Entries tagged with “Fried squid”.

Hmm, how about a few clips from 2008?

Sorting out folders is always beneficial, especially if you have files named like VTS_03_1ghf.VOB in them… I found a few Spring Festival classics again that I recorded earlier from CCTV4, in the good ol’ days when the editors still haven’t decided to substitute the Chinese Opera program with a cooking show…

Apropos of decisions, today at the CCTV headquarters an intense meeting is going on about the program of Theater in the Air for the next half of the year. Let’s cross our fingers for rare plays! More regional operas! Lesser seen troupes!

About the next three snippets:
You surely remember the unforgettable Nü Fuma song of the strikingly beautiful vice-president of the Hubei Huangmei Opera Theater. Now Yang Jun isn’t disguised as a man, she appears as Weaving Maid, a popular folk tale character.
The second clip features Zeng Zhaojuan again, who hypnotized Bertrand in the previous post. She was born in 1966, and is appointed as the vice-president of the Tianjin Pingju Theater.
At last, but not at least, a fantastic bangzi aria with Xu Heying from Hebei! Xu was born in 1963, and was honored with the Plum Blossom Award in 1998, together with Li Haiyan, Wang Ping.

黄梅戏《牛郎织女》到底人间欢乐多 Huangmei Opera Cowherd Boy and Weaving Maid – What Earthly Joy – Yang Jun (杨俊)

评剧《绣鞋记》Pingju Tale of the Embroidered Shoe – Zeng Zhaojuan (曾昭娟)

河北梆子《王宝钏·大登殿》Hebei Bangzi Wang Baochuan·The Great Enthronement – Xu Heying (许荷英)

I can’t resist adding the same aria performed by a 5 years old cutiepie! Isn’t it more appealing than a beauty contest with toddlers on high heels?

Kiddy Bangzi Wang Baochuan – Wang Meng (王萌)

You can download a version of the full opera from CCTV’s website in three parts here: [1] [2] [3]. Beware, Hebei Bangzi is infectious! But don’t expect the laosheng performers sound like in Beijing Opera. 😉

Today I found a few items on our DVD recorder, stuck between… less artistic stuff. Nothing essential, but I would like to post a 5 min long retro clip from the 1999 Spring Festival Gala. On TV it looked so fine, but I didn’t want to upload an almost 400MB VOB file that appears stripy on PC monitor, so I better converted and de-interlaced it with Handbrake.


Five beautiful Beijing Opera actresses, plus dozens of elegant dancer girls present a light and colorful song.

Zhang school qingyi Zhang Ping (张萍) as Spring Goddess gives a foot massage, Xun school huadan Geng Qiaoyun (耿巧云) as Summer Goddess invites to a cheerful chatter, Cheng school qingyi Liu Guijuan (刘桂娟) as Autumn Goddess soothes your senses, and Shang school qingyi Zhang Yanling (张艳玲) as Winter Goddess wakes you up before Mei school qingyi Shi Yihong¹ (史依弘) arrives as Lady Moon, Chang’e herself, and offers you a surprise plate full of fried squid and hot dry noodles. And she sings with closed mouth, impressive!

Jing-song《靓丽行》Lianglihang² (Beautiful Woods)

Click here to download the video.

¹Credited as Shi Min.
²Two characters from three have multiple pronunciations and meanings, I went on with the translation that made the most sense to me, please forgive me if it’s not correct.

Zhao Fangyuan 赵芳媛


Fern has decided to widen my horizons. In our most recent exchange of files via regular post, she sent me 14 half hour shows featuring different new female Beijing Opera performers. And not just Cheng school, either.

Let me say from the onset, there is a lot of talent in China! Several of these performers are acrobatic, a couple specialize in “old woman” roles, one in “vivacious female assistant” roles. All are extraordinary in their own way and worth talking about individually. I’m going to have a lot of fun going through all of these.

The first among these performers I would like to talk about is Zhao Fangyuan (赵芳媛), a Zhang school performer with a splendid voice and striking features.

What a smile! Let’s be honest, if there’s a heaven, Zhao Fangyuan is serving dim sum there in full qingyi costume. Whew! More fried octopus tentacles, please.

“Don’t eat so fast, Bertrand. We have lots more…” (translated from daydreamed Mandarin)

But getting back to her music, Fern posted one concert where she gets to sing a song here and another one here. Zhao Fangyuan wasn’t as memorable in those as she is here, I think.

Fern commented a while back on how thin she looks. Very hard to tell from this video (you know how they wear football shoulder pads under their costumes to fool us), but sure enough some googling images bears this out.

Zhao Fangyuan

So, hopefully Zhao Fangyuan will discover a dessert she really likes.

Meanwhile, click here to download the video

And enjoy the tentacles, they are delicious!