May 26, 2007

May 24, 2007


Another interesting fact from the book:

In 1975, between April and August, Chor Fung Meng Cantonese Opera Troupe (雛鳳鳴劇團) came to Singapore twice and put up a total of 66 days performance at the Kreta Ayer People's Theatre. Leading artistes were the five phoenixes with Long Kim Sung (龍劍笙) as the lead sheng.

They did it again in 1976 - between July and November, they came twice again and performed for 73 days.

Fantastic, right. Nowadays foreign troupes come here to perform between one week to two weeks only.

This was a 'thank you ad' by KAPT and CFM Troupe to thank supporters and fans.

May 23, 2007


I was reading this book about the history of cantonese opera in Singapore between 1965 and 1983. There are a few old newspaper advertisements and posters in the book.

This advert below you have to read the chinese characters from right to left. In 1968 these two superstars came to Singapore to make special appearances in conjunction with the screening of their epic production Li Hou Zhu.

You can learn some history of Singapore too. At that time Mr S. Rajaratnam was the foreign minister as well as the minister for labour. (Now it is called manpower.) The show on the first night was to raise money for a 'defense fund'. Remember, we just started NS a year before then.

This picture shows two of our well-known personalities in cantonese opera. The actress on the left poster is Chee Kin Fen, leader of the Tung On Wui Kun Cantonese Opera Troupe. I don't know about the sheng next to her. The actress on the right poster is Joanna Wong, artistic director of Chinese Theatre Circle. At that time she was with Kong Chow Wui Kun. (Beside her is a female sheng from Hong Kong.) Joanna Wong had her 'Golden Jubilee in cantonese opera' show 3 years ago. So, you see, these two artistes have been involved in cantonese opera for half a century - from learning opera to performing, then to teaching and promoting opera.

May 17, 2007

Be responsible

Would you take a lift from friend whom you know has been drinking?

A news report a couple of days ago said a drink-driver had 4 passengers in his car. Didn't they know that they put their lives at risk. I presume they had been drinking too.

As friends of the driver I thought they could have advised him not to drive and all of them could take a taxi home.

It was reported that in Japan the police not only prosecute the drink-driver but they can also prosecute the driver's passengers. Not only that, people who drink with the driver and the owner of the pub might be penalized too.

May 12, 2007

Horror movies

Some people, Victor for example, say they won't spend money on horror movies to get themselves frightened. Others like myself like to pay to be frightened. But my interest is limited to movies and books. I won't go and sleep in a haunted house.

Here are some of my horror video discs. Psycho is an old black-and-white movie but it is a good horror movie. The actor is Anthony Perkins.

I wrote about this book 'The Day of the Jackal' not long ago. Forgot to mention that there is a movie based on the story. But the movie is lacklustre, lacking the suspense and excitement you get when you read the book.

May 07, 2007


Bought a few VCDs from Da You at Chinatown. (level 2, end of Smith Street) They are having a VCD/DVD 'warehouse sale'.

May 06, 2007


Found this at YouTube although it has been posted a few months already. I have seen this on some website before. Chee Kin fun, leader of the Tung On Wui Koon Cantonese Opera Troupe talking about herself and her troupe.

港劇 - 黑夜彩虹

The english title of this HK drama is Fate Twister. Literally it means Rainbow in the Dark Night. The protagonist in the story is a simple woman but a woman of great courage and resolve.

May 05, 2007

The Jackal

I read this thriller many years back. Recently I bought this book from a second-hand bookshop to reread.

The story is about a terrorist group hiring a gunman to assassinate the president of France. At that time it was President de Gaulle. The ending of the story is not so important because we know it will not succeed. (According to history, there were a few attempts on the life of President de Gaulle but all were unsuccessful and he died peacefully at old age.) Also, according to the writer, the French Intelligence Service was one of the best in the world.

The thrills and excitements of the story come from the unraveling of the plot and the hunting of the killer.

The terrorists did not just hire any gunman but they looked for the best professional killer in the world and of course the price he demanded was also the highest.

The gunman, codenamed the Jackal, made his preparations. Meanwhile the France Intelligence got wind of it. But don’t forget, at that time there were no computers and hand-phones. They communicated using old-fashioned phones. They had to look through immigration cards one by one and check through airline passenger lists page by page – all very tedious and slow work.

The final showdown between the Jackal and the Detective responsible to hunt him down. Despite the watertight security by the police the Jackal slipped in. Also despite the meticulous preparations by the Jackal, the assassination failed in the last second because he overlooked one minor thing.

Maybe the writer wants to tell us Man can plan but God decides.

May 04, 2007

Cantonese Song - Xian Nu Mu Yang

This is the full song of the song clip video I posted earlier. The song is about 13 minutes long.

May 03, 2007

A very very small opera stage

I was reading Joey's blog. She is an opera fan. One of the posts is about the smallest opera stage she has ever seen.

I reproduce her post here. I think she won't mind. You can imagine how small it was.

The smallest stage

Recently I saw a Cantonese Opera in Seremban (a town in the southern part of Malaysia) & I really pity the performers. The stage is so small that all the costumes boxes have to be relocated to another place nearby. All the head gears and props have to go below the stage and to the extend 2 performers have to be located under the stage! There was only one roll of makeup boxes for the performers (6 numbers only) and one "ironing" table for common use. The lead actor makeup box was line up beside Wah Kong Sifu and the troupe owner's makeup box was pratically blocking the side entrance. The performers were bumping at each other in common corridor & dressing area especially when they were doing the 6 Generals. The 3 percussionist were practically knocking at each other if they were to do a bigger movement! That was only the back stage.

At the front stage, the 6 generals were all cramp up in to a "concave" line instead of the normal "straight" line and the chariots have to be very careful otherwise they will bump into the 2 generals standing in front or the 2 ministers sitting behind.

During the performance of Pak Loong Quan - both the leading actor and actress have to be extra careful otherwise they hit the junior performers standing as guards (in the end they quick enough to go backstage). During the scene where the 2 armies met, the stage is so full that they can hardly move (or maybe just 2 to 3 steps) and they will bump to each other (it just 3 performers from each side).

This is the smallest stage I've seen so far and pity the performers as they have another 10 days to go!

May 02, 2007


Time and again there are people asking the Government not to criminalize homosexuality and to be more liberal with gays.

Legalize (or decriminalize, same or not?) homosexuality? Will it mean we may see two men hugging in a train. Or will it be ok to put up advertisements for gay parties at bus-stops.

A letter in yesterday’s papers said in the west there were homosexual teachers telling their classes it is normal to be homosexual. If it happens here, would we accept it?

Has anyone been jailed or prosecuted for his homosexuality? I think no, right? What homosexuals do behind closed doors or in the privacy of his home, no one will bother. You think the police so free to go and investigate people’s private life.

The Government are not interested in people’s homosexual activities. But they don’t want people to promote and publicize homosexuality or its activities or to influence the young.

I believe the Government will let go slowly and quietly. But if some of these people try to push too hard, I think the Government would decide to remain status quo.