The Song Of Lotus
“The Song of Lotus” is the annual production of the Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe in 2015. It is the 3rd time that Yi-Shin collaborated with Director Lang Zu-yun and the first time with the famous Chinese literati writer, Ms. Zhang Man-juan. The Song of Lotus was an adaptation of Zhang’s work. Based on the legendary novel- Military Councilor of Huazhou by novelist Wen Ting-yun of the Tang Dynasty, Ms. Zhang Man –juan rewrote the story from her perspective and named it “The Song of Lotus.” The story was included in the reinterpretation of the classics – “The Tattoos of Mandarin Duck” and “The Firework Ferry” (both published by the Crown Publishing Co., Ltd.) In addition, the winner of the Golden Melody Awards for Best Male Singer, Ric Jan, composed the theme song for the production – Sighs of Lotus Flowers. Sun Shi-pei, Sun Shi-yong, and Sun Li-hui, the lead performers of The Song of Lotus, played the love triangle of the story in the music video. The nutrients of the crossover seasoned with the projection technology have created a new climax for Taiwanese opera aesthetics. Sun Shi-pei, who played the role Wang Ting-fei, was nominated for the “Best New Artist ” in the 27th Golden Melody for Traditional Arts and Music.
The story unfolds around the complicated love triangle of Cui Fu-rong (dan-young female character), Wang Ting-fei (xiaosheng-young male character), and Liu Yun-qing. Cai Fun-rong and Wang Ting-fei were cuisines that had an antenatal betrothal. When a man married, a woman married. It was how it was supposed to be. However, on her way home after praying for her mother in a temple, Fu-rong met Liu Yung-qing by the Qujiang (name of a river). Everything that was supposed to run its course was disrupted. Fu-rong’s mother, Wang Yun-fei, recollected that she was forced to break up with her love, Yang Jun-che. To prevent history from repeating itself, she tricked the Wang family into believing the marriage arrangement was still effective against her will. Behind the Wangs, she helped Fu-rong and Liu Yun-qing get married. Tortured by lying to the Wang family, she got very sick and died very soon. Yun-qing brought Fu-rong home for her mother’s funeral. Unexpectedly, they saw Ting-fei in the mourning hall as her mother’s son-in-law. The three of them had mixed feelings.
Standing before a feudal official, Liu Yun-qing and Wang Ting-fei claimed Cai Fun-rong to be his wife. Unfortunately, the local official ruled that Fu-rong was Wang’s wife. Three years passed, Ting-fei was with his wife, who respected him. He was satisfied with their life and would consider himself having a good life as they grew old together. Yet, even though a hundred birds bowed to the phoenix, it still left anyway. Realizing how heavily guarded the capital city was, Fu-rong’s maid, Qing-hong, who she treated like a sister, showed up to save Fu-rong. Fu-rong pleaded with Ting-fei to forgive Qing-hog, but Ting-fei was so tired of betrayals. He ordered to have Fu-rong confined. What Ting-feng didn’t know was even though he had pursued Fu-rong for all these years, to Fu-rong, he was like earth where Fu-rong (meaning lotus flowers) was not acclimated. For her, Yun-qing was where she belonged. Being with Ting-fei would only wither her. Ting-fei didn’t realize it. He didn’t let go of Fu-rong till the last moment. It wasn’t until he met Yun-qing that he finally knew all his effort was to no avail.
In “The Song of Lotus,” every character, such as Liu Yun-qing, Want Ting-fei, Cai Fu-rong, Qing-hong, and even Fu-rong’s mother, has someone or something they refuse to let go of. Yet, despite pursuing love the entire life, it is, after all, gone like smoke. Blossoming and withering are what is left. Started with strong emotions, and after pursuing love for such a long time, the final result is here today and gone tomorrow. Although the production is about being true to how you feel for love, its ending suggests the idea of Zhuangzi dreaming he was a butterfly, which is very Taoism.