Download e-book for iPad: Listening to theatre: the aural dimension of Beijing Opera by Elizabeth Wichman

By Elizabeth Wichman

At the back of its problematic costumes and makeup, its pantomime and acrobatics, Beijing opera is exceptionally an international created in sound - a lot in order that attending a functionality in China is known as "listening to theatre," and acting itself is called "singing theatre", instead of "acting". This research takes the reader to the center of the chinese language artwork shape through displaying how the weather of music, speech and musical composition are used to create a functionality, and the way that functionality is known via its viewers. It starts with a dialogue of the aesthetics of conventional Beijing opera, after which explores each one side of aural functionality in flip - language, song, voice and orchestra. a variety of charts and musical transcriptions support to attract a vibrant photo of the diversity of "languages" at play within the opera - people with vocabularies of tones and sound styles in addition to these made of phrases. The emphasis all through is at the supremacy of the performer as either composer and interpreter of the sounds heard in conventional Beijing opera.

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Extra info for Listening to theatre: the aural dimension of Beijing Opera

Sample text

This tight structure of multiple contrasts—Chinese and barbarian worlds and the transitions between, and civil and martial activities—creates a total theatrical piece of strong cohesion.  Furthermore, all thirteen scenes are integral, successively building parts of the full play.  The major "Chinese world" scenes are usually not separated from one another because together they constitute a single, unbroken emotional progression for the major character, Silang. However, as a set they are frequently performed as a single, complete, and quite complex zhezixi.

SILANG: (singing) I am unable to stay, Old mother advanced in years. BROTHER: (speaking) Fourth elder brother. SILANG: (singing) I am unable to stay, Worthy sixth elder brother with your great talents. SISTERS: (speaking) Fourth elder brother. SILANG: (speaking) I am loath to leave my worthy sisters not yet married. WIFE: (speaking) Cruel­hearted husband.  The repeated calling of Silang by his relational names is the strongest argument that could be advanced against his leaving.  Song Jiang and Yan Xijiao awake alternately, sing of their feelings and intentions towards the other, and then resume sleeping: SONG: The watchtower has announced the first part of the night; In silent melancholy I retreat to serious thinking.

I was captured and assuming another name escaped disaster. Dividing my name character Yang, I turned it into Mu Yi and married. Now Xiao Tianzuo prepares for battle. Both sides are ready to fight, my mother guides Troops to the Northern barbarian country.  Ah, the palace of the moon. A jade bridge over a stream; I take the rail and lean. Now two ducks come to play.  Ah, swim and watch me.  Wild geese, fly; I rejoice to see you! Wild geese in pairs ascend, hearing my singing settle in the flowers' shade.

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Listening to theatre: the aural dimension of Beijing Opera by Elizabeth Wichman


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