A Teochew Opera – Tale of the Dragon Princess By Teochew Puppet & Opera House 檳城潮藝館年度大戲 Part 8   Leave a comment

A Teochew Opera – Tale of the Dragon Princess By Teochew Puppet & Opera House 檳城潮藝館年度大戲 Part 8

As I have more photographs in my photo album, I shall post them over the course of time here. As promised, I am posting more photographs taken from the back of the stage using my 70 – 200 mm lens. It has become my habit to photo-shoot plays or concerts with many performers from the back of the theatre so as to capture every performers on the photos. Thus, the size of the individual/s are smaller but all are recorded in the photo/s.
The Story
A simple fable about the daughter of the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea falling in love with a commoner is told here. The Princess then gave a red branch of red magical coral to the scholar as her token of her love. Both departed as the scholar was on his way to the Chinese Capital for his examinations. There was a jealous suitor from the sea world – General Carp who was also has an eye on the Dragon Princess. He complained to the Dragon King and the Princess and her maid were punished by being made into human beings from their diety status earlier. They were adopted by the Prime Minister of China. The scholar used a portion of the red coral to heal an ailment of the Emperor and thus bestowed with riches beyond his dreams. The Prime Minister wanted him to marry his adopted daughter. However, the scholar was reluctant as he has his heart for the Dragon Princess of the Eastern Sea not knowing she was already made into a commoner. However, he was forced to marry the adopted daughter and later found out that she was his true love. All well that’s end well as the Dragon Princess was restored her original diety status again. So, ends the story, my version.
The significant difference in this Teochew Opera is that this is not the run-of-mill street opera performance but an elaborate and well-planned plot with a large number of performers. It was staged at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang at Straits Quay. There was a full Chinese Orchestra of classical Chinese musical instruments backing this performance. However, the three large microphones at the front of the performing stage were quite a “eye-sore” to the photographers. These should have been hung up into the air, if possible to prevent an obstructing view. On the whole, it was a magnificent show and heartiest congratulations should go to Ms Ling Goh, the organizers, performers, musicians and helpers.

SP Lim


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