Saturday, July 19, 2008

a few good quotes from the Beijing opera

The translations from ancient Mandarin to modern English were pretty fabulous. Here are some cool ones that popped up on the screen next to the stage:

1. "Princess, my love. I come here to marry you, but your brother always wants to kill me. I do hope you will care about this in the future."

2. "He is so annoying! Shut up!" (that just seems ancient Mandarin-like, don't you think?)

and then there was the princess's aria, which was the longest moment of my life. She was full of screeches, high-pitched yelps (think: angry Ferbie), some bark-like sounds that I did NOT imagine possible via a human vocal cord. All in all, I enjoyed the sound of it because it was so different. For the first three minutes. After that, I got a little irritated with the wavering noises. I could tell she was balancing on one syllable for quite a long time before finally edging onto the next syllable of her lyrics. The screen on the side of her stage translated from Mandarin to English what she was singing. During that whole time, at LEAST an exhausting, temporarily delightful, 5 minutes, the screen didn't change once. It took her all that time to sing only the following:

"My name is (name). I am a princess."

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