Preview: Nam Hwa Blazes 《万紫千红》(July 2018) by Nam Hwa Opera

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Nam Hwa Opera is having a busy summer period. Just last week, the fifty year old Teochew Opera troupe performed two full length operas at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, and this coming Sunday, they’ll be showcasing the tenth edition of their quarterly Nam Hwa Blazes programme at the Aliwal Arts Centre!

The last edition in April saw the troupe showcasing three classic Teochew Operas, highlighting the talents of the company while reaching out to Teochew Opera fans and curious newcomers to the scene. This time around, they’ll be presenting four excerpts from classical Teochew Operas, namely《下金山》Xia Jin Shan, 《姐弟别》Jie Di Bie, 《寺会》The Meeting at the Temple and《红箱缘》A Match Made By The Red Chest.

In 《下金山》Xia Jin Shan, watch as solo performer Chua Sing Lea (Sandi) takes on the role of Xu Xian, the husband of Madam White Snake, as he attempts to escape the clutches of the evil Fa Hai. In the tragic two hander 《姐弟别》Jie Di Bie, Ng Ghek Kheng and Low Ah Hoe play commoner siblings Guang Ping and Dou Ji, as the two undergo unfortunate circumstances and become separated by class and status, driving them to extreme actions.

In 《寺会》The Meeting at the Temple, starring Tay Ai Hua, Tan Bee Geok, Tan Swee Choo, Chua Suan Kee and Yap Buck Eng, we follow the tale of the talented scholar Zhang Chunlang as he gains the favour of both the royal family and the Emperor’s only daughter. When he attempts to disguise himself to catch a glimpse of the princess before their wedding though, he becomes discovered, and faces a punishment that could potentially severe his marriage. Finally, in 《红箱缘》A Match Made By The Red Chest, Teo Meng Hock, Karen Goh, Chong Ah La, Yap Buck Eng, Tan Gek Yong and Chan Koon Pit star in this exciting tale of a man running from a crime he is falsely accused of. Assisted by a young woman seeking a suitor, the two become engaged due to unlikely circumstances and a series of misunderstandings, ending Nam Hwa Blazes on a decidedly happy note.

As we’ve experienced ourselves, Nam Hwa Opera ensures that all audiences will have an easy time settling into and enjoying Teochew Opera, each one a timeless, classic tale that will have you laughing or crying at the drama evoked from these trained performers, and no doubt will convince you that this is an art that is worth holding on to, and celebrating now and forevermore.

Nam Hwa Blazes plays on 1st July 2018, 3pm at Aliwal Arts Centre Multi-Purpose Hall, with English and Chinese surtitles. To register for the free performance, contact them via e-mail at namhwaopera@gmail.com, call 6323 5528 or SMS/WhatsApp: 96770209. 

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