Opera Operandi

While in Kemasik, Terengganu, one gets to see Hainanese Opera; in Taiping, my hometown, where there is a sizable population of Chinese of Hokkien descent, one gets to see Hokkien opera. Twenty years or more ago, I have seen live Hokkien Opera being performed in temples during festivals but nowadays, I think these live shows are few to come by; many shows now feature sexy, sometimes scantily clad young girls belting out popular modern songs. In Kuala Sepetang, a fishing village some ten or twenty kilometers away, there is a sizeable population of Chinese of Teochew descent. I believe there still are Teochew Opera being performed there during certain festivals. Once, about a decade or more ago, someone invited me over to watch one of these shows but I declined since it was performed at night and I am also not into such shows. Hainanese Opera, Hokkien Opera or Teochew Opera or any other Chinese Opera for that matter, there is usually a story involved and there is also a lot of music and singing. Actors communicate with the help of a dialogue but it is usual to see the actors burst out singing suddenly to express their thoughts and feelings. If one has watched Hollywood musicals the likes of Babra Streisand's Funny Girl or Audrey Hepburn's My Fair lady; one can imagine how a Chinese Opera goes...

A Hokkien Opera...



A Teochew Opera...

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