A piece from the opera performed by Zhang
Qing as an injured resistance warrior (张清) and Shi
Xiaoying (石筱英) as a village grandma.
Zhang Qing as the warrior:
The moon is like a silver hook,
The stars are pieces on a chess
The landscape is so breathtaking
As if a scroll of ink
By the foot of Yu Hill
start to ripen;
In the deep of Yangcheng Lake
Crabs begin to gain weight.
In between the waves,
nets are spread out;
From the reed marshes
ducks take flight.
This is the land of rice bowl and fish
This is our great South
Which must not be colonised
But the devils
grow so hysterical and callous,
The battles become more brutal
I can't wait to recover
From wounded leg
To return to the battlefield sooner,
And to trash all of Japanese flag
That sticks on the face of China
Like a piece of medicated plaster.
Of eight Model
Operas dominated the stage during the Cultural Revolution
years, two were conveyed from Shanghai Opera repertoires.
Among all Chinese operas, that are based on various local
dialects and amount to 300 plus, Shanghai Opera is
known to be the most innovative and fashion conscious,
always keen to keep up with the latest traits to remain
relevant and never afraid of trying out new things to explore
Shanghai Opera The Successor (自有后来人) by Patriots
Shanghai Opera Troupe (上海爱华沪剧团) depicts a Chinese resistance
warrior in disguise as a railway worker in the region
under the Japanese occupation. As soon as it was staged
in early 60s, the tickets were sold like hot potatoes; and
among many causes for its huge popularity, one big contributing
factor is the appearance of a specially-made huge electronic
toy engine that
would at one point run across the stage to add visual effects
to the show. Later the play was conveyed to Beijing
Opera and retitled The Legend of Red Lantern (红灯记),
with the fancy part involving the toy engine excluded. The
engine has never returned to Chinese stage since.
The second Shanghai Opera that has been conveyed to Beijing
Opera and becomes a Model is Preserve the Fire in Reed
Marshes (芦荡火种), originally created by Shanghai Opera
Troupe (上海市人民沪剧团) based on a true historical event. During
the WWII, there were 36 injured resistance warriors hidden
in a village called Shajiabang by the Yangcheng Lake (阳澄湖)
When Japanese army and their local
collaborators searched the area, the injured were forced
to take refuge in the marshes and spend a lengthy period
living a life with no shelter, medicine and food. But they
all survived the ordeal, thanks to the collective rescue
effort made by a teahouse owner, the villagers and the underground
The play received enthusiastic responses from the audience
in Shanghai and
in its surrounding
regions in the South Yangtze River, for its beautiful
music, its intricate storyline and its humorous dialogues.
Later when it was conveyed to Beijing Opera it has been
renamed Shajiabang (沙家浜), but the original version in Shanghai
opera has never lost its appeal and is still performed on
stage to this day.
This is an episode from Preserve the Fire
in Reed Marshes recorded in early 60s, Jie Hongyuan
(解洪元, Zhang Qing and Wang Huazhong's teacher and voted
by Shanghai audience as the Emperor of Shanghai Opera)
as doctor disguised by CCP chief, Ding Shie (丁是娥, known
as the Queen of Shanghai Opera) as teahouse owner and Shi
Xiaoying (石筱英, the creator of Shi Style) as village grandma.
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