Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai 1985;梁山伯与祝英台1985年版

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, also known as The Butterfly Lovers in the West, is one of China’s four great folktales (also see White Snake).

The legend tells of a young girl from a rich family in the Jin dynasty (281-420 AD) called Zhu Yingtai, who finally gains her parents’ permission to disguise herself as a man and go to Hangzhou to study. Her maid also disguises herself as a male servant. Having spent three years there, Yingtai falls in love with her fellow student Liang Shanbo, who has no idea at all that this smart young scholar is actually a woman. The two decide to become “sworn brothers” and Zhu Yingtai makes a marriage agreement between Liang and Zhu’s “Number Nine Sister” who actually is Yingtai herself. Later, when Liang Shanbo is clear about everything and proposes a marriage to the Zhu family, Yingtai’s father prefers a young man from another family that matches Zhu’s wealth and social status. Liang is so grieved that he becomes ill and passes away. On the wedding day, when the procession passes Liang Shanbo’s tomb, Zhu Yingtai, in linen white mourning costumes, comes out of the marriage sedan and “walks” with her knees to the tomb. Suddenly the tomb splits in storm and thunder, Zhu Yingtai jumps into it. After a while, a pair of colourful butterflies fly out of the tomb wing to wing in the clear and beautiful sky.

The legend was first seen in a ballad (yuefu) in the Jin period. Then in the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD) there was a melody model (see kunju) entitled “Zhu Yingtai” and later play texts based on the same story appeared in the form of southern play (nanxi in the Song period), Yuan variety /miscellaneous drama (Yuan zaju) [Yuan dynasty: 1279-1368 AD], and the Ming marvel tales (Ming chuanqi) [Ming dynasty: 1368-1644 AD]. Many local genres including jingju have their own versions of the story, among which the yueju’s is most famous. The violin Concerto of Liang-Zhu composed by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang, played by Yu Lina in 1958 exemplifies the excellent combination of an intercultural piece in music. Recently films, musicals and other forms of performing arts have produced their own interpretations of the same story.

“梁祝”是中国四大民间故事之一。

传说晋朝时期在江南地方有一个祝姓人家的女儿英台,希望外出读书,最终得到父母的同意,女扮男装去杭州读书,她的丫环也女扮男装同行。杭州读书三年,英台爱上了自己的同窗梁山伯,但是梁山伯从未想到过这位英俊、聪明的小伙子竟然是一个姑娘。二人结拜为弟兄,祝英台并以自己的小九妹(实际就是她自己)为名,与梁山伯商量妥了婚事。此后,当梁山伯明白祝英台实际就是那个“小九妹”,连忙请媒人上门提亲。祝英台的父亲不同意,他已经把自己的女儿许配给了门当户对的马公子。梁山伯万念俱灰,生病去世。一直向父亲抗婚的英台在男方迎亲的那天上了花轿,来到梁山伯墓前,英台身着缟素,出了花轿,一路膝行到墓前,突然狂风暴雨,坟墓豁裂,祝英台纵身跳入墓穴。当阳光重又明媚,一对漂亮的蝴蝶飞出来了,比翼飞向无云的蓝色天空。

这个传说首先见于古乐府。在宋朝已经有曲牌名为“祝英台”。此后,南戏、元杂剧和明传奇都有关于这个故事的剧本;现代很多戏曲剧种,包括京剧都上演了这出戏,其中越剧的《梁山伯与祝英台》最为出名。1958年由何占豪与陈刚写作的小提琴协奏曲《梁祝》(俞丽拿小提琴独奏)充分展示了跨文化音乐成功的尝试。近年,电影、音乐剧以及其他很多表演形式都纷纷呈现了各自对于这个传统故事的诠释与发展。

Performances

Audience Type
Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai 1985;梁山伯与祝英台1985年版: , 1985

Videos