Chinese Street Opera

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Mar 17, 2005
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Singapore
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These days, Chinese street operas are getting less and less popular. Audiences are mostly older folks who may or may not even understand the lines all that well. This has resulted in many troupes disbanding due to financial losses.

I decided to capture some images of these performers so that one day my grandchildren may be able to see them when such performances become extinct.


Henry Goh
 
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Mar 11, 2005
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SF Bay Area, California
Wow, what beautiful color, Henry! It's so important to capture moments like this. History is made everyday and sometimes we fail to recognize the important of not just dying cultural activities such as this, but the little things which impact the quality of our lives.

Thank you for sharing this special moment with us.

Virginia
aka beaucamera
 
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Hello Gordon

Thank you for viewing.

Here's another scene for your viewing pleasure:
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Henry Goh
 
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Henry, I like the first one better. This one doesn't seem quite as sharp. BTW, what does the "HC" in your copyright stand for. I think this is the first time I've seen it.

Virginia
aka beaucamera
 
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Hi Virginia

HC = Hock Choon, my Chinese middle names.

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I think I forgot to USM before posting the last image.

Henry
 
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Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
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Viera Fl
Henry,

this is fantastic. so glad you captured this event. Very well shot and the colors are teriffic.

Got more I would love to see them.

Nice job and thank you for sharing yet another lost art. How sad is that.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
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hi guys

Thank you Anand, Thank you Gale.

Yes the colors are very strong in Chinese opera costumes. The costumes are always very elaborate and they are made to some standards handed down through generations. 5,000 years to be more precise.

Thanks for viewing.

Henry Goh
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
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Viera Fl
Henry ,
Are those costumes made of silk....I think so...

The color is not only great in the images it has a shimmer glow.

Gorgeous.
 
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Costumes

are made of silk Gale. Some of these costumes are so complex and detailed, I would think it took a long time to put them together.

Henry


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Jan 26, 2005
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Viera Fl
Henry my Father brought me home from WWII some porcelin Dolls with these colors and fabrics.

Boy wish I had them now. Be worth a fortune.

Another marvelous image Henry, and Thank You..

Also they are all hand made I do believe as well.. Yes, extremly intricate.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
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New York City
Henry,

Nice shots. Reminds me to lust after the 70-200VR again. :lol: I'm trying to convince my little sis to buy my D70 and Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, so I can buy the upcoming D200/whatever and the 70-200VR. :D

These days, Chinese street operas are getting less and less popular. Audiences are mostly older folks who may or may not even understand the lines all that well. This has resulted in many troupes disbanding due to financial losses.

I decided to capture some images of these performers so that one day my grandchildren may be able to see them when such performances become extinct.
If you haven't, maybe you should buy some DVDs of such performances and/or movies based on them. Not sure what kind of opera is actually shown in your photos, but there are Hong Kong DVDs of Huangmei operas/movies. One very popular opera movie from the 70's is about the Princess Chang Ping and directed by John Woo(!) of all people. :D

http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/pid-1003906450/code-c/version-all/section-videos/did-106/

Besides DVDs of the operas themselves, some might be interested in movies set about the lives of opera performers and traditions, etc. Here's a good movie on DVD for those interested:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106332/

I'm actually a tad young :D to love such operas (though I might acquire the taste for them some day as I do Italian operas), but I certainly remember it being a big thing for the older generation back in my childhood days, especially when I was still living in Hong Kong back in the 70's.

FWIW, a lot of Chinese movies, particularly kung fu (or rather wuxia) films, have their roots in such operas. Some of the influences are quite subtle, but they are there. I can spot touches of it even in some of Ang Lee's non-Chinese films -- and there was an extensive NY Times interview/article where Ang Lee talked about how deeply the Huangmei operas touched him from his youth, particularly the movie Love Eterne (based on The Butterfly Lovers).

As for the comment about "5000 years", that's probably exaggerating just a little bit. :lol:

_Man_
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
195
Location
New York City
Hi, Henry.

I'm well aware that there's roughly 5000 years of Chinese history. I was merely refering to the suggestion that these opera traditions actually come from 5000 years ago. Anyway, I originally thought you were sort of joking like how one Chinese lecturer from my college days would often joke that there are a billion of us Huang/Wong's in the world -- the Huang/Wong family name is indeed one of the 5 most common, but obviously, there aren't anywhere near a billion of us. :D

Best regards,

_Man_
 

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