Lady White;《白娘子》

The work is based on the traditional repertoire of jingju The Legend of the White Snake. It is a romance between a snake spirit and a human being, and is regarded as one of the four great folktales in China. It existed in oral tradition long before any written compilation. Scholars take the story about the white snake in Stories to Caution the World (Jing shi tong yan), a fictional narrative by Feng Menglong (1574-1645 AD), as a full written version of the oral legend. Feng’s story made the legend an architype, though it has been altered or revised and presented in a number of different local genres. There are also recent versions in film and television series.

The legend tells that after many years of cultivation and practice, a white snake and a green snake transform themselves into young women, the former is called Bai Suzhen (or Bai Niangzi, meaning Lady White), and the latter Xiao Qing (Little Green). They regarded each other as sisters. One day, they met a young scholar Xu Xian at the Broken Bridge on the Western Lake. Bai and Xu fall in love and eventually get married. Holding a grudge against the snakes, a powerful Buddhist monk Fahai interrupts their happy marriage, and manages to capture Xu Xian and to imprison him in the Jinshan Temple. Bai Suzhen rushes to the Jinshan Temple to rescue her husband. With the help of a military force drawn from the sea in the form of shrimps, crabs and the like, the white snake uses her magic to flood the temple and fights with Fahai’s force. However, Bai’s ability is limited due to her pregnancy with Xu Xian’s child. Finally Fahai defeats Bai Suzhen and imprisons her in the Leifeng Pagoda.

Following the formality of four movements of a symphony, Lady White is divided into four seasons: Spring (when Bai Suzhen and Xu Xian meet and fall in love), Summer (when they happily get married), Autumn (the famous scene of flooding the Jinshan Temple) and Winter (when Lady White is captured in the Leifeng Pagoda).

The first two clips are from the Spring, and the third clip is from Winter. Viewers can hear how the symphony composition has integrated the jingju musical elements, and how present day’s Chinese stage has adopted advanced technology.

《白蛇传》是一个关于人、蛇之间的爱情故事,中国四大民间故事之一,是口头文学传统的一部分。明末冯梦龙的《警世通言》里《白娘子永镇雷峰塔》可能是最详细的故事,自此,《白蛇传》基本成型,后世的戏曲对此有各种改编。当代有话剧、电影、电视以及交响音乐版白蛇的故事。

《白蛇传》的大致情节是:经过多年的修炼以后,一条白蛇与一条青蛇有了灵性,变换成女形。前者名为白素贞(也叫作白娘子),后者是小青,她们从此以姐妹相称。在西湖断桥上面,他们碰到了由桂枝罗汉转世的书生许仙。白素贞和许仙终结良缘。然而,他们的婚姻受到和尚(一说道士)法海(川剧中是蛤蟆精的化身)的破坏。法海想办法抓走了许仙,并关在金山寺里。靠着海里虾兵蟹将的帮助,白蛇水漫金山寺并与法海的力量打斗。由于白蛇已有身孕,她被法海打败,并被永远镇在雷峰塔下。

按照交响乐四乐章的结构,这部《白娘子爱情四季》以春、夏、秋、冬为四部乐章的题目:“春”-白娘子和许仙相遇并相爱;“夏”- 二人成婚;“秋”-著名的水漫金山的故事;“冬”- 白娘子被镇在雷峰塔下。

第一和第二选段都来自“春”,第三段来自“冬”,希望观赏者可以听到交响乐的作曲如何在西洋音乐中使用了京剧的唱腔元素,同时,也可以看到当今中国舞台如何使用了现代技术。

Productions

Title Genre Production Company
Lady White;白娘子 Theatrical Symphony;剧场交响乐

Videos