Colloquium Lecture by Prof. Bell YUNG
TUE 21 NOV 2023 | 4:30 PM

Title: "All Utterance is Song" on the Operatic Stage: Exploring the Music of bai 白 in Cantonese Opera

Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Venue: LG01, Hui Yeung Shing Building

Delivered in English, all are welcome

Qi Rushan‘s famous dictum states that bai 白,as opposed to chang 唱, is in fact also singing. The separation of bai and chang in operatic scripts has always been accepted without any question. But from the musical point of view, and backed by Qi, this binary separation obscures the musical complexity of traditional opera, and needs to be re-examined.

The Cantonese Opera has a complicated bai system, with seven types of bai, each of which has musical elements even though they don’t involve qiang 腔 or gongche 工尺.  I shall discuss these seven types of bai with audio examples from performances of  <Giving the Magic Pearl at Rainbow Bridge>  虹橋贈珠 and <The Flower Princess> 帝女花, featuring the great performer Liang Xingbo 梁醒波.