Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Steven Ma and Kenneth Ma Learned Peking Opera, and Received Praises for it.

《紫禁惊雷》热拍 马浚伟马国明学京剧获称赞

Source: ent.qq.com @ 11/30/2010 
Translation: Tamaya 

Steven Ma and Kenneth Ma shot a Peking Opera scene for The Alarming Thunder of the Forbidden City. These two Hong Kong artistes who had no prior knowledge of Peking Opera whatsoever were like two frenzied Peking ducks for half an hour attempting to memorize by rote a portion of aria demonstrated by their Peking Opera teacher.

Steven practices his Cantonese opera singing regularly, so although there was pressure he was not overly flustered. But to poor Kenneth, Peking Opera was all Greek to him. Seeing his furrowed brow as he sang, it brought home that this bowl of instant noodles was truly not easy to ingest. But, regardless, the assignment must be accomplished; so under the expectant and watchful eyes of the whole  videocamera crew, the two Mas belted out the song: one sang as Guan Gong*, the other, Zhao Zi Long*. These two brothers put into practice the idiom of “live together, die together”. (TN: float or sink together in the same boat) When the director yelled “roll”, they immediately opened up their mouths and began to sing no stop. Who could have thought that their singing was delivered with both clear diction and precise intonation? One take and their scene passed muster. The Peking Opera teacher and the whole camera crew broke into instant applause to show their approval. Thus a pair of “smart horses” (Ma) successfully passed the hurdle; they were so elated they whooped  with exuberance!

The Peking Opera teacher praised the two Mas: “Peking Opera is a national treasure, and you both got the hang of it just like that. Very smart ya! You two are also a pair of national treasures!”

Steven enjoys Cantonese Opera, but after this stint with Peking Opera, Steven feels that it is not only pleasant to his ears but that it is also suitable for him to perform on stage; hence, it kindled an interest in him to learn Peking Opera himself. He says: “I intend to learn Peking Opera from the Peking Opera teacher. When I'm proficient, it will be another artistic skill. When performing on stage, it will provide an alternative choice.”

*Guan Yu & Zhao Zi Long ( Three Kingdoms characters)

*Guan Yu (military general under Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period)

Note: No wonder Steven loves being in Qing Dynasty, it's like he were from that era. In fact, Steven has said that the late Qing is among his most favorite Chinese history era.

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