Author: Li Hui (Associate Researcher, Taiwan Academy of Arts, Xiamen)
In recent years, musicals have become a new carrier for telling red stories and perpetuating the red spirit. A musical that integrates music, drama, and dance, its singing, dancing, and flexible art form has swept the world and is easily resonated by audiences, especially young audiences. In the form that young people like to hear and see, the red stories that can be sung and soul-stirring, and the red-themed musicals full of revolutionary passion and youthful vigor, make the audience feel the artistic charm and get spiritual baptism. For the dissemination of red culture, Acura sings the martyrs of the revolution, for the sake of The young generation bacon casts the soul, which has its unique function and aesthetic value.
Stills of the musical “My 20,000 Brothers” File Picture
1. Depicting a heroic image with distinctive personality and touching feelings
Heroes with distinctive personalities and unique deeds often become the protagonists in literary and artistic works. In my country’s newly created musicals in recent years, there are many vivid and touching heroes, such as the EOD hero Zhang Baoguo in “Salute”, the revolutionary martyr Li Yunsheng in “Light Chaser”, and “The Shining Red Star”. “Pan Dongzi et al. There are also hero groups, such as “Loyalty” and “One Day” focusing on the underground workers of the Chinese Communist Party.
Different from other musical forms, the narrative attribute of musicals is more prominent, which also makes it more visible than other musical forms. The lines, emotions and psychological activities of the characters are displayed through large sections of lyrics and well-designed music. The musical also shows the dramatic tension, the emotional depth of the characters, and the vividness of the image, which is different from other stage arts. The advantages and charms of completely different forms. When the unique advantages of musicals in shaping characters and showing the plot meet the red theme that needs to shape the image of typical heroic characters, a more wonderful chemical reaction erupts.
The musical “Qu Qiubai” is magnificent and poetic, showing the short but brilliant life of the early Chinese Communist Party leader Qu Qiubai. Qu Qiubai has the sincerity and belief of a revolutionary, the elegance and poetic nature of an intellectual, the sincere emotion of being a father and a husband, loyal to love, loyalty to the party, and firm belief. There are six acts in the whole play, each of which is interspersed with plot flashbacks. The creator arranges that the dramatic structure of the whole play overlaps with the musical structure, and its agile time-space transformation and emotional progression make the character Qu Qiubai more full and emotional. The line is clearer, creating a vivid image of a hero who has ardent love and devotes his life to the revolution without hesitation. When Qu Qiubai desperately broke through the feudal shackles and pursued love, the affectionate duet between Qu Qiubai and his wife Yang Zhihua showed the passionate and moving emotions; when Qu Qiubai threw himself into the revolution, he would rather sacrifice his freedom and love for the revolution for his beliefs, and when he finally sacrificed his life heroically, he was high-pitched and passionate “The Internationale” became the aria that pushed the whole play to a climax, and the characters of the revolutionary martyrs were thus sublimated in the arias of the music.
The musical “Xinhua Newspaper Boy” is a musical aimed at teenagers, nourishing the soul and tempering the mind. The play tells the story of a group of street teenagers who became newspaper boys of “Xinhua Daily”, fought with the Kuomintang, and exposed the truth of the Southern Anhui Incident. Through various musical expressions, many roles such as newsboys, stall owners and employees of Xinhua Daily have been created with different personalities. Children born in troubled times are the most vulnerable groups to be oppressed, but under the inspiration of the Communists, they become brave, fighting spirit, and responsible. “Selling newspapers, selling newspapers, “Xinhua Daily” seems to be the clarion call of the growing teenagers. When the “Song of Selling Newspapers” was sung together on and off the stage, the well-known children’s song instantly exploded the audience. In the play, a very difficult aria trio “You Are My Dream” pushes the whole play to a climax. The interaction between the music arrangement and the audience, the stage presentation and the audience’s immersion make the whole musical full of pursuit. The power of dreams is full of youthful vigor.
Stills of the musical “Xinhua Newsboy” File Picture
2 Presenting red culture with regional characteristics
Every place has its own different red culture, and different red stories are circulated, and the ethnic folk music and dances in various places are rich and colorful, with regional characteristics, which can be presented on the stage of musicals. Creation provides a vast space. The red-themed musical fully excavates unique local elements and displays unique regional customs. It is eclectic and colorful.
The musical “Flowers and Trumpets” tells the story of red in the Liupan Mountains of Ningxia. During the Long March, the Red Army trumpeter Li Ruijin was injured and was taken in by the family of Huaer, a local girl in Ningxia. Dealing with each other, and finally sacrificed their lives with Li Ruijin. From stage design to music and dance, this musical fully demonstrates the uniqueness of Ningxia’s regional culture. For example, in “Teaching to Sing”, the popular “foot dance” in Jingyuan area of Ningxia is shown. The combination of dance and martial arts is full of primitive and simple life force; another example is the use of Ningxia’s folk song “Hua’er” as the material for music creation , using the writing techniques of Western opera, classical music, pop music, etc., so that the whole play presents different types of “flower” style single-voice melody, multi-voice melody, orchestration and modulation. On the stage of musicals, it not only upholds the tradition of folk music and dance, expresses its original strength, but also injects the unique rhythm and modernity of musicals.
The musical “My 20,000 Brothers” is based on the story of the tomb-keeper of the Red Army Martyrs Cemetery in the Sichuan-Shaanxi Revolutionary Base, Tongjiang County, Sichuan Province. An ordinary person spent his whole life guarding the unnamed Red Army tomb beside the field ridge, in return for the life-saving grace of the Red Army. The play has a unique perspective, simple and sincere emotions. The aria combines Sichuan dialect with local characteristics. For example, the chorus sung by the soldiers when they buried their fallen comrades in the cemetery. The lyrics are simple and straightforward. In the sad sound of suona, they shouted the names of their comrades in Sichuan’s characteristic rhythm and melody, and cherished and mourned the dead heroes in the cordial accent of the local accent, which is touching. . The story of the musical “Jiangshan Duojiao” comes from the real people and events of the “Shibie Women’s Shell Gun Team”. It tells the story of the heroine women who went deep into the tiger’s den to detect the enemy’s situation and made great contributions to the treatment of the wounded in the Red Army. This is a red story that took place in Luoyuan County, Fuzhou City. The play shows the musical melody of the 1930s with a sense of time, and deliberately retains the regional music characteristics of Fuzhou, making the whole play unique and interesting.
Stills of the musical “The Flower and the Trumpeter” File Picture
3 The spirit of struggle renews the brilliance of the new era
The red-themed musical tells the red story with the fashion of the times and modern concepts, inherits the red culture, and makes the revolutionary struggle spirit in the red story glow with a new era of brilliance. Musical plays have the characteristics of music, dance, drama, etc., and can be used in combination of “song” and “dance”. Its inclusiveness and diversity provide sufficient display space for red themes. “Song” can be sung in bel canto, ethnic, and popular on the same stage, and original ecological singing methods can also be presented; “dance” is also eclectic, and dances of various rhythms and styles can be performed on the same stage.
The musical “Fenghuo Family Letter” tells the red story about “home letter”. During the “September 18” Incident, Lin Shuxiong, an underground member of the Communist Party of China, died. His comrades-in-arms and comrades-in-arms wrote home letters in order to allow Lin Shuxiong’s wife and daughter to live with hope. , to report the safety of Lin Shuxiong’s wife and daughter. The comrades-in-arms sacrificed one after another, but they never let the family letter be interrupted.
Family letters are moving carriers, and family letters in the beacon are even more precious. Behind each family letter, there is a touching story. The aria of the play expresses the shocking friendship, father-daughter and patriotism during the Anti-Japanese War. The songs of the whole play are of various styles. Not only are there 12 newly created songs, but also the red songs reflecting the Anti-Japanese War of the last century have been modernized and created, which conveys the memory of the times and reflects the modern imprint. For example, “On the Songhua River” familiar to the audience, from the original male solo, arranged as the lead singer of Lin Shuxiong and Lin’s wife and the chorus of the crowd, with piano embellishment, violin branching polyphony, and the arrangement of the string group, showing the music Modern polyphonic musical thinking in the play. The superimposed stage space of “Family Letters” is the highlight of the whole play. The plot frequently shuttles between two revolving stages of different heights. The lighting cooperates to create a style with a sense of the times, which makes the whole musical full of novelty. The modernity of the stage lighting design makes the red story more visually impactful.
The musical “Xinhua News Boy” also showed the collision of red theme and modern pop art form. The artistic expression of the whole play is diverse, the music includes rap, heavy metal rock, and a cappella; dance creation integrates hip-hop; and the integration of acrobatics and martial arts appropriately assists the suspenseful and exciting storyline. The whole musical interprets the red story in a modern artistic language, making the stage presentation and music production full of modern flavor.
Musical theatre and red culture complement each other. From the red culture, we extract the core content and general emotions suitable for musicals to be displayed, and then match the storytelling techniques with the expressions of musicals. Whether it is “Fenghuo Family Letter”, “Xinhua Newspaper Boy” or “The Sparkling Red Star” and “Qu Qiubai”, there are “new biography of old songs”, which are intended to empathize with the audience, outline the memory of the past, and give new ideas to the times; Although the main arias of heroes have different singing styles, they are all beautiful in melody, with real emotions and easy to sing. In the structure of many red-themed musicals, the three key song and dance scenes at the beginning, climax, and end are suitable for scenes of battle and celebration, and are also often used to show the group image of revolutionaries. The music at the beginning, climax and end also often uses rock, hip-hop, etc. with stronger dance rhythm and more modern atmosphere. The red-themed musical pays homage to the history of red with a youthful style, tells the story of red in the past to contemporary young audiences, and makes the spirit of red continue to spread among the younger generation.
“Guangming Daily” (September 14, 2022, 16th edition)