Li Dun Dazzles Audience With Original Chinese Musicals 李盾与观众分享中国音乐剧的美与感动

To many Singaporeans, the name Li Dun (李盾) may not ring a bell even though his works have been staged internationally in more than 20 cities in South Korea, Europe, the United States and Canada. His Chinese original musical, Butterflies, which is based on a classic Chinese love tragedy between Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, has also won the special prize at the 2008 International Musical Festival in South Korea. Indeed, Professor Li Dun is considered a trailblazer for China-produced musicals, and has even dubbed by the media as the Godfather of Chinese musicals. Hence, in the SIM Performing Arts Theatre (PAT) on 20th May 2017, there was a sense of curiosity and anticipation amongst the audience as they awaited Li Dun’s arrival. 

Some 250 attendees gathered at the SIM PAT to listen to Professor Li Dun share his inspiring experience in creating aesthetically-oriented musical productions from which his audiences can derive affection and pleasure. Throughout his 1.5 hours presentation, Li Dun captivated the audience by taking them on his creative journey through video excerpts of his musical performances, including Legend of the White Snake; Oriental Beauty – Xi Shi; Butterflies; Love You, Teresa; Mama, Love me Once Again!, as well as fascinating accounts of how each musical was painstakingly crafted and produced. The ever-witty raconteur also charmed the audience with heart-warming stories of personal encounters that inspired his productions, including how on 8th May 1995, when he received news of the death of Teresa Teng, he undertook to continue her legacy by producing a musical as a tribute to her. According to Professor Li, he chose Teng because he believed that Teng's music could heal and warm one's heart. "I first listened to Teng's songs when I was a teenager. I was impressed by the role she played in promoting Chinese pop music to the world," Professor Li said. "Whenever I listen to her songs, I feel like she is telling a story ... No matter if I'm happy or in pain, I feel at peace when I listen to her music." Love You, Teresa debuted in 2010 and has won numerous awards.

Professor Li also shared with the audience a quote from the renowned painter Qi Baishi that has been etched in his memory ever since he started his musical career some 29 years ago. The quote literally means "those who learn my art will prosper and those who copy my art will perish." He insists he will never be a copycat and will continually aim to infuse the charm of musicals into his ideas, create his own original productions, and set the standards for all Chinese musicals.

Many in the audience were clearly touched by Professor Li’s sincerity and authenticity. Even a four-year old girl was brought to tears by a touching scene from the musical Mama, Love me Once again, which deals with family relations and the love between a mother and son, and has won acclaim from both society and the media.

Professor Li ended the talk with a Q&A session with the audience. An especially pertinent question was on how balance could be struck between commercial gains, and artistic education for future generations. According to Professor Li, one of the key reasons for the success of his musicals is his ability as a producer to balance commercial and artistic demands. A good producer is able to identify a good story that will sell tickets and at the same time maintain high artistic and technical standards. Not only will this ensure a healthy budget for the production, it will also allow for affordable tickets to contribute to the aesthetic education of teenagers and youth.

This talk was co-organised by Centre for Chinese Studies@SUSS, New Horizon Music Society, and Hua Xia Philharmonic Society.

李盾与观众分享中国音乐剧的美与感动

在新跃社科大学、东华音乐协会与华夏知音协会的邀请下,中国知名音乐剧制作人李盾于5月20日在新加坡管理学院的表演艺术剧场进行了他在本地的第一场演讲,近250名观众出席并感受到了他所带来的震撼与感动。

由于他始终坚持打造世界级中国音乐剧,李盾教授被业内人士誉为“音乐剧疯子”。1997年推出的第一部音乐剧《白蛇传》连演900余场被凤凰网称为是“中国第一部成功改编民间故事成音乐剧的典范”。李盾相继推出的成功作品包括《西施》、《蝴蝶》、《爱上邓丽君》和《妈妈爱我一次》。李教授指出“爱”是他作品永恒的主题。

《妈妈再爱我一次》音乐剧就讲述一段母与子之间的“爱”也反映中国都市家庭生活伦理。但是因为溺爱,儿子反过来伤害了母亲。近两小时的演讲中,李教授透过视频摘录和音乐呈现作品与大会互动、分享, 深深感动了现场所有观众。

在交流问答对话中,李教授指出他的音乐剧之所以成功主要是因為他在商业和艺术之間取得一个平衡,并保持一定的艺术和技术高度。他希望可以尽快将他的音乐剧作品带到新加坡來。

(From left) Associate Professor Foo Tee Tuan, SUSS; Mr Li Lie Gang, President, Hua Xia Philharmonic Society; Prof Li Dun; Mrs Kuo Effie Lo, Founding President & Advisor, New Horizon Music Society; Prof Eddie Kuo, SUSS.
(左起)新跃社科大学符诗专副教授;华夏知音协会会长李列刚先生;李盾教授;东华音乐协会创会会长兼顾问罗伊菲女士;新跃社科大学郭振羽教授。

(From left) Mr Li Lie Gang, President, Hua Xia hilharmonic Society; Prof Li Dun; Mrs Kuo Effie Lo, Founding President & Advisor, New Horizon Music Society.
(左起)华夏知音协会会长李列刚先生;李盾教授;东华音乐协会创会会长兼顾问罗伊菲女士。

 
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