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      Butterfly Dream
    Taipei personalities

    A prominent Taiwanese troupe stages the colorful "Butterfly Dream" in a rare chance to see traditional Chinese opera up close without spending a fortune.


    Chinese opera is a feast for the senses, and the Taipei Theater, located in the McGraw-Hill Building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas (between 48th and 49th Sts), offers a chance to witness its splendor at affordable ticket prices. The music encountered at a Chinese opera performance is an intricate web of delicacy and intensity communicated through exotic wind, string and percussion instruments. Unlike, say a production at the Metropolitan Opera, a production seen at at the Taipei Theater has a smaller-scale intimacy which makes for perhaps an even more emotionally involving theatrical experience: the performers are never too far away, the richly detailed costumes and the actors' gestures can easily be seen no matter where you may be seated.

    Performed by Lien's Taiwanese Opera Troupe, led by Huang Shiang-Lien.
    This week the theater will be staging "Butterfly Dream," performed by Lien's Taiwanese Opera Troupe, a company that has been very successful in producing traditional opera for television. "Butterfly Dream" is an opera dealing with themes of hidden indetity, love and high drama. Originally performed in the Yuan Dynasty, "Butterfly Dream" tells the story of 16-year-old Lady Chu Ying Tai and her tale of ambition and spirituality. This staging of "Butterfly Dream" features modern touches in the blocking of the performers, the lighting and the music.

    Butterfly Dream is staged by Lien's Taiwanese Opera Troupe, which was started by the actress Huang Shiang-Lien and her brother, the producer Huang Fu-Ko. The troupe was started to promote and enhance the quality of Taiwanese opera. Shiang-Lien comes from a family that was famous for Taiwanese opera. Much of her childhood was spent watching and learning from her parents' and grandparents' theater performances. Even though her parents initially objected her wanting a career in the opera and warned her that it was a hard life, she passionately set out to fulfill her dream and at 16 made a living as a performer and supported her brothers through school. Shiang-Lien is well known for her television appearances in operas such as "The Story of The Big Nation of the Tang Dynasty," "The Scaled Head of Emperor Hung Wu" and "Lo Tung Swept the North."

    MAY 15, 2000

    Reader comments on Butterfly Dream:

  • [no subject]   from Ms Tan Li Ping, Nov 23, 2006

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