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歌劇 The Mikado 歌曲及劇情都吸引人

2013-06-01 01:16:08

對於古典音樂,我不甚了了。而 Mikado是我唯一喜歡的歌劇,所以我相信,一般對於歌劇不太能接受的人,最可能接受它,甚至喜歡它。

這部歌劇是19世紀英國劇作家Gilbert and Sullivan的作品之一。他們就是William S. Gilbert及Arthur Sullivan。他們一個擅於寫詞,一個擅於作曲,本來已經成就不凡,但遇到一起就更是成果驚人。他們一共合作了14部歌劇,而他們的作品,詞曲都那麼合拍。Mikado是其中的第九部,也是最受歡迎的一部。

Gilbert & Sullivan歌劇的歌曲比較通俗化,不像傳統義大利歌劇的古典。非常易上口,容易為一般人接受。另一個特色是非常幽默,像是看喜劇一樣。除此之外,還具有英國式的幽默,就是在每一次演出時,可以以當時當地的政治及社會新聞,添加做為題材內容,因此使我感到是在看諧星stand up的感覺。(下圖:1885 年英國 Savoy Theatre 推出Mikado時的海報。)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikado另一個好笑之處是,雖然說的是日本的故事,但卻全部由西洋人來演,而且有意的突出其不恰當之處。我看過很多次,不同劇團演出的版本,每次都為劇中人物的滑稽造型而覺得特別可笑。男的洋人,高高大大的,高鼻子藍眼睛,飾演日本的男人,顯得特別笨拙。而大塊頭的女洋人在假扮嬌弱的日本女子時,也特別的滑稽。事實是,除了男女主角兩人較清秀之外,劇中所有角色都是丑角。

我喜歡Mikado的另一個原因是,Sullivan在寫這部歌劇的歌曲時,添加東洋因素,有些像中國的京劇味道。其中一首我叫做大王歌的Miya Sama  (因為是Mikado初次出場時的音樂),就很有東方風味,第一次聽到就吸引我非去看的理由。

自1939年美國環球電影公司拍了一部90分鐘的電影版本之後,這齣劇已經被多次由舞台搬到銀幕,或是將舞台劇錄製為電影,至少有十個版本,都非常受歡迎,也是歌劇愛好者的必然珍藏。

劇情:

Mikado的劇情比起Gilbert & Sullivan的其他作品更要滑稽,即使只是讀劇本,都夠笑死人。

故事發生在日本一個杜撰的城市Titipu (取自一個真正的日本城市Chichibu),舞台上有櫻花及小橋,非常古典。一個流浪的樂師南基浦Nanki-Poo出現,演唱他對於心中傾慕的女子蓉蓉Yum-yum的愛。但是蓉蓉當時已經被當地的官員柯柯Ko-ko看上,即將下嫁於他。柯柯本來是一名貧賤的裁縫,此時本已被判了死刑。原因是大王Mikado下了一道命令,凡是與人調情的,都是死罪。柯柯就因此被判死刑。但是當地政府卻因此任命柯柯做死刑執行吏,他們理由是:既然柯柯已被判了死刑,他自己又是死刑執行吏,他當然不能將自己處死,這樣Titipu就不可能有人被處死。

不過,當地的有作為的男人,都不肯在柯柯(一個小裁縫)下工作,於是所有的大小官職都被同一個人承擔了去,他就是普巴Pooh-Bah。他既是市長,稅吏,法官,又是警察,也是證婚人,總之都是他了。這時普巴就對南基浦說,蓉蓉已經訂了日子要與柯柯結婚了。

下一幕,南基浦見到蓉蓉,對她說了自己的秘密。原來他是大王Mikado的兒子,他化身出遊,是為了躲避父親的一個女心腹的追求。這女人卡提夏Katisha醜陋強悍,年紀又大,但對他緊追不捨。

這時柯柯聽說,Mikado又已下令,如果Titipu在一個月內不處死一個人,就會將這個城市貶為鄉村,到時沒了經費,整個城市就會陷於毀滅。普巴等資深市民就一致指向柯柯,說他既然已經被判死刑,處死他最理所當然。柯柯就反駁說,處死自己是不可能的,何況那無疑是自殺,而在這裡自殺也是一項大罪。他無法這樣做。而此時他正好發現,南基浦因為無法與蓉蓉結婚,正準備要自殺。於是他與南基浦商量,他願意讓出蓉蓉與南基浦結婚,但一個月後,南基浦就要被處死,這樣柯柯就可以再與蓉蓉結為永久的夫妻。而他也可以向Mikado交差。

(下:夏威夷歌劇團的演出劇照。)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (第二幕)

蓉蓉興奮的準備結婚,但是大家心裡有陰影,知道這是一個短暫的婚姻。但此時更壞的消息傳來,因為柯柯與普巴發現,法律中還有一條文字,他們最初忽視了。就是如果一個已婚男人因為調情而被判死刑時,他的妻子要活埋陪葬。蓉蓉當然不肯在這情況下結婚。而南基浦就在此時挑戰柯柯,要他立即將自己處死。這時大家才發現,柯柯是一個心腸軟的人,他無法下手。他好心到將南基浦及蓉蓉都放走,叫他們逃離當地去外地結婚。然後跟普巴串通好,做一個假的死亡證明,說南基浦已經被處死。

大王及卡提夏終於來到鎮上,柯柯見到皇上,立即繪聲繪影的報告自己已經處決了一個人,並將死亡證明交到大王手裡。但其實大王這次來另有目的,他是來找兒子的,並說出自己兒子的名字就是南基浦。這時柯柯及普巴都緊張了,柯柯立即改口說,南基浦已經出國了。但與此同時,卡提夏已經見到死亡證書上的名字就是南基浦。大王私下與卡提夏商量說,將太子處死的人都要下油鍋處死。在此情況下,柯柯只有請求南基浦回來,南基浦害怕卡提夏對自己窮追不捨,就提條件,要柯柯迎娶卡提夏。柯柯對於卡提夏也無興趣,但是如果不接受卡提夏,就要下油鍋,因此答應了。

卡提夏雖然醜陋,(多數是男人反串),卻十分自信。她總說,自己全身手肘最美麗:「不少男人走幾里路來欣賞我的手肘。」柯柯忍著難受,向卡提夏求愛,甚至說自己暗戀她已久。卡提夏最初不肯,最終為他感動勉為其難的同意了,還向大王求情,赦免柯柯的罪。大王見到兒子仍然活著,赦免大家的罪,兩對新人因此成婚。(The Mikado劇照,by Orange Marmalade。)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

歌曲:

說是歌劇,自然歌曲多。其實劇情裡每一個情節都是編成曲子唱出來的。所以兩幕劇一共有24首歌,舉例說:

開頭時,全鎮上的人合唱:If you want to know who we are,你們想知道我們是怎樣的人嗎?已經點出詼諧的主題。

然後男主角南基浦唱出A Wandering Minstrel 流浪歌手的心聲;

普巴通知南基浦,蓉蓉已經要被嫁給柯柯時,唱的Young man, despair。下面兩首是非常滑稽的,都是柯柯的主唱:Behold the Lord High Executioner,表示他位高權重。以及I’ve got a little list,說他手上有張名單,上面的人都是可以處死,也不影響世界轉的人。不過他就不會處死任何一個As someday it may happen。

第二幕也有些好歌,包括蓉蓉準備結婚的幾首較輕快的歌,以及她與南基浦、柯柯合唱的Here’s how-de-do,邊唱邊跳。而大王出現時的Miya Sawa,就是全劇的主題曲,此時卡提夏也現身。而柯柯向卡提夏求婚後,兩人合唱的滑稽歌Willow, tit-willow,讓人忍骏不住。最後的大合唱自然也是熱鬧兼幽默。

我很高興日本人從未抗議過這齣劇,因為在這個民族主義超級敏感的時代,什麼內容、細節都可能被當做是岐視提出抗議,而Mikado就得以倖存。

(June 2013) 

下面是部份歌曲及歌詞):

1, If you want to know who we are

2, A more human Mikado

3, Three Little Maids From School Are We

4, I Have a Little List

5, Here's a How-de-do

6, The flowers that bloom in spring

7, Miya Sama

8, Finale

 

 

If you want to know who we are,
 

If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of Japan:
On many a vase and jar —
On many a screen and fan,
We figure in lively paint:
Our attitude's queer and quaint —
You're wrong if you think it ain't
Ooooh!

If you think we are worked by strings,
Like a Japanese marionette,
You don't understand these things:
It is simply Court etiquette.
Perhaps you suppose this throng
Can't keep it up all day long?
If that's your idea, you're wrong,
Ooooh! Ooooh!
If that's your idea, you're wrong

If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of Japan:
On vase and jar,
On screen and fan,
On many, many, many, many,
Many, many, many, many, a jar,
Ooooh! Ooooh! Ooooh! Ooooh!
On vase and jar,
On screen and fan.

 

 

A more humane Mikado
 

Did in Japan exist,
To nobodys second,
I'm certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!


My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!


Chorus:
His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

Chorus:
His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

 

THE THREE MAIDS FROM SCHOOL ARE WE

Three little maids from school are we,

Pert as a school-girl well can be,

Filled to the brim with girlish glee,

Three little maids from school!

Everything is a source of fun. (Chuckle)

Nobody's safe, for we care for none! (Chuckle)

Life is a joke that's just begun! (Chuckle)

Three little maids from school!

Three little maids who, all unwary,

Come from a ladies' seminary,

Freed from its genius tutelary--

Three little maids from school!

Three little maids from school!

one little maid is a bride, Yum-Yum--

Two little maids in attendance come--

Three little maids is the total sum.

Three little maids from school!

Three little maids from school!

From three little maids take one away.

Two little maids remain, and they--

Won't have to wait very long, they say--

Three little maids from school!

Three little maids from school!

Three little maids who, all unwary,

Come from a ladies' seminary,

Freed from its genius tutelary--

Three little maids from school!

Three little maids from school!

 

 

 

I have a little list

 

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list — I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs —
All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs —
All children who are up in dates, and floor you with 'em flat —
All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that —
And all third persons who on spoiling tête-á-têtes insist —
They'd none of 'em be missed — they'd none of 'em be missed!

(Chorus:)
He's got 'em on the list — he's got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed — they'll none of 'em be missed.

(Ko-Ko:)
There's the banjo serenader, and the others of his race,
And the piano-organist — I've got him on the list!
And the people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face,
They never would be missed — they never would be missed

Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
And the lady from the provinces, who dresses like a guy,
And who "doesn't think she dances, but would rather like to try";
And that singular anomaly, the lady novelist —
I don't think she'd be missed — I'm sure she'd not he missed!

(Chorus:)
He's got her on the list — he's got her on the list;
And I don't think she'll be missed — I'm sure she'll not be missed!

(Ko-Ko:)
And that Nisi Prius nuisance, who just now is rather rife,
The Judicial humorist — I've got him on the list!
All funny fellows, comic men, and clowns of private life —
They'd none of 'em be missed — they'd none of 'em be missed.
And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as — What d'ye call him — Thing'em-bob, and likewise — Never-mind,
And 'St— 'st— 'st— and What's-his-name, and also You-know-who —
The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you.
But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed — they'd none of 'em be missed!

(Chorus:)
You may put 'em on the list — you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed — they'll none of 'em be missed!

 

  

 

 

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