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sugarplum892

[Mainland Chinese Drama 2020] Winter Begonia 鬓边不是海棠红

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On 7/2/2020 at 5:04 PM, megumi09 said:

the Ending in the novel is almost same. That means, oe.

Indeed. It's "OE" and open to everyone's interpretation. :) 

 

However, for any reader and many viewers, the "OE" isn't that open to interpretation because of the many unfolding signs (manifested in dialogue, action, behavior, etc.) in the story (in the novel or the drama). Those points you've listed are some of them.  :heartxoxo:

 

While the drama has maintained an overall sanctity of the (original) story, it has, for various reasons (some are understandable while some are local and bureaucratic), omitted quite a number of details between Cheng and Shang. The omission did not take away the inherent relationship between them, nor the enjoyment of the drama, but I think it has somewhat diluted the intensity of it (as was originally penned). Dare I/we hope for a Season 2 as a form of "make up"? lol. Fingers still crossed.:bashful:

 

Having said that, if anyone loves the Republican Era and this genre, and/or even the Chinese performing arts like opera (in its various forms), this drama is a MUST-WATCH! :letsgo:

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On 7/3/2020 at 6:04 AM, megumi09 said:

 

The last episode came out in April (for non VIP Viewers Beginning of May), so I think, it's ok, not to put any spoiler marks.

 

Anyway, I really really hate to say that... but, the Ending in the novel is almost same. That means, oe.

I still don't finish the novel, but I checked last pages just because of curiosity,

after i read some comments on youtube, twitter & mydramalist.

In the novel, at the curtain call, Shang XiRui was not on the stage nor backstage, and Cheng FengTai waited for him on the platform.

The author of the novel was also involved in the production as one of the scriptwriters.

That said, the ending must not be so different from the original novel.

Shang Xirui running to the railway station, wasn't mere illusion of Cheng FengTai.

 

As for the meaning of ending, someone wrote both the drama and the novel lean positive & I agree with this reviewer.

There are so many scenes, which foreshadow Shang Xurui leaving Beiping.

 

After all, his closest friend/family Shaolai was gone (at least in the drama).

Now, he has his successor, XiaoZhouzi.

(I'm not sure, how this part was executed in the novel. XiaoZhouzi in the novel wasn't his official disciple,

so maybe this part was also drama original. maybe?)

There was also a scene, Shang XiRui asking audience to support other Shuiyunlou Actors.

It was not his intention, but he kinda prepared for his departure from his troupe.

His one and only scriptwriter has already gone to HK.

Was there any major reason, why he still had to stay in Beijing?

I also read that one of Shang Xirui's models, legendary Mei Lanfang, refused to sing during Japanese occupation and kept growing a beard. Shang Xirui would have done that, too. However, what kind of strong reasons he had, staying in Beiping in spite of everything, if he couldn't sing? While Mei Lanfang came from Beiping/Beijing, Shang Xirui didn't even come from the city.

 

Most important thing is, however, the fact, that he himself had already chosen Cheng FengTai over the opera.

- he refused to perform his new play and waited for Cheng FengTai.

- he was ready to give up literally everything for nursing Cheng FengTai.

- he didn't even hesitate to take a risk damaging his voice for Cheng FengTai.

 

Shang Xirui couldn't answer, when Cheng FengTai asked him, if he chooses his life or the opera.

Partly because he was trapped by his own idea and also he didn't realize, what it would mean this time around.

But, I think, when he saw that empty entrance, the truth hit him hard.

His face! That was one of the most beautiful and heart aching scenes.

 

As an Opera singer, he also owed Cheng Fengtai a play. He still didn't finish playing his XiaoFengXian in front of his General!

This is also another reason, why Shang Xirui had to be with Cheng Fentai!

 

So, everything, especially during the last couple of episodes, indicates that Shang Xirui chose Cheng FengTai.

It's not that important, if he caught the train. Even if he couldn't, he eventually went to HK, if he wanted.

And I'm pretty sure, that he did.

 

Of Course, they didn't mention anything about Shang Xurui in the final text. Otherwise, what the meaning of oe is?

As for that final text, i read someone's comment on douban. It said, Du Qi and Cheng FengTai were not so close,

that means, Shang Xirui contributed for their collaboration & that is also another evidence that Shang Xirui was in HK.

 

Surely, there are a lot more details, which i missed, but it's kinda hard to rewatch last three episodes...

 

 

I kinda lean towards SXR finally meeting CFT at the train station but what caused me to doubt a little was when CFT asked him if he was willing to leave with him, SXR just wished him well and shook his hands. I was like “Shang Lao Ban, why did you say that??” It’s obvious he’s very attached to CFT, so did he say that because he thought he didn’t wanna trouble CFT anymore? 
 

I convinced myself that it should be a happy ending coz CFT and wifey didn’t turn and walk to the train but kept standing and waiting. And at the opening song scene, there was a similar illustrated scene of them waiting but the train left. I’d like to think that they would wait for him even if the train had left. They’ll just buy new tickets again haha. Also, as you said, it’s not too difficult for SXR to go to HK. My heart feels better being aware of all these possibilities. 
 

Watching this drama for the 2nd time, I was able to understand the characters more. I noticed that 2 people didn’t get to flesh out their characters much. One’s Yu Qing and another is Xue Zhicheng. From the way SXR was affected by Yu Qing’s departure from Beiping, it seemed like they were quite close but there’s not much backstory to their friendship. And I didn’t get how Xue Zhicheng could cry so desperately when he had to cut off his friendship with SXR. All along it was just him showing great interest in SXR but that’s it. Nothing really happened between them such that XZC should feel so devastated. Sure, he admires him greatly but then honestly I wouldn’t even call that a friendship.

 

Oh back to the last scenes where SXR was running. Is there a reason why his flashback’s on Xiao Lai? I would think he should be having flashbacks of CFT instead. Is there a meaning to that? Any mention in the novel? He did say that when he dies, he wants to be buried beside Xiao Lai. Was that him saying goodbye to Xiao Lai, that he couldn’t keep that promise because he’s leaving with CFT? 
 

Curious question: Does anyone know why opera performers were looked down upon in those days? They’re treated like stars but at the same time, noble families don’t like them. They way they talked about opera performers sometimes carried negative connotations. 

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2 hours ago, AAerin Lee said:

Watching this drama for the 2nd time, I was able to understand the characters more. I noticed that 2 people didn’t get to flesh out their characters much. One’s Yu Qing and another is Xue Zhicheng. From the way SXR was affected by Yu Qing’s departure from Beiping, it seemed like they were quite close but there’s not much backstory to their friendship. And I didn’t get how Xue Zhicheng could cry so desperately when he had to cut off his friendship with SXR. All along it was just him showing great interest in SXR but that’s it. Nothing really happened between them such that XZC should feel so devastated. Sure, he admires him greatly but then honestly I wouldn’t even call that a friendship.

 

Oh back to the last scenes where SXR was running. Is there a reason why his flashback’s on Xiao Lai? I would think he should be having flashbacks of CFT instead. Is there a meaning to that? Any mention in the novel? He did say that when he dies, he wants to be buried beside Xiao Lai. Was that him saying goodbye to Xiao Lai, that he couldn’t keep that promise because he’s leaving with CFT? 
 

Curious question: Does anyone know why opera performers were looked down upon in those days? They’re treated like stars but at the same time, noble families don’t like them. They way they talked about opera performers sometimes carried negative connotations. 

 

 

I completely agree with you about those two characters, especially Xue Zhicheng. I don't necessarily need more stories with SXR, but it would be better, if they showed his own reasons, why he was so much obsessed with SXR, and admired Beijing Opera, and why he desperately wanted to help SXR at all costs.

I heard, that the drama originally had 55 eps. They cut so many scenes. Maybe, there were some scenes with Yu Qing as well as Xue Zhicheng.

 

As for flashback to Xiao Lai, some fans asked one of the scriptwriters, Jiuren, about that.

https://www.weibo.com/1595890361/IEZIJ8Pfb?from=page_1005051595890361_profile&wvr=6&mod=weibotime&type=comment

(check in the comment box)

 

FYI, my Chinese is at absolute beginner level.

 

-大地初醒之时-:很想知道为什么电视剧版本最后,商老板在奔去火车站的回忆里,有这么多小来呢,这是想表达什么呢

I'd like to know, why there were so many scenes with Xiao Lai in his memory, while the proprietor Shang was running to the railway station at the end of the TV series. What does this mean?

 

久任: 为了能让商老板顺利地跑到火车站

In order to make the proprietor Shang run to the railway station smoothly

 

I don't know exactly what she meant.

But, someone on twitter explained her answer as "in order to pass the cencorship".

Anyway bc of this scene, we are at least sure, that SXR running to the railway station wasn't CFT's illusion.

 

I'm also interested in the social status of opera performers at that time. And just found this:

 

Cuncun Wu, Imperial Chinese Theater, in: Melissa Hope Ditmore (Ed.), Encyclopedia of prostitution and sex work, vol.1, Greenwood, 2006, pp. 220-222.

https://books.google.de/books?id=fcYq72qYRTcC&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=performer,+prostitute+in+the+19th+century&source=bl&ots=h-9012GjVd&sig=ACfU3U2loX6Olmtut7sXD7zUOqus5wum5w&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjMp4q-1rbqAhWRZMAKHetrDZMQ6AEwEnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=performer%2C prostitute in the 19th century&f=false

 

To the 1st decade of the 20th century, the performer-prostitute in China "continued to belong to the lowest level of the social caste, but they could at the same time attract enormous fame and great wealth through the aura of the beauty." (p. 222)

 

The situation must have gradually changed, since the Republic of China was founded. Besides, as far as I understand, at that time, Bejing opera experienced its prime time and it must have helped to change their social status.

Cf. https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1xV411r7CT

 

Still, when i watched this drama, i also got an impression, that a general opinion towards opera singers didn't drastically change in 1930s. That means, It's also very fascinating, that Cheng FengTai (at least in the drama) treated Shang Xirui from get go with full of respects. Yes, he was educated in abroad but the social status of professional stage actors in the early 20th century in the UK wasn't much higher, right? (maybe not the lowest level of the society anymore but definitely not equal as a well educated gentleman like CFT)

 

 

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17 hours ago, megumi09 said:

As for flashback to Xiao Lai, some fans asked one of the scriptwriters, Jiuren, about that.

https://www.weibo.com/1595890361/IEZIJ8Pfb?from=page_1005051595890361_profile&wvr=6&mod=weibotime&type=comment

(check in the comment box)

 

FYI, my Chinese is at absolute beginner level.

 

-大地初醒之时-:很想知道为什么电视剧版本最后,商老板在奔去火车站的回忆里,有这么多小来呢,这是想表达什么呢

I'd like to know, why there were so many scenes with Xiao Lai in his memory, while the proprietor Shang was running to the railway station at the end of the TV series. What does this mean?

 

久任: 为了能让商老板顺利地跑到火车站

In order to make the proprietor Shang run to the railway station smoothly

 

I don't know exactly what she meant.

But, someone on twitter explained her answer as "in order to pass the cencorship".

Anyway bc of this scene, we are at least sure, that SXR running to the railway station wasn't CFT's illusion.

 

I'm also interested in the social status of opera performers at that time. And just found this:

 

Cuncun Wu, Imperial Chinese Theater, in: Melissa Hope Ditmore (Ed.), Encyclopedia of prostitution and sex work, vol.1, Greenwood, 2006, pp. 220-222.

https://books.google.de/books?id=fcYq72qYRTcC&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=performer,+prostitute+in+the+19th+century&source=bl&ots=h-9012GjVd&sig=ACfU3U2loX6Olmtut7sXD7zUOqus5wum5w&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjMp4q-1rbqAhWRZMAKHetrDZMQ6AEwEnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=performer%2C prostitute in the 19th century&f=false

 

To the 1st decade of the 20th century, the performer-prostitute in China "continued to belong to the lowest level of the social caste, but they could at the same time attract enormous fame and great wealth through the aura of the beauty." (p. 222)

 

The situation must have gradually changed, since the Republic of China was founded. Besides, as far as I understand, at that time, Bejing opera experienced its prime time and it must have helped to change their social status.

Cf. https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1xV411r7CT

 

Still, when i watched this drama, i also got an impression, that a general opinion towards opera singers didn't drastically change in 1930s. That means, It's also very fascinating, that Cheng FengTai (at least in the drama) treated Shang Xirui from get go with full of respects. Yes, he was educated in abroad but the social status of professional stage actors in the early 20th century in the UK wasn't much higher, right? (maybe not the lowest level of the society anymore but definitely not equal as a well educated gentleman like CFT)

 

 

Thanks for the info and translations! Wow the scriptwriter’s reply was quite cryptic :crazymad: 

I clicked on the Weibo link you shared and the video showed an alternative scene. I love it! 
 

Regarding performer-prostitute, I suspected just as much. If that’s a norm in the first decade of the 20th century, then 1930s isn’t that long after. Change happen gradually through decades. Now that you mention about how CFT treated SXR right from the beginning, it also reminded me of the scene when they were walking and chatting in the streets of Shanghai, and CFT was praising SXR. I don’t remember exactly what he said but it’s something like “people say Mr Shang is elegant and graceful but others can only watch from a distance without drawing abreast of him, except me, I can do anything just in order to be with you”. CFT never judged SXR nor did he let others’ judgment of SXR taint his view of him. (At that point SXR stopped and wanted to say something to CFT but they got distracted. I wanna know what he wanted to say to CFT!)

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On 7/5/2020 at 11:14 AM, AAerin Lee said:

Oh back to the last scenes where SXR was running. Is there a reason why his flashback’s on Xiao Lai?

 

On 7/5/2020 at 2:04 PM, megumi09 said:

In order to make the proprietor Shang run to the railway station smoothly

 

 

@AAerin Lee @megumi09

In addition to what Jiuren had responded on weibo (I thought it was intentionally brief and quite ambiguous), my take on this flashback is two-fold:

1. To  show Shang's "new" relationship with Xiao Lai, and that he missed his late "wife." 

In the finale episode (at about 45 minutes toward the end), during that dash to the train station, Shang's flashback included a scene where he bestowed some "gifts" to Xiao Lai for her usage in the Netherworld (a traditional, familial practice). On the note that Shang had attached to the "gifts," Shang addressed Xiao Lai as a member of his Shang Clan (specifically as his wife) as he termed himself as "Husband Shang Xirui."

Spoiler

WB-SXRnoteandgiftto-XL-ep49.png

2. To show viewers' Shang's ultimate decision about whether to leave or to stay.

I think the flashback brought back memories of how Xiao Lai was brutally raped and killed by the Japanese. With that stark reminder, I believe Shang's decision would be to leave Beiping eventually, even if not at that time, and not riding the same train with the Chengs. 

 

On 7/6/2020 at 7:51 AM, AAerin Lee said:

But, someone on twitter explained her answer as "in order to pass the cencorship".

While this is a speculation, it could well be quite true. :unsure:

With whatever had happened to The Guardians, just to name one prominent instance (there were more), it was wise of the production company of Winter Begonia to accede to the authority's request (or demand lol). Either that or wait indefinitely for a broadcast/webcast approval and schedule. Or until the "guidelines" are less stringent (which would be a long wait lol).

 

 

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On 7/8/2020 at 12:28 AM, jadecloud said:

In addition to what Jiuren had responded on weibo (I thought it was intentionally brief and quite ambiguous), my take on this flashback is two-fold:

1. To  show Shang's "new" relationship with Xiao Lai, and that he missed his late "wife." 

In the finale episode (at about 45 minutes toward the end), during that dash to the train station, Shang's flashback included a scene where he bestowed some "gifts" to Xiao Lai for her usage in the Netherworld (a traditional, familial practice). On the note that Shang had attached to the "gifts," Shang addressed Xiao Lai as a member of his Shang Clan (specifically as his wife) as he termed himself as "Husband Shang Xirui."

  Hide contents

WB-SXRnoteandgiftto-XL-ep49.png

2. To show viewers' Shang's ultimate decision about whether to leave or to stay.

I think the flashback brought back memories of how Xiao Lai was brutally raped and killed by the Japanese. With that stark reminder, I believe Shang's decision would be to leave Beiping eventually, even if not at that time, and not riding the same train with the Chengs. 

 

While this is a speculation, it could well be quite true. :unsure:

With whatever had happened to The Guardians, just to name one prominent instance (there were more), it was wise of the production company of Winter Begonia to accede to the authority's request (or demand lol). Either that or wait indefinitely for a broadcast/webcast approval and schedule. Or until the "guidelines" are less stringent (which would be a long wait lol).

 

 

Judging by the whole premise of the drama, I don’t think point no. 1(SXR missed his new wife Xiao Lai) is the reason for the flashback.
 

I didn’t watch Guardians, just saw the title while browsing for C-dramas, so based on what happened to it, the flashback was most likely for the sake of passing censorship because CFT also had flashbacks of his wife on the way to the train station and it doesn’t make sense, coz he’s gonna join his wife at the station anyway haha. All for the sake of censorship I think and the production team made a good balance between the characters. The feelings between the 2 male leads are apparent but subtle. They both have a female partner that they truly care about so the balance is good. 
 

I’ve finished watching Round 2...not as sad as the 1st time(I convinced myself hard that SXR made it to the train station!) but now I miss them. Gotta wave goodbye to them. 
 

Oh, I just found out that the story of Fengxian and general is based on a true story! 

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14 minutes ago, AAerin Lee said:

because CFT also had flashbacks of his wife on the way to the train station and it doesn’t make sense, coz he’s gonna join his wife at the station anyway haha.

 

oh I totally missed this! (i still don't have the gut to rewatch last couple of eps.) But, you're quite right! He didn't need any flashbacks of his wife! :sweat_smile:

 

I don't know what is this maoyan list. But, anyway, Winter Begonia is ranked first on maoyan hot drama for 1st half of 2020 as well as hot ROMANCE drama!!!! It was not so subtle after all :joy:  :joy:  :joy: 

 

https://weibo.com/6685054177/JaANDwu12?from=page_1002066685054177_profile&wvr=6&mod=weibotime&type=comment#_rnd1594400895513

 

Is this story of Fengxian and the general famous/popular in China? It was really hard to find any infos about it in English. 

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On 7/10/2020 at 11:36 AM, AAerin Lee said:

Judging by the whole premise of the drama, I don’t think point no. 1(SXR missed his new wife Xiao Lai) is the reason for the flashback.

It was not about SXR missing Xiao Lai at all. As posted, it was the screenwriter's interpretation of their "special familial" relationship. At least that's what I believe that flashback encompassed, among various other reasons or interpretations. ^_^

 

In fact, CFT's flashback about his wife was a parallel to SXR's flashback to his, Perhaps a subtle way to tone down the BL aspect even though there were way more scenes that screamed BL between CFT and SXR . Probably an important factor toward obtaining broadcasting approval (just a thought).:unsure:

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On 7/11/2020 at 1:11 AM, megumi09 said:

I don't know what is this maoyan list. But, anyway, Winter Begonia is ranked first on maoyan hot drama for 1st half of 2020 as well as hot ROMANCE drama!!!! It was not so subtle after all :joy:  :joy:  :joy: 

 

https://weibo.com/6685054177/JaANDwu12?from=page_1002066685054177_profile&wvr=6&mod=weibotime&type=comment#_rnd1594400895513

 

Is this story of Fengxian and the general famous/popular in China? It was really hard to find any infos about it in English. 

Yay! I don’t know what’s Maoyan list either haha but yay anyway! 
 

I tried to dig a bit about Xiao Fengxian because I was wondering if there’s any significance to the relationship between SXR and CFT. Why was it so important for SXR to perform that opera to him. So yeah, there’s nothing in English and I found an article in Chinese which I had to translate bit by bit to understand roughly. 
 

So, Xiao Feng Xian was a real person in history, a prostitute who helped General Cai E to escape Peking in order to return to his base in Yunnan to gather an army to fight against General/Warlord Yuan Shikai who at that time wanted to be an emperor. Yuan Shi Kai first found out that Cai E disagreed with his plan of becoming a new emperor so he prevented Cai E from leaving Peking. He was greatly suspicious of Cai E’s intention to fight against him. So in order to make YSK not suspect him further, Cai E pretended to enjoy visits to prostitution houses and that’s where he met Xiao Feng Xian. XFX wasn’t particularly beautiful but she was multi-talented and intelligent and it impressed Cai E. They became closer and Cai E acknowledged that XFX wasn’t merely his companion but also a revolutionary comrade or a heroine. Cai E pretended to live a hedonistic lifestyle with XFX and even divorced his wife because of her. Cai E’s mother and wife decided to leave Peking in anger(they’re all in on the plan). All these were shown outwardly to the public and YSK’s guards reported all to him. Thinking that Cai E only cared about XFX the prostitute and quite useless after all, he let his guard down. One day, Cai E told XFX that no matter what, he had to leave Peking even if it meant a risk to his life. Having heard that, XFX was deeply saddened by the impending separation but being the heroic woman that she was, she decided to help him escape and they created a ruse to fool YSK by making a holiday trip together. During the trip, with XFX’s help, Cai E managed to escaped back to Yunnan alone and successfully raised a revolution against YSK. He later died without meeting XFX again. During his funeral, XFX appeared garbed in black to pay her final respect and disappeared from public’s view. That’s the story in a nutshell, you can read it in Chinese if you can here. There’re pics of her too:-

https://baike.baidu.com/item/小凤仙/3601
 

Apparently, her story is very famous in China and it’s also interesting to note that there’s a drama based on her and Cai E’s story called ‘Zhi Yin’(soulmate, that same word SXR called CFT at the end of the opening theme song), and in her later years, XFX actually met Mei Lanfang the famous Peking opera performer that if I’m not mistaken, kinda inspired SXR’s character. Mei Lanfang helped XFX to get a job as a teacher. 

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18 hours ago, AAerin Lee said:

During the trip, with XFX’s help, Cai E managed to escaped back to Yunnan alone and successfully raised a revolution against YSK. He later died without meeting XFX again. During his funeral, XFX appeared garbed in black to pay her final respect and disappeared from public’s view. That’s the story in a nutshell, you can read it in Chinese if you can here. There’re pics of her too:-

https://baike.baidu.com/item/小凤仙/3601
 

Apparently, her story is very famous in China and it’s also interesting to note that there’s a drama based on her and Cai E’s story called ‘Zhi Yin’(soulmate, that same word SXR called CFT at the end of the opening theme song), and in her later years, XFX actually met Mei Lanfang the famous Peking opera performer that if I’m not mistaken, kinda inspired SXR’s character. Mei Lanfang helped XFX to get a job as a teacher. 

 

oh, wow! Thank you SOOOOO MUCH for your research & translation! :please:

Wait... Does this story imply SXR and CFT never met again? NOOOOOOOOOO!

There are many layers esp in last couple of eps, which tells the quality of this drama. And The fact, Xiao Feng Xian and Cai E also called each other, Zhiyin... omg. beautiful. Xiao Feng Xian meeting Mei Lanfang was another twist. simply fanstastic!

 

Your comment about Mei Lanfang reminds me of another Video.

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1xV411r7CT

 

孙霆同学 is an expert of the Beijing Opera and gave some advises for the WB script. So, he was also partially involved in the production.

According to his explanation here, SXR was, in a word, an amalgamation of Beijing Opera stars in the golden time of Beijing opera (Minguo Era). I try to translate some interesting infos from his video.

 

Alongside Mei Lanfang, there were three big stars, Cheng Yangiu, Shang Xiaoyun and Xun Huisheng. They together were famously called four great dan.

 

Cheng Yangiu was famous for his great appetite & loved pig elbows.

He was also suspected as a spy. Because of that, he fought with a bunch of ppl at the Beiping railway station and his ears were injured.

 

In the drama, SXR sang various operas, which were famous repertoires by those Dans respectively. For example, ep 5 Shang Xirui sang Qingwen. This was created by Xun Huisheng.

 

 

Shang Xiruis characterization resembled in another dan, Shang Xiaoyun, who was also famous for his hot temper. Wujiapo in the drama is also the version of Shang school.

 

 

孙霆同学 also mentioned another big four, who were called together "bi cui zhu huang (green jade, emerald green, vermilion and yellow)" after their names. Some of their famous works were picked up in the drama, e. g. liuzhuzhuilou" (ep. 49).

 

 

Kudos to the whole WB production team! I am totally amazed by their work. Everyday, i can learn something new and it deepens my understanding of this drama.

 

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On 7/14/2020 at 8:45 PM, megumi09 said:

 

oh, wow! Thank you SOOOOO MUCH for your research & translation! :please:

Wait... Does this story imply SXR and CFT never met again? NOOOOOOOOOO!

There are many layers esp in last couple of eps, which tells the quality of this drama. And The fact, Xiao Feng Xian and Cai E also called each other, Zhiyin... omg. beautiful. Xiao Feng Xian meeting Mei Lanfang was another twist. simply fanstastic!

 

Your comment about Mei Lanfang reminds me of another Video.

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1xV411r7CT

 

孙霆同学 is an expert of the Beijing Opera and gave some advises for the WB script. So, he was also partially involved in the production.

According to his explanation here, SXR was, in a word, an amalgamation of Beijing Opera stars in the golden time of Beijing opera (Minguo Era). I try to translate some interesting infos from his video.

 

Alongside Mei Lanfang, there were three big stars, Cheng Yangiu, Shang Xiaoyun and Xun Huisheng. They together were famously called four great dan.

 

Cheng Yangiu was famous for his great appetite & loved pig elbows.

He was also suspected as a spy. Because of that, he fought with a bunch of ppl at the Beiping railway station and his ears were injured.

 

In the drama, SXR sang various operas, which were famous repertoires by those Dans respectively. For example, ep 5 Shang Xirui sang Qingwen. This was created by Xun Huisheng.

 

 

Shang Xiruis characterization resembled in another dan, Shang Xiaoyun, who was also famous for his hot temper. Wujiapo in the drama is also the version of Shang school.

 

 

孙霆同学 also mentioned another big four, who were called together "bi cui zhu huang (green jade, emerald green, vermilion and yellow)" after their names. Some of their famous works were picked up in the drama, e. g. liuzhuzhuilou" (ep. 49).

 

 

Kudos to the whole WB production team! I am totally amazed by their work. Everyday, i can learn something new and it deepens my understanding of this drama.

 

Wow thanks for the extra info. So interesting. Frankly speaking, I still don’t like the high-pitch singing in Beijing Opera and don’t know how to appreciate it BUT because of this drama, I really respect it as a precious art form that needs to be preserved. 
 

I went to check out Mei Lanfang on Youtube and saw an old video of him performing in the US. It’s so funny that I recognized the song he sang! :hwaiting2:It’s the one on Yang Yuhuan, that SXR and also CFT’s mom sang. 

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Posted (edited)

Wow! What a carefully crafted drama sparing no detail. I just set up a profile so I could comment, to show my appreciation and promote outstanding writing and character acting, amongst this show’s many strengths. I think it is on par with NIF (the original) but more showy. Music is stellar. Did anyone else notice the beautiful opening theme tune is a slowed down version of the instrumental accompaniment to the opera songs? 

Edited by katan mimi
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On 7/15/2020 at 7:27 PM, AAerin Lee said:

Frankly speaking, I still don’t like the high-pitch singing in Beijing Opera and don’t know how to appreciate it BUT because of this drama, I really respect it as a precious art form that needs to be preserved. 

 

:sweat_smile: It takes sometime to watch through the Beijing opera, even tho there is a english subtitle.

It has a very different style of art form from what I'm familiar with. Still, I got some tastes from WB, and started to listen more and more Mando-pops, which are mixed with some classic Chinese Music Code as well as Beijing opera singing style.

 

Recently, one of the consultants of WB, Mou or Mu Laoshi uploaded the following video. It's really worth to watch!

 

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1M54y1q7js

 

 

On 7/15/2020 at 9:35 PM, katan mimi said:

Wow! What a carefully crafted drama sparing no detail. I just set up a profile so I could comment, to show my appreciation and promote outstanding writing and character acting, amongst this show’s many strengths. I think it is on par with NIF (the original) but more showy. Music is stellar. Did anyone else notice the beautiful opening theme tune is a slowed down version of the instrumental accompaniment to the opera songs? 

 

Is the tune also the same? You mean, this opera part 原来姹紫嫣红开遍, right?

I thought just only lyrics.

I have to check it again. Ep 41, as far as i remember? when sxr sang outside the Shui Yun Lou?

 

 

 

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On 7/6/2020 at 12:14 AM, AAerin Lee said:

Curious question: Does anyone know why opera performers were looked down upon in those days? They’re treated like stars but at the same time, noble families don’t like them. They way they talked about opera performers sometimes carried negative connotations. 

 

Entertainers had low social status in those days as they could be selling their sexual services on the side.

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On 7/19/2020 at 5:38 AM, megumi09 said:

Recently, one of the consultants of WB, Mou or Mu Laoshi uploaded the following video. It's really worth to watch!

 

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1M54y1q7js

 

 

 

Is the tune also the same? You mean, this opera part 原来姹紫嫣红开遍, right?

I thought just only lyrics.

I have to check it again. Ep 41, as far as i remember? when sxr sang outside the Shui Yun Lou?

 

 

 

No haha not that one. It's this one. Listen to the first few words(that's all I know :lol:) and you can recognize that it's the same song SXR and CFT's mom sang before. It's called 'Drunken Beauty' and if I'm not mistaken, it's part of the Yang Yuhuan's story in the opera.

 

https://youtu.be/tQWsDeOB23Q

 

Btw, this Mou/Mu Laoshi...is he the one who acted as the young Ning Jiulang? The one who saved Liu Hanyun in the palace? They looked similar.

 

On 7/19/2020 at 7:17 PM, bluehibiscus said:

 

Entertainers had low social status in those days as they could be selling their sexual services on the side.

Yup, now I know. I remember that even until modern times (modern as in the 70s/80s), actresses and singers were still kind of looked down upon by rich or affluent families.

On 7/16/2020 at 3:35 AM, katan mimi said:

Wow! What a carefully crafted drama sparing no detail. I just set up a profile so I could comment, to show my appreciation and promote outstanding writing and character acting, amongst this show’s many strengths. I think it is on par with NIF (the original) but more showy. Music is stellar. Did anyone else notice the beautiful opening theme tune is a slowed down version of the instrumental accompaniment to the opera songs? 

I missed this message but I just wanted to say that I also signed up here just to comment on this drama! Nope, didn't notice that on the song but the closing theme song and the slow song in the drama had the same lyrics, or like more than 95% similarity.

Btw, I love NIF too!

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2 hours ago, AAerin Lee said:

No haha not that one. It's this one. Listen to the first few words(that's all I know :lol:) and you can recognize that it's the same song SXR and CFT's mom sang before. It's called 'Drunken Beauty' and if I'm not mistaken, it's part of the Yang Yuhuan's story in the opera.

oh wow! I really didn't notice the melody! Thank you! And thanks for the link!

So, he was in the US before the war broke. Interesting.

 

2 hours ago, AAerin Lee said:

Btw, this Mou/Mu Laoshi...is he the one who acted as the young Ning Jiulang? The one who saved Liu Hanyun in the palace? They looked similar.

yes!

 

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 5:38 PM, megumi09 said:

 

:sweat_smile: It takes sometime to watch through the Beijing opera, even tho there is a english subtitle.

It has a very different style of art form from what I'm familiar with. Still, I got some tastes from WB, and started to listen more and more Mando-pops, which are mixed with some classic Chinese Music Code as well as Beijing opera singing style.

 

Recently, one of the consultants of WB, Mou or Mu Laoshi uploaded the following video. It's really worth to watch!

 

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1M54y1q7js

 

 

 

Is the tune also the same? You mean, this opera part 原来姹紫嫣红开遍, right?

I thought just only lyrics.

I have to check it again. Ep 41, as far as i remember? when sxr sang outside the Shui Yun Lou?

 

 

 

 
I’ve been rewatching trying to pick out the exact opera that had the instrumental accompaniment matching the tune (but not the tempo) of the opening theme song. So far  parts of Qingwen and Wujiapo all sound like at least the first few bars of that beautiful song. 
Yes, the song SXR sang when he stormed out of Shuiyinlou has very similar lyrics, but not the tune. 
Chinese opera is certainly an acquired taste. Previously it sounded like slaughtering chickens to me. I won’t say I like it yet but now I’m able to appreciate it better. 

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6 hours ago, katan mimi said:

Previously it sounded like slaughtering chickens to me.

or screeching cats! What this drama makes especially great (for me) is, that the lyrics and the entire scene closely entwined with the story-line or protagonists' feelings, which hardly happened in the novel. (ok. i'm still halfway through the novel.) Even  It's a very tough competition, I know, but I really really hope, they will win for the best adapted screenplay!

 

btw, the List of the Magnolia Awards Nominees:

https://idlemindsehseh.blogspot.com/2020/07/winter-begonia-nominations-for-magnolia.html

 

While I'm still not really into the Beijing Opera itself, I would like to experience listening Opera in the traditional theater. It's so nice, that you have a table with full of snacks and drinks, while you watch an opera!

 

 

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On 7/22/2020 at 7:39 PM, megumi09 said:

Yay! I hope they win all that! Is there somewhere we could watch the Awards? I was kinda disappointed that I recommended this drama to a few people and they didn’t even watch past the 1st episode...kinda sad that people don’t realize how good this drama is. If they ever come out with a boxset in the future, I’d buy it. 

ps. Omg what happened to the forums the past few days?! It disappeared! 

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On 7/26/2020 at 4:11 PM, AAerin Lee said:

ps. Omg what happened to the forums the past few days?! It disappeared!

i was also dreaded, when i couldn't access this forum!

 

On 7/26/2020 at 4:11 PM, AAerin Lee said:

I was kinda disappointed that I recommended this drama to a few people and they didn’t even watch past the 1st episode...kinda sad that people don’t realize how good this drama is.

same here. I really tried hard to make my ppl watch this drama. But, it didn't work :sad1:

By the way, we, some Winter Begonia fans on Twitter, have started a fandom wiki page for the drama.

https://winter-begonia.fandom.com/wiki/Winter_Begonia_Wiki

 

We are very happy, if you guys want to join the board and contribute something! Please let us know!

As you see, we still have a lot to do...

 

 

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