Encounter At the Flower Festival
Rescue the Children
Iron Horses and Silver Wedding
The Setting Sun and the Solitary Duck
There is a well-known novel bearing the same name written by Zhang Henshui about two ill-fated lovers: Ku Wu (the Solitary Duck) and La Xia (the Setting Sun), who has been forced into prostitution. Roughly based on the story in the novel, this song, composed by Mr. Choy Dick-Fan, describe the return of Ku Wu in search of his beloved. Unfortunately, La Xia is so sick that before Ku can fully expressed his love, she breathes her last breath. This song has been rearranged by Master Lau Wing-Chuen so that the tune in the style of 反線中板 by the female lead is to be sung instead in the style of 乙反苦喉 to bring out the depth of her sorrows.
Swan Song on Leaving the Kingdom of Yue
Romance of the Western Chamber: Extracting the Secret from Hongnian
Why Is My Lord So Sad Tonight
Rescue the Fallen:
Butterfly Intoxicated by the Flower
Looking for the Lost Purple Hairpin
The Dreamy Encounter on the River Luo
The accomplished poet Cao Zhi (192 – 232) was the favourite son of Tso Tso (Cao Cao) who was the King of Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. This song depicts his unexpected encounter with his deceased lover Wanzhen in a dream-like scene over the River Luo, which he is going to cross on being exiled by his older brother. Wanzhen has been forced to marry Cao Zhi’s older brother. To resist him she jumps into the river to escape from a loveless marriage. As Cao Zhi begs Wanzhen to stay with him, he wakes up and realizes that the encounter has happened only in a dream.
Musically, look for the section of naam yum sung at various tempos. See how the singer expresses his emotions through the mastery of different tempos.
Shen Sanbai and Yunniang
Yun, too, eventually falls ill. Realizing that her days are numbered, she sends for Sanbai. This song depicts their reunion, which turns out to be their last farewell.
A Decade at the Sui Palace
Dreaming of the Ling Mirror
The story is set in the Sui Dynasty (581-617). When the general of Sui attacks the Kingdom of Chen, the Emperor die, while his sister Princess Le Chang has to part with her husband. The couple breaks their bronze mirror into two halves, each keeping one, hoping that one day they will put the halves together. When the Sui general gets to know the Princess, he admires her. He takes her under his wings and pretends that she is his wife so as to protect her.
Kou Goes on a Mission:
Farewell to His Wife
Autumn Lament at the River Chu
Tenderness & Love Revealed
Boating on Lake Tai
Dream of the Red Chamber:
Daiyu’s Swan Song
Precious Lotus Lantern:
The Magical Encounter
The Spirit of Jade Pear
United to Defeat Cao
Love Commencing from
A Simple Act of Kindness
This song describes the scene in which a young couple meets and falls in love in a dilapidated temple where they are seeking refuge from the torrential rain. The young maiden is separated from her family as they flee from danger caused by some riots. A brave young man steps forward to protect her. As they are both drenched, he starts a fire and suggests she take off her clothes to dry behind a drape that he puts up to give her some privacy. The maiden is very moved by his good manners and kindness. They fall in love there and then.
Xiao He Chases Han Xin in the Moonlight
This is based on the story of Han Xin and Xiao He – two of the “three great heroes of the early Han Dynasty”, who helped Liu Bang of Han during the collapse of the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC) to defeat Xiang Yu of Chu to re-unify China under the Han Dynasty.
Han Xin has been living in extreme poverty until he works for Xiang Yu, who does not recognize his brilliance as a military strategist. So, he switches over to serve Liu Bang, who also does not recognize his abilities. Disappointed, he quietly leaves the Han camp in a moonlit night. Xiao He who is trusted by Liu hears about it and runs after Han. He successfully persuades Han to return to serve Liu. In gratitude, he agrees to serve Liu with Xiao. His military career takes off as a general, and he is greatly rewarded by Liu after he assumes the throne with Xiao as chancellor. However, Han is demoted later as he loses the trust of Liu. Some believe that Xiao is implicated in the fall of Han, thus giving rise to an idiom that implies the rise and fall of Han is caused by Xiao. This duet tells the story of how Xiao chases Han and persuades him to return.
Three Years of Love
but Two Decades of Hate
The Butterfly Lovers:
Rendezvous on the Terrace
This aria describes the rolling coaster scene as Shanbo eventually shows up at the Zhu Residence, and realizes wit great joy that Yingtai’s sister is actually Yingtai herself, but in the next moment he is devastated to learn that Yingtai has been betrothed to another man due to no show earlier. The beautiful musical arrangements and libretto evoke great pathos and many a tear from the audience.