Friday, March 16, 2007

Bible and Taiwanese Opera

A Taiwanese opera group has decided to stage the Jewish tale of Esther from the Christian Bible using Taiwanese opera.

A rare combination of traditional Taiwanese opera and orchestral music with the Bible story of Queen Esther will be presented by Yage Theater at Taipei City Hall's playhouse at 7:30 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Yage Theater and Everlight Chemical Industrial Co. have invited senior citizens from five elderly homes to join the general public for the performances.

The play, titled "Palace Walls", is a musical about Queen Esther presented in the form of Taiwanese opera accompanied by orchestral music.

"Palace Walls" will depict the invisible walls erected with greediness in people's hearts and minds under the mounting pressure of modern life.

Executives of Yage Theater said the performances will not only be presented in an entirely new form of intermingled Eastern and Western arts, but they will also shed light on how people may exercise self-reflection and help jointly build harmony in the society.

The audiences invited to the performances will include current residents of five elderly homes in Taipei City, including the Taipei Municipal Guang Chih Care Home and the Shilin Old People Care Center, as well as elderly institutions in Datong, Xinyi and Songshan districts.

Yage Theater expects the performances will help spread the love of God to all corners of society, including the unprivileged sections.

"Self-reflection" is something one is conventionally supposed to perform in Chinese society -- when Shih Ming-te was attacking Chen Shui-bian, he accused him of not engaging in self-reflection. The story of Esther is an old folktale, one that probably served as the basis for the tale of the death of John the Baptist in the earliest gospel, that of Mark.

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