Commissioned by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra。

Lingering Resonances of the Street Opera Gongs is a modern reflection of the Hokkien street opera tradition in Singapore. Hokkien gezai opera (lit. “opera of little ditties”) gained popularity in Singapore in the 1920s due to its accessibility in character and use of well-known Hokkien folk tunes.  In its heyday, Hokkien street opera performances drew large crowds, and the top opera stars were treated as celebrities.  Today, these opera stars have aged or passed on, street performances are mostly drawing a small crowd, if any at all, and many local troupes have declined, with the closing down of some of the oldest and most established Hokkien opera troupes in recent years.  Hokkien street opera performances have ceased to become a mode of entertainment in mainstream consciousness today, and are mostly only associated with Chinese folk religious worship.  Through the ears of the contemporary listener, can we still hear the lingering resonances of the street opera gongs, lost in the echoes from the streets of old Singapore?

此曲受新加坡华乐团委约。

《锣声起,锣声灭》是一首以现代角度透视新加坡福建街戏传统的现代音乐作品。福建歌仔戏有着通俗易懂的特性,同时也运用了许多耳熟能详的福建民歌,由1920年代传入本地后逐渐盛行于新加坡。歌仔戏在新加坡曾有过辉煌的年代,演出非常叫座,当时最红的街戏艺人都是那个时代的大明星。如今,这些红极一时的艺人随着年月的流逝逐渐凋零,街头戏已失去了它的观众,而本地历史最悠久的各大剧团也已逐渐步入历史。福建街戏已不再是大众文化生活的一部分,多数只出现于华族民间宗教仪式。在我们现代人的耳中,我们还听得到旧时新加坡街头所遗留下来的戏曲锣鼓回音吗?

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