August 31, 2007

Blog header

Notice my blog header? I'm trying out some pictures to see how they look. Know the characters? The man with the spear is Chow Yu, the old man is Dong Zhuo and the girl is Diao Chan. The artiste doing the make-up is the same one who is playing the role of the Seventh Fairy in my post below.

August 30, 2007


An action clip. I think I have uploaded only 4 action type, including this one. The rest are singing type.

The Seventh Fairy married an earthly man, Dong Weng, and borne him a son. But she was forced to separate from them. In this clip the Fox Fairy, the fairy sisters and the son of the 7th Fairy fight a fierce battle with the heavenly soldiers and generals. Finally the Goddess of Mercy intervenes and the son and his father are united with the Seventh Fairy.

The seven fairies...

The Seventh Fairy and Dong Weng...

Their son...

The Goddess of Mercy...

August 27, 2007

Recent news

PM Lee said we can’t slow down with our economic development. I don’t know how right he is. I suppose the government understands the global and regional situation and our vulnerabilities better than us ordinary folks.

As for myself I would prefer a more relaxed life. Actually I am optimistic person. Never mind the fast-paced development or the hurried life, I will find time to laze around, daydream and do things that I enjoy doing. .

Regarding the pending changes to the CPF, I think they are good in the long term. But the two sore points are the delay of the drawing down of the minimum sum and the buying of an annuity for payout at age of 85. Chun See has a post on this. His link is on the right.

Hopefully these people waiting for their minimum sum will still have a job or have their own savings or able to get some help.

I think the government can support those penniless people 85 and above. I don't think there are many of them. Haha, maybe the G is worried that old people will then spend all their money before 85.

August 25, 2007


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August 21, 2007

Opera nite @ the Serangoon

There were 5 songs and 2 excerpts. Of the 8 singers I have only heard 2 of them sang before. All the singers sang well, better than I expected. The two excerpts were also well-performed.

Two of the singers
Performers and orchestra members


小周后 -

, , 余


六月雪之大审 - 卢少玲,

August 19, 2007

Just some thoughts on the ND show

I like to watch the marching contingents of the armed forces and the police. It is quite exhilarating to see them in straight rows marching proudly in unison and swinging their arms shoulder-high. As all NS men know it takes many many many hours of drills to perfect this.

I also like the special displays by the air, land and sea forces

Organizing and presenting the National Day Show is a formidable and stressful task involving massive planning, organizing and coordinating work and requires enormous resources. We are all very grateful to the people involved including the participants for the great show.

You know, our ND show seems to be more and more spectacular every year. I am just wondering if we will ever go back to having simpler, solemn celebrations, less spectacular and fewer dazzling items. If we do I think there will people who will be disappointed. But there will also be people who will be glad. One possibility it will happen is if the economy is not doing well and people are having a hard time.

August 17, 2007

The South Korean hostages

The Teleban militants in Afghanistan freed 2 female South Korean Hostages. Did you read this news a few days ago. This is what the Teleban said “for the sake of good relations between the Korean people and the Teleban”. …...After they had kidnapped the people and killed two of them !? Utmost rubbish !!!

I hope these people will be boiled in oil when they go to hell.

But I have misgivings about what these Koreans (church group volunteers) were doing. They were doing good but it was reported that they were irresponsible. My view is that in the beginning they shouldn't have gone to that country. It is a Muslim country and is at war.

And they give a big problem to their government and other people. Maybe they thought nothing would happen to them as God would protect them. But I believe God helps those who help themselves and God will not protect you if you are reckless and irresponsible.

Now they are pleading for help, no more the brave and fearless. If they had said ‘We do not wish to die but we also do not want any Government to give in to their demands as it will means more kidnapping and more deaths’, their countrymen would be very proud of them.
And I think the chance of being released was also higher as these murderers saw that they couldn’t gain anything by holding them or killing them. Then they would release them on the pretext of
“for the sake of good relations between the Korean people and the Teleban”. Hahaha, just some optimistic thinking.

I feel they will be released.

August 13, 2007

Li Yuan Opera - Li Ya Xian

11 August 2007 @ Esplanade Recital Studio, performed by Siong Leng Musical Association

Free seating, but the centre seats in the first 4 rows were reserved. That means more than 60 seats. So many guests? During the half-hour pre-show talk, I think only two of the reserved seats were occupied. So it looked rather odd - the speaker in front, people sitting at he back rows and in-between empty seats.

This is the stage. At one end a quaint make-up corner was set up. Just a few minutes before the show started two artistes in ancient costumes came out and sat there and pretended to do make-up. It looked very cute.

Pre-show Talk
During the talk, the speaker introduced Li Yuan Opera, briefly talked about the movement and singing and the 4 main characters – the scholar, the maiden, the elderly and the comic. Then he asked the sheng Lin Shao Ling to demonstrate some movements and facial expressions of the 4 characters. I thought why not ask a dan to come out too. Hong Ru Wang or Huang Yu Ying would be good.

Then there was a demonstration by the orchestra. The musicians, in dark uniform, looked so serious, like going to take the imperial exam. The drummer is a lady from Quan Zhou. Sometimes she had to use her foot to rub on the surface of the drum as she beat the drum.

At the end of the talk the speaker said only got time for 1 question. A man asked whether the performers were local or foreign. Mixed, the speaker said, 80% local and 20% foreign. I think he could have allowed a few more questions as there was a 15-min break after that.

The Show

The story. A scholar fell for a ‘qing lou’ beauty, Li Yaxian. He was so infatuated by her that he spent all his time at the ‘qing lou’. Soon his money was all gone and he also neglected his studies for the imperial exam. He became a beggar. Later he was reunited with the beauty. To make sure the scholar concentrate on his studies, she disfigured her face. Finally the scholar topped in the imperial exam and became the ‘zhuang yuan’.

The first two scenes – the Ball Game and the Beggars’ Song (Lian Hua Luo) – are unique and interesting. I think you can only see these in Li Yuan opera.

The handsome scholar was played by Lin Shao Ling, the delicate-looking beauty by Hong Ru Wang and the likeable Ah Gui, Li Yaxian's personal maid, by Huang Yu Ying. Wang Bi Yu was the money-faced ‘qing lou’ owner who only appeared in scene one. Bi Yu also acted as one of the beggars in two other scenes.

They all gave very good performance.

The singing in Li Yuan opera was not that slow as I thought. In this opera the lead sheng has a lot of singing to do. On the other hand, Ah Gui has no singing part. However, she has plenty of speaking and dialogues, including one with the photographer. Won’t it be nice to let us hear Ah Gui sing a song or two?

The opera is entertaining and watching it is a joy. You will enjoy it even if you don’t understand the dialect.

The orchestra, the drummer had her foot on the drum.

The scholar and the beauty

Performers, Siong Leng members and guests

August 07, 2007

Something different

A man singing an opera song with his 4-year-old daughter.

A funny opera clip

August 06, 2007

Guest bloggers

Friend Chun See has several guest bloggers. Wonder anyone wants to be my guest blogger - only about Chinese opera (reviews, reports, news, your views, pictures etc).

Hahaha...I think nobody. Maybe you are thinking of starting your own blog. Never mind, any time you like to you can just drop a note at the comments in this blog.

August 05, 2007

Unfounded worries

I was reading a blogger's post about a 'naughty' thing he did in school at a time when pupils were generally passive learners who did not like to ask questions.

Pupils nowadays are noisier, not afraid to ask questions, sometimes inappropriate ones and sometimes at inappropriate times. Nonetheless, they are encouraged to ask. Unlike my primary school days.....

Once upon a time, I was a kid in primary 5. One day a teacher teaching our class was being observed. We all thought it was an inspector from the education ministry. We were all very quiet. I only remember the lesson had something about clouds so I think it was either Geography or Science.

After some teaching the teacher wanted to get some feedback but no one responded or asked questions. Like that not good during observation. So the teacher decided to ask us questions instead.

"Please don't call me," we prayed. We didn't like to answer questions. We pretended to look at our books.

He called me.

"Oh no, how come call me. Why don't you call the clever ones like Victor or Ming De, sure they can give you the correct answer."

I stood up looking blur and said something. It was wrong and he asked another pupil. Later he explained the first part of the lesson again, probably for pupils like me.

For the next few days I was so scared that the teacher would punish me. You see, I couldn't answer his question, so the inspector thought his teaching no good and gave him a bad report. So he wanted to take revenge on me.

Silly boy! Of course nothing like that happened.

August 03, 2007

Opera day @ Kreta Ayer C C

29 July 2007 (afternoon show and night show)

Presented by artistes from the Kreta Ayer CC Cantonese Opera Troupe, the Performing Arts Group from Bishan Residents' committee third division and the Yew Meng Sing Cantonese opera Troupe from Hong Kong. Actually the HK troupe had only two adults and five young ones performing.

See if you recognize anyone you know. Click on photo to enlarge. The three performers squatting in front are youngsters 12-13 years of age The two girls are quite tall. The sheng in the blue costume and the dan on his right are from HK. The dan is the leader of the HK troupe.

This is Chan Mei Yin, leader of the Kreta Ayer COT and chief organizer of the event. She sang a song and performed one excerpt, both very well done .

These two kids sang part of a song. So cute, I just asked them to stand for me to take a picture and they put up this pose.