“Fish in the Hand”, a new-style opera infused with the concepts of contemporary theatre, will be presented in October. The production is a collaboration by local artists with Lee Chun-chow and Kung Chi-shing as co-directors, Alain Chiu as composer and YanYu as playwright.
Traditional opera emphasises the narrative aspect, with the storyline told through singing. In contrast, this opera does not have narration as its main creative concern, but focuses more on the portrayal of the characters’ complex and hidden psychological states through multi-layered multimedia staging. As the dark side of the characters is gradually revealed, the audience will be led to reflect on their inner selves and go through a cathartic experience.
During the creative process of this production, the script was written before the music, which features challenging interpretation of Cantonese operatic singing. Since the Cantonese language is tonal, with each word having a specific tone, Alain Chiu had to pay special attention to the congruence between the tone and musical pitch for each and every word when he composed the score. This opera is to be sung exclusively in Cantonese – this was a Herculean challenge for the production team in their efforts to create a new landscape for locally produced opera.
The music will feature the usual chamber ensemble configuration, as well as the double bass and electric guitar. The combination of original and electric instruments will give the music a contemporary musicality and, together with the vocals and poetic rendering of the dialogue, the audience will be treated to a rich and multi-layered soundscape. This multimedia theatre production merges live music, theatre and dance elements, together with a breakthrough of separating the singing from the acting in the opera: professional singers and stage actors are responsible for their own parts and their respective interpretations will blend to create a multi-dimensional manifestation of the characters.
The story of “Fish in the Hand” confronts the humiliation of William the veterinarian – the darkest spot in his mind and something that he never admits to.
Date: 9-10.10.2015 (Fri-Sat 8pm) / 11.10.2015 (Sun 3pm)
Venue: Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department