Li Shaochun frequently performed highlights from Da Jinzhuan, no wonder that until present day, this play is usually staged following his approach.
However, the “上天台” Shang Tian Tai (Up to the Heavenly Terrace) scene of Da Jinzhuan has another version that differs from the script with 30-something sentences that we always hear. This another version comes from Yu Shuyan’s traditional edition, and has around 50 sentences, thus it’s very hard to perform.
Just to refresh memories, you could recently read the story of this opera at operabeijing.com, Panic in Han Palace is based on Da Jinzhuan, just with a happy ending.
(Shang Tian Tai is often staged separately, it’s the part when Yao Qi brings his son before the Emperor, then Liu Xiu enumerates Yao Qi’s merits and they have a discussion.)
Anyhow, Li Baochun had the guts to re-readapt Da Jinzhuan. Though his dad never performed the long, 50 sentences version of Shang Tian Tai on stage, he often sang this excerpt at home for his family, and these household recordings survived, just got forgotten. A year ago, Li Baochun found one of these old tapes, and got determined that this old classic Shang Tian Tai will reappear on stage.
Fortunate spectators could hear exactly this version this evening.
狠老虎不喂‘s review said maybe Mr. Li’s voice wasn’t at optimum peak this night, considering this was the fourth performance in four days, but was able to keep the attention of the audience all along, and after the 50 sentences Shang Tian Tai he made the Ancestral Temple scene without collapsing, that’s a big thing in itself.
Tan Yuanshou once performed Da Jinzhuan in his 60s, now Li Baochun beat that record. At the end of the play Liu Xiu’s dying scene is very acrobatic and easy to screw it up. Most likely this was Li Baochun’s last Hit with the Golden Brick, one more thing I won’t see in this lifetime, I think I just crawl under a rock and die there, oh misery.
Sun Zhengyang and Li Baochun, curtain call. Photo of 诗之新语.
The single available copy with the elderly Tan Yuanshou is the little video below. The another file I uploaded is the full lipsynched Da Jinzhuan with the archive voice recording of Li Shaochun and Lou Zhenkui. Yu Kuizhi and Chen Zhenzhi contributed with their bodies to the production.
→ 京剧《打金砖·太庙》Da Jinzhuan - Tai Miao (Hit with the Golden Brick – In the Ancestral Temple)
Liu Xiu: Tan Yuanshou (谭元寿)
→ 京剧音配像《打金砖》”lipsynched” Da Jinzhuan (Hit with the Golden Brick) 1958
@56.com [HERE] 211MB
Liu Xiu: Li Shaochun (李少春)
Yao Qi: Lou Zhenkui (娄振奎)
Ma Wu: Yuan Shihai (袁世海)
Interview: Liberation Daily