Even before typing, I’d already felt the embarrassment because I have so little knowledge of the subject I am writing. I don’t know a lot of the vocabulary of Chinese opera, let alone the differences between operas from different districts. Before The Beatles, I was brought up listening to traditional Cantonese opera. I was able to enjoy them, and was able to sing along with some of them. However, going to theater was not something we could afford when I was young. I have only attended a few times of this kind of performance in my entire life. But I do love their make-up and costumes. I have never had the chance, until now, to take pictures of these people.
One of the traditional way of celebrating Chinese New Year is to enjoy a show of Chinese opera. A while ago, I had an opportunity to attend a Cantonese Opera performance. The show was performed to celebrate a music club’s anniversary here in Boston. Since actors and actresses needed to be trained for years to be able to perform, I believe most of these folks, even they didn’t claim to be “professional”, had received years of formal training in this field. The Chairwoman of the group was so kind to allow me to take pictures anywhere I wanted. I had taken quite a few of them. I am posting a few here to share with you and show my respect to these folks who work very hard to preserve the art.
直到 The Beatles 出現前, 我們可以說是聽粵曲長大的。記得當時拿起曲夲, 曲詞前寫着[二王]、 [滚花]、[白欖]等等, 我們就知道怎樣唱。 這可能与古代唱元曲或詞一樣, 只要說出曲牌或詞牌名, 大家都會唱一樣 (我不知是否真的如此, 想當然矣)。 聽粤曲和看粤劇不同, 會聽的只知道歌者唱功如何, 仿何人腔口。 講究一點的連音樂也知道一些, 如掌板是誰等等。 看的話學問就多了, 演員的功架如何, 做手是否上乘, 服裝、佈景是否講究等等。如靚次伯演六國大封相的功架就令老人家津津樂道。小時候因經濟理由很少上劇院。在大陸旅行時看过一次川劇, 印像甚佳。我最喜欢就是那些化粧和服飾。尤其喜欢攝影之後, 一直好渴望有机會拍拍這傳統的藝術。前一陣波士頓廣東曲藝社社慶演出折子戲, 會長溫太太大方地讓我拍照, 得償素願。他們雖說是業餘, 但唱功、做手和行頭皆十分專業。