opera performances (link at the right)

November 18, 2007

Opera enthusiasts 2

An unfortunate thing - A pair of sheng-dan from England performed the excerpt Lu An Zhou (Loh Onn Chow in cantonese). Not far into the show the sheng's hair suddenly became loose. As you all know, in this excerpt the sheng has to do a lot of strong action and vigorous movement. As a result his hair got tossed about and hampered his performance. Poor thing. But he courageously carried on with his performance till the end.

The audience appreciated that as well as their good performance and gave them a resounding applause. The hair-stylist did not do a good job or he himself was careless?

Some pictures of performers in the last two nights:


陈美燕, 胡桂馨, 卢少玲

金莲 - 卢少玲, 郭广麟

旦), 胡桂馨 This is the England dan who performed Lu An Zhou. She is tall.

俏潘安 - 王金英, 锺慧玲

王金英 - see, so relaxed after the show

A short clip of 陈美燕

a song by 王悦和, 方淑銘 (Malaysian)

November 16, 2007

Opera enthusiasts

A gathering of cantonese opera/songs enthusiasts from Europe and Asia at Kreta Ayer People's Theatre, Singapore. It is on from 14 - 17 Nov 2007.

They may not be the best from their countries. But it is a good opportunity to see them and to hear them sing. It is encouraging to see people of Chinese descent in other lands preserving and cherishing their culture.

Here are some pictures of
our friends. ...

Denmark and Thailand...




Hong Kong, this man is a very good singer...


比利時, I'm not sure of the name in English...
HK, England, Singapore, Switzerland...

A short video of Lu Bu performed by

November 15, 2007

MP and race

It was reported that In a survey, 92% of the people said they would vote for an MP of a different race. It means most people would not mind if their MP is of another race. I presume the MP is better-qualified than his opponent. If both are equal, then people may take race into consideration.

Now if you ask them 'Would you mind if there were no MPs of your race?', I am quite certain many would mind, particularly the minorities. It is not racist thinking; just that they think there would be no one to voice their concerns and aspirations. And if that ever happens, it is not good for our country.

As for myself, I won't mind voting for a non-Chinese MP but I would mind if there were no Chinese MPs in Parliament. These are two different things. Some Chinese may say they won't mind because they think it won't happen.

November 08, 2007

Chinese characters?

Hello, does anyone know why my computer cannot display certain Chinese characters. This one, for instance...

or this, look at ????? in the last line.

and this:

All the examples are from Melanie's blog.

November 06, 2007

白蛇传 Madam White Snake

3 November 2007 at Kreta Ayer People's Theatre, performed by the Tanjong Pagar Community Club Cantonese Opera Group, students of Lou Mee Wah.

Putting up a Chinese opera show in Singapore is a tedious, energy-sapping task, particularly a full-length opera by a CC group. According to Mee Wah, last year when she decided to do MWS, her friends asked her why she chose this opera as it would be very taxing for her as well as for her students.

Like most Chinese opera artistes in Singapore, opera is just a passion for her students; they have a full-time job to do. Understandably, their standards vary. There are some who did well and there are some who need to put more effort in their skills and more feeling in their songs. Shortcomings notwithstanding, the show was a great effort by the Group and it was a creditable performance indeed.

Different artistes took turns to play the three leading roles - Xu Xian, Bai Su Zhen and Xiao Qing.

The best scene was Flooding the Jin San Monastery. It was well-choreographed – slick and fast-paced accompanied by rousing music. Besides combat, there were displays of some excellent acrobatics and big-flag manipulation skills. Overall it gave the audience superb visual and audio entertainment.

A refreshing and unique feature – while waiting for the scene to change, a storyteller with two aunties as his audience, came out to tell the story of MWS. There was even the nostalgic catchy tune that used to precede Lee Dai Sor’s stories on Redifusion in the old days. The storyteller sat on a wooden box and the two women sat on the floor listening to him. The storyteller was Christopher Choo. Haha, he is a good storyteller.

Judging from the response around me, the audience liked this arrangement.

An unexpected thing – the VIP Assoc Prof Koo Tsai Kee, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, came before the show started at 7.30pm and stayed throughout the show until curtain call and photo-taking. Don't know he understood or not.

Picture, from left : Christopher Choo (the storyteller), Chung Yook Har (Green Snake), Loh Kwai Lan (Scholar Xu Xian) and Li Bing Mui (White Snake). They performed in the last two scenes.
朱振邦, 霞, 劳桂兰,

The 2 snakes - anxieties and worries before the show give way to joy and relief!

The artiste with the golden headgear was a 'heavenly soldier'. He was also the martial arts director. I think he is Gordon Choy. The one with the funny face was a 'crab general'. He manipulated the big flag.

November 02, 2007


I read a handbook. It says God always answers prayers. But, the answer is not just 'yes'. It can be Yes, No, Not yet or Here is something else for you. Well, anyway isn't it heartening to know that God listens to us.

In a previous post I said God didn't answer my prayer. I was wrong then. He did, only that his answer was no. Haha, he wanted me to go through the experience of giving a speech and to overcome my phobia.

Those of you who believe in God, be it in Taoism or Hinduism or any other religion, take comfort that there are good reasons if you don't get what you pray for. It is meant for your own good. Or it could mean that the time is not right yet. You might even get something better.

And when unfortunate things happen, it might not be a bad thing altogether. Heard of this Chinese proverb
塞翁失马. A misfortune may be a blessing in disguise.

Even if you have no religious belief, this way of thinking is quite helpful. It makes you more optimistic and cheerful. And when you are cheerful, you also look more radiant and attractive.

October 31, 2007

Sell what

This shop at Aljunied Road, near Geylang Road, has changed owners several times already, selling different foods each time. Once it was chicken rice, the only one I remember. I think the location is no good.

About a week ago I noticed this new name. Quite a queer name. Yesterday when I passed by and took this picture, it is still not open yet. Just wondering what they are selling this time.
Vietnamese food? Or is it just a kopitiam. Anyone like to make a guess.

October 26, 2007


The Thais will be voting for another government in November. But Thaksin, the former elected prime minister who was thrown out when the military took over, can't even return to Thailand.

In Myanmar, the people can't even vote. UN mediator Gambari will be meeting Myanmar rulers in November. Hope something positive will come out of it. It is a very difficult problem. I don't believe sanctions and isolation are effective. It may cause more suffering to the people.

Below is part of a speech I gave many years ago.
The audience were teenagers. The speech consisted of 12 handwritten foolscap pages but it lasted about 20 mins only and it was torture for me. Before that I was praying for something to happen, like a sudden fire drill, so that I didn't have to talk but God didn't answer my prayer.

I really admired our head - he could just stand on stage without scripts and talk for 30 minutes anytime. But he had no topic, just rojak talk.

This speech is still relevant today. With some updates it can be used again. This part is about the importance of voting. Actually much of the content was copied from an old civics textbook.

The writing was a bit untidy but the scripts were meant only for myself, no need to send to my superior for vetting.

October 25, 2007


2007 年畢業禮,幼稚園學生表演粵劇。Cantonese opera by HK school children.
These two are very conscious of their gestures and poses.

October 24, 2007


A few weeks ago friend Victor, a very public-spirited Singaporean who spares no effort in putting what is wrong right, blogged about the old Empress Hotel in Victoria Street, at the site where the new National Library now sits. He also mentioned about the Empress mooncakes produced by the hotel.

A few days ago I was re-looking at a coffee table book about Hong Kong and I came across this nice old picture advertising Empress mooncakes. So I scanned it and another two pictures to show you all.
There was no mention of Empress mooncakes in the book.

The girl in the picture is supposed to be Chang Er, the lady on the moon.

Cantonese opera fans, surely you recognize the artistes in these two pictures.

October 20, 2007

Next 150 years

It was the association's 150th anniversary. The chairman, a slim sprightly elderly man, went up on stage to say a few words. He stood in the middle with the compere a short distance away.

Part of what he said...
"..... I don't know if I will be here at the next 150 years. ....."
Of course this was said in jest, a self-directed remark which elderly people sometimes say, like 'I don't know if I'll live that long.' It didn't need a response. But the compere said something.

I was just thinking If he asked you that question, as the compere what would you say?

October 19, 2007

Gay petition

An NMP has filed a 1000-signature petition to Parliament on behalf of a group of people. These people want the law against homosexuality to be repealed. I think it is a waste of time.

You see, the review of the Penal Code and gathering of feedbacks have been on for a year or so. I am sure these people have submitted very strong and rational arguments to the review committee. If these cannot convince them, surely they don't expect a petition can change the Government's mind.

I said before and I still believe the Government will repeal the law. It will take time, but no need another 20 years, could even be 5 years. No need for another review. The Government can amend the law and get it through parliament.

I feel if these people push too hard, opposition from the opposite camp will also be strong. They can also get a keep-the -law petition and with more signatures.

And trying to get foreigners to speak for them is not a good idea also. Why not be patient.

new link (see right): Tung On Wui Kun

October 15, 2007

Mundane stuff

It was a routine weekday. I stopped at a pedestrian crossing at Bendemeer Road. People were crossing the road, going about their daily routine - kids, housewives, workers..... Suddenly I thought of taking a picture of them. When I got my hp camera ready, most have already crossed the road. I only managed to capture the last few people. See the contrasting styles of these two last persons, one marching, the other strolling...

Routine is monotonous. But from a positive angle, routine gives people a sense of comfort and security. You know tonight you will be watching your favourite tv programme. Tomorrow your job is still there. People may be quite glad of their routine but once in a while they want to do different things or do things differently or they need some excitement to add zest to their lives.

Some of you may have read the adventures of the great fictitious detective, Sherlock Holmes. He made many deductions and formed many of his theories based on the fact that people have routines and habits. Once he remarked to his trusted assistant, "My dear Watson, human beings are creatures of routine."

The author of these Sherlock Holmes stories is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Notice my new blog header? It got emotions and motion. The 4 artistes represent the 4 popular characters in Chinese opera - hero, beauty, scholar, maiden (英雄美人,才子佳人).

October 14, 2007

Nan Yin clips

I was watching some nan yin clips. Here are two of them.

This one is in Cantonese. Unfortunately you cannot see the front view of the singer.

This one is in Hokkien, performed at Thian Hock Keng Temple.

October 10, 2007

New CD and VCD

A new CD by Leong Siew Meng and Jeong Mun Tuin

Part of an article about the CD

A VCD by Lum Ka Boh, Jeong Mun Tuin and Mak Yeok Ching

October 09, 2007

Street peddlers

This man was peddling some chinese medicinal product at the courtyard in front of the People's Park Complex Food Centre (next to OG departmental store) on Saturday evening.

I remember when I was young this was quite a common sight. Some of these peddlers were dressed in kung-fu attire. To attract attention, they would perform kung-fu feats. Another common show was playing with snakes. Sometimes they also beat the gong to make noise. Many of them displayed certificates, trophies and photos of themselves with celebrities or performing great feats.

Last Saturday, the man did some tricks like making a short piece of rope become stiff. He had a few fake snakes on the ground. I am not sure if he had any live ones. I stayed for about 5 minutes; he was talking about snakes. I didn't wait to see what medicinal product he was selling.

October 03, 2007

Bad guy

I came across this nice picture of an old-movie actor, so scanned it to share with you. He is Sek Kin (石堅).

He was the no.1 super bad guy in old cantonese movies. And the chief opponent of Wong Fei Hong in Wong Fei Hong movies. His looks together with his cunning smile, horrid sneer and sly eyes made him top choice for bad-guy roles. My father said when he walked on the street some people scolded him and even threw things at him. This showed how successful he was in his bad-guy roles.

September 28, 2007

Fun post

See, good to learn more skills...

I think it is more natural for the hands to point the opposite way.

September 25, 2007


A lady was looking for a maths tutor for her son who just entered sec school. She asked me for recommendations. This was not the first time I had such request. So I know which friends and colleagues are qualified but I also know that they are either too busy or not interested in giving tuition. Cannot anyhow recommend, right? At least must have good maths foundation and familiar with the syllabus. So I told her I couldn’t help her.

She was not happy. Understandable! She thought I was not helpful - it seemed to her I replied without even trying first. I should have waited a few days before giving her the answer.

I was thinking of these meet-the-people sessions by MPs. I guess they encounter cases like this. If someone makes a request which an MP knows cannot be done, I think he still has to write in, waits for the reply and shows it to the person. If he says cannot straightaway, people will say he is not caring.

September 20, 2007

The death sentence

I was thinking what could happen if judges were given the discretion to impose or not to impose the death sentence in capital offences.

I feel it is not a good idea.

If the judges can choose, then judges who are reluctant to give out the death sentence will generally not do so. This will make the other judges look unfeeling and heartless. Then there will be disparities – a less serious case might get the DS while a more serious one might not get.

Criminals will also try to get their cases heard before the ‘kind’ judges.

And if the person appeals, it will put the appeal judges in a difficult position. In the end, I guess no judge will want to give the death sentence. Or all the judges will come to a consensus themselves – give the DS.

Although there are not many this type of cases and I think there are also not many high court judges, all these are possible, right?

So, either have the death penalty or abolish it, no point giving the judge the discretion. Just my simple view.

September 19, 2007

越劇 - 五女拜壽

The Guangzhou Cantonese Opera Troupe is going to perform this in Singapore. For details please see Chinese Opera Performances. Link on the right.

Here is a Yueju from friend Amai.


September 18, 2007


The following article is from a Chinese newspaper. I find the writer's views quite interesting, It looks like a 'resigned to fate' attitude to me. So I copied it for you to read.

人生是一件很飄渺, 很遙远, 很无奈的事。每一个時期我们都会认识一些朋 友, 有些朋友能令你动情, 有些朋友还会让你刻骨铭心, 有些朋友却会令你心痛, 失望。这是一定的, 因为朋友有很多种, 很多类, 而且还有多种层次。

经验告诉我, 千万不要对朋友有过份苛求, 一切隨緣好了, 隨緣不是消极, 而是让你看得
, 使你的胸襟比较宽大。这种态度虽然帶点宿命, 对我, 却很受用。

我不同意一辈子只爱一个人的说法, 但的确有人一辈子只去爱一个人, 不为什么, 只

緣, 是一种感觉, 不同的人有不同的緣, 千万不要強求。

September 17, 2007

My flat

Did you read Sunday's article about an expat couple go hunting for a flat and how the rents kept rising? Madness!!!

So I looked at my simple flat in a new dimension. Minor faults become insignificant. There are soooo many good points.

First, the location is good. Nearby, the Paya Lebar MRT station is coming up. Bus services are good. Fairprice, Shop & Save, hawkers’ center, market, 4D outlet, TVB rental shop, and other facilities are all within 2 to10 mins walk.

Doctor, barber, dentist, optician, and other services are also all nearby.

Furthermore, my block faces north-south; the sunlight doesn’t come into my flat. Then the blocks in this area are not affected by earthquake.

Still somemore, my block is safe. Of I know, so far no flat broken into, no girl molested. In the carpark, no car vandalized, no motorcycle burnt.

Suddenly my flat becomes so lovable!!!

September 16, 2007


Chinese opera performances - updates for October & November
Link on the right ===>

September 10, 2007

Li Hou Zhu @ Kreta Ayer People's Theatre

I have not seen any local troupe perform this opera before. I saw this performed by a foreign troupe only once and also at KAPT – in 2005 by a HK troupe led by Wun Fei Yin and Wei Jun Ying.

The opera was quite long. It started at about 7.50pm after a souvenir-giving ceremony by the guest-of-honour, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, senior minister of state for foreign affairs. There was no interval. It ended at about 11.35pm. But a few changing of scenes took quite some time and people took these opportunities to go to the toilets or to stretch their legs. Four of the scenes were very long.

The leading sheng and dan were Chan Fook Hong and Wong Mei Ling. I have watched them perform many times before including full-length operas like The Patriotic Princess and Dream of the Red Chamber.

On the whole the show was enjoyable and performance was good. We could see that the troupe (ECHO Cantonese opera troupe from Eunos CC) has put in a lot of effort and resources. I think most of the young performers playing minor roles are new and probably it was the first time they stepped onto a Chinese opera stage after a few lessons. Thanks to Mei Ling and her troupe for presenting this show.

The costumes were lavish, especially those worn by the two lead artistes. There were two dance items. The dance at The Grand Wedding was impressive and the lead dancer was skillful as well as graceful.

It is not an easy opera to perform. There are copious dialogue and songs to memorize. The theme songs are also very long. There were several times when the main cast including the leads forgot their lines, omitted or repeated them. In two conspicuous instances, there was silence for three or four seconds as either the artiste forgot his line or forgot that it was his turn.

Two minor points - there were too many artistes, around 30, on stage in the last scene where some officials and songstresses send off their emperor and empress. It made the stage look congested. I think about 16 to 20 will do. Second, the subtitles were too small. I doubt those sitting in the upper half of the theatre could make them out clearly.