The Patriotic Princess by the Chinese Theatre Circle.
( Victoria Theatre; 20-05-2000 )
The Patriotic Princess is the most well-known and one of the most popular cantonese operas. Since the 50s, it has been performed countless times by various troupes for half a century. Last year I saw Mun Chin Sui & Leong Siew Sum perform this opera at the KAPT and the year before that it was Lou Mee Wah & Li Fung, also at the KAPT.
Now, in this slick, slightly-modified production by the CTC, Christopher Choo, Seetho Hoi Siong, Frances Wong and Ellen Li brought to life this tragic tale of love, patriotism, loyalty and betrayal with their impressive acting.
Hoi Siong gave a commendable portrayal of the strong-willed yet gentle Princess Chang Peng. In the scene 'Meeting at the Temple' her joy at seeing her husband was mixed with a tinge of saddness as she realized the ill-fate that awaited them. In the next scene she first thought that her husband had betrayed her but later realized that he was using a ploy to get the Ming emperor's body buried in a royal tome and to get her imprisoned brother released. A mixture of emotions and feelings welled up inside her : disappointment, relief, hope, helplessness and love. It was a fine performance by Hoi Siong.
After the second scene, the emperor's maids came out as narrators to inform the audience what happened after the princess had been rescued during the dying hours of the Ming dynasty. This helped to shorten the opera by one scene. There was no long wait during the change of scenes. The sceneries and stage designs were beautiful and well done. However, the first part of the third scene in which the princess met the prince consort in the snow was rather bare.
frannxis [ 21-05-2000 ]