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Press Release
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Liza Wang & HKCO
Golden Mandarin oldies, Chinese folk song medleys and well-known themes from television series - there will be a different programme for each concert, so get ready for pleasant surprises!

The Romantic Strain Goes On
With a Talented Diva of Hong Kong’s Entertainment Industry

 
Lisa Wang Interview and Rehearsal
(in Chinese)

 

Liza Wang is a local legend.  She is famous not only for her many-pronged career that spans television, Cantonese Opera, public service and community work, but also for her well-known stamina, drive, dedication, perfectionist attitude towards work, and a genuine love for the stage.  Her success is in every sense of it hard earned.  Indeed, she is regarded as a Hong Kong icon for all the values she represents and for the attributes she shares with her fellow Hongkongers.  Total dedication and drive are the keywords of our success, whether it’s of yesterday, today, or tomorrow.  

The concert series is a second collaboration between Wang and the HKCO.  In the first part of the programme, she will be joined by Law Kar-ying, star of Cantonese Opera, in performing The Romance of the Peony Fairy.  The fairytale will be narrated by Ngai Ping-long of RTHK, in the age-old tradition of story-telling in China.  Wang will also be singing Love and Passion, a perennial favourite in Canto Pop, which was made famous by her as the original singer and the leading lady in the television series for which soundtrack the song was written.

In keeping with Wang’s diversely talented image, different programmes will be featured in different concerts.  For the first, which is a fund-raising occasion for the HKCO Development Fund, she will be singing charming folk tunes in the Chinese repertoire.  For the other occasion, she will be singing an excerpt from the Shanghai Yue Opera, Lin Daiyu Burying Flowers and Mandarin Song Classics Suite.

Highlights of the Programme


The Romance of the Peony Fairy

The story of this Cantonese Opera is taken from two famous Chinese works, The Flower in the Mirror and Strange Tales from a Chinese Study, with one of the perennially popular themes in Chinese literature – love between a mortal and an immortal.  As the story goes, the Peony Fairy defies Empress Wu’s wish to bloom out of season.  For this, she is going to suffer punishment of death by the God of Flowers.  She is saved by Huang Wenhan, a scholar who dotes on flowers.  He steals the peony out of the capital and escapes to Luoyang where it thrives again.  But the Heavenly Order cannot be disobeyed, and Peony is still going to die.  At the most critical moment, Huang seeks the help of the Goddess of Mercy, who sprinkles the withered flower with the magic water from the vase she holds in her hand.  Peony comes back to life and becomes the favourite flower for generation after generation of Chinese people. 
 


Know your Chinese music

The difference between the Chinese xiqu and the Western opera

The operatic genre of Chinese xiqu has a much longer history than the performing art form called ‘opera’ in the West.  Even if one is to count only from its heyday, that is, as zaju in the Yuan Dynasty (13th – 14th Century), it still boasts a history of six to seven hundred years.  It can be described as the oldest performing art in the world today, with a genre system and form that no other can match.  Xiqu embraces literature, music, drama, dance, fine art and often, acrobatics and martial art.  Each regional opera is derived from the vernacular, customs and folk music of its place of origin.  The regional characteristics are evident through the delivery of spoken lines and vocal techniques in singing.  On the other hand, in Western opera, the language of performance is often the national language used in countries in Europe. Created as an art form and like all art, it is a reflection of the composer’s style.  It is also written in the language that he uses.  Early Western operas were supported through their patrons, often aristocrats and the court.  In staging, Xiqu also differs greatly from opera.  It has its own formulaic system of performance.  Different character roles have their respective stylized hand movements, eye movements and gait.  There are masks to indicate whether the persona represented is ‘good’ or ‘evil’.  The different ways of looking at ‘death’ also lead to different treatments in ending: in xiqu, there is always a happy ending, while in opera, it always ends with death because it symbolizes transcendence and sublimation of Life.  As for the music, xiqu is built on set tunes, while in opera, each aria and each piece is an original composition in itself.  All these point to the fact that Chinese xiqu and the Western opera are two totally different performing art forms.  That is why, the terms ‘Chinese opera’ and ‘Peking Opera’ (or ‘Beijing Opera’) should be replaced by the transliterated term xiqu, for accuracy’s sake. 
 


Programme

2/12 (THU)  8:00pm

Cantonese Operatic Song The Romance of the Peony Fairy Lyrics by Su Weng    Arr. by Bu Canrong and Li Shek-um

Vocal: Liza Wang, Law Kar-ying

        Narration: Ngai Ping-long

Vocal and Orchestra        Love and Passion   Lyrics by Tang Wai-hung Joseph Koo  Arr. by Chen Ning-chi     Vocal: Liza Wang 

Golden Hits from Television and Films

Vocal and Orchestra      Yesterday’s Glitter  Lyrics by Tang Wai-hung       Joseph Koo      Arr. by Li Ka-wa

Thief of Hearts       Lyrics by James Wong      Joseph Koo      Arr. by Chen Ning-chi

The Brave Chinese       Lyrics by James Wong      Joseph Koo      Arr. by Law Wai-lun

The Yeung Female Saga        Lyrics by James Wong      Joseph Koo      Arr. by Li Ka-wa

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind    Lyrics by Jim Lo     Joseph Koo    Arr. by Law Wai-lun

What I Am Today   Lyrics by Chan Kah-kwok        Eddie Chiu       Arr. by Kuan Nai-chung
Vocal
Liza Wang

3/12 (FRI)  8:00pm
For the raising of HKCO Development Fund
No ticket discount apply

Cantonese Operatic Song The Romance of the Peony Fairy Lyrics by Su Weng    Arr. by Bu Canrong and Li Shek-um Vocal: Liza Wang, Law Kar-ying  Narration: Ngai Ping-long 

Vocal and Orchestra  Love and Passion    Lyrics by Tang Wai-hung Joseph Koo  Arr. by Chen Ning-chi  

A Medley of Chinese Classic Tunes Arr. by Chan Ning-chi  (Arrangement Commissioned by HKCO/Premiere)
 (Including Jasmine, You Send Me A Rose, The Flower Drums of Fang Yang, The Ripping Brook and My Motherland) Vocal
Liza Wang 

Vocal and Orchestra The Love of the Boat Trackers     Arr. by Chew Hee-chiat    (Arrangement Commissioned by HKCO/Premiere)  Vocal: Liza Wang, Law Kar-ying 

Vocal and Orchestra Rendezvous on the Mound    Lyrics by Hai Mo  Tong Fu Arr. by Ngai Kwun-wa  Vocal: Liza Wang, Law Kar-ying

 4/12 (SAT)   8:00pm

Cantonese Operatic Song The Romance of the Peony Fairy Lyrics by Su Weng    Arr. by Bu Canrong and Li Shek-um  Vocal: Liza Wang, Law Kar-ying  Narration: Ngai Ping-long

Ensemble  Themes from Television Suite (Excerpts)   
Joseph Koo

 (
Including Love of Tear and Laughter, The Story of Book and Sword, The Legend of the Flying Swordsman, Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, The Bund, Elusive Memories on the Misty Lake, The Brave Chinese, You’re the Best on Earth and Lu Xiao Feng) 

Vocal and Orchestra  Love and Passion   Lyrics by Tang Wai-hung Joseph Koo  Arr. by Chen Ning-chi   

Mandarin Song Classics Suite   Arr. by Phoon Yew-tien
 (Including
Picking Betel Nuts, Song of the Four Seasons, The Wandering Singsong Girl, When Will You Return?, Shanghai at Night and Nocturnal Aroma) 

Burying Flowers (from The Dream of Red Chamber, Shanghai Shao-Xing Opera Theatre’s version)    Arr. by He Zhaohao         VocalLiza Wang

 

Date: 2-4.12. 2004
Time:
8:00 pm
Venue:
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Concert Hall
3-12-2004
$1000, 500, 220, 160
HKCO Development Fund Fund-raising Concert
(No Ticket Discounts Apply)
 
2 & 4-12-2004
$300, 220, 160, 100


 

Yan Huichang
Conductor
  • Yan Huichang was conferred the title of National Class One Conductor at the First Professional Appraisal of China in 1987. He was appointed Music Director of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in June 1997 and was re-titled Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in October 2003. as a conductor, he has worked with all professional Chinese orchestras in Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. In collaboration with renowned directors Zhang Yimou, Teng Wenji, the famous composer Zhao Jiping and the Symphony Orchestra section of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China, Yan had made soundtrack recordings for such award winning films as Raise the Red Lantern, Ballad of Yellow River, and Five Girls and a Rope.

  • Yan is actively engaged in composition. His representative works include the symphonic poem The Sound of Water which won a Class One Prize in the Composition Contest of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Class Two Prize in the Third National Music Composition Competition; and the pipa solo work Nostalgia which won a Class One Award at the First National Pipa Contest of Contributing Works. Yan was awarded the "Cultural Medallion (Music)" by the National Arts Council of Singapore in September 2001.

 

Liza Wang
Vocalist
  • Liza Wang is not only an outstanding artist in the fields of television, singing and Cantonese Opera, but also a champion of social welfare. She was appointed a Hong Kong/Macao Deputy to the 7th and 8th National People’s Congress since 1988, and appointed a Member to the 9th and 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) since 1998. She was selected one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Hong Kong in 1981.

  • In recent years, Wang has become even more active in public and community service and promoting art projects. She is an Oxfam Ambassador, helping Oxfam to improve the livelihood of the people living in the mountain villages in China.

  • Wang’s keen interest in new knowledge has driven her to study Chinese classical literature as well as other subjects, a rewarding process which, she admits, has helped her in personal growth.

  • In 2004, Wang was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the local entertainment industry, her meritorious public and community service, and as a role model for life-long learning.

Law Ka-ying
Guest
  • A mainstay of Cantonese Opera, Law has formed several troupes and appeared in over a dozen new productions that have proved to be audience favourites and won critical acclaim in North America, Singapore, Malaysia, France and the Netherlands.

  • He has made valuable contributions to the revival of Cantonese Opera, including initiating young people to the art of Cantonese Opera, collaborating with Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in staging concerts featuring Cantonese Opera singing, and adapting Shakespeare's Macbeth to a Cantonese opera version entitled The Rebellious Hero.

Ngai Ping-long
Navigator
  • Ngai Ping-long completed the Artiste Training Course at the former Rediffusion Television in 1975 before entering the Department of Communications of the former Baptist College in 1981 for study. In 1993, he graduated from the Drama/Theater Arts General Programme from the Wichita State University of Kansas, USA, in 1993.

  • He has been a media worker since 1975, having a diverse experience that spans dubbing, radio, drama, radio plays, television drama and films. He is currently working as a Producer and Project Coordinator at the Television Department of RTHK.