存档:2005年2月7日

2005 年 2 月 7 日

美国小孩不会讲中国话会唱京剧

“如今的事儿大变迁”,真是奇闻:这小孩儿连中文都不懂,竟然能唱京剧! 表情

汉语一句不会 唱京剧字正腔圆

美联社2月5日报道:泰勒·汤普森与邻家的9岁男孩没有多大差别。他喜欢打篮球,爱看漫画。

但是,泰勒有一项其他小伙伴不具备的才能:他会唱京剧。他不懂中文,但唱京剧时字正腔圆,听起来与土生土长的中国人没什么两样。

当地中国表演艺术基金会的主席戴维·雷说:“太令人震惊了。这个非洲裔的美国孩子正在学习一门甚至受到大多数中国人冷落或误解的艺术。”

雷去年在旧金山的亚洲艺术博物馆第一次看到了泰勒的表演。他说:“他的嗓音不错,唱腔相当准。”

泰勒很快成了加利福尼亚州北部地区最受欢迎的中国歌曲演唱者,在多个不同剧场演出。中国的中央电视台为他在圣何塞的演出录了像,并且将在中国农历新年期间播出。今天,泰勒还将作为特邀演员在旧金山交响乐团的年度中国新年音乐会上演出。他要在中国民乐的伴奏下演唱一首中国民歌。泰勒说:“我已经唱了这么久,所以要坚持下去。”

泰勒在林肯小学读书的时候开始学唱中国歌。这所小学坐落在奥克兰的唐人街,90%的学生是亚裔,其中大多数是劳动阶层的华人移民的子女。

这是美国少数几所开设中国音乐课程的公立学校之一。音乐课是教师谢林·丘10年前创办的。她教各种背景的孩子唱中文歌并演奏中国传统乐器。

丘说,早在泰勒上幼儿园的时候,她就注意到了这个孩子的才能和他“天使般的”音色。

泰勒的母亲瓦妮莎·拉森说,他一直喜欢音乐。刚刚学会说话不久,他就和父亲一起唱歌。无论母亲在家里放什么风格的音乐,他都能跟着唱。

泰勒不会说汉语,但丘通过拼写的方式教他和其他不会说汉语的孩子发音。丘说:“每个音节都清清楚楚。他的声调特别准。他不懂中文,但他明白歌曲的意思。他知道自己该向听众传达怎样的感情。”

泰勒在林肯小学的年度春季音乐会上首次登台亮相时,演唱了一首内蒙古民歌。丘说:“他唱得太好了,许多人感动得热泪盈眶。然后,我决定教他唱京剧。京剧的难度要大得多,但我觉得他已经准备好了。”泰勒说,用中文唱歌帮助他解决了人生中的一大难题。他说:“以前,我从不知道自己长大以后该干什么,可我现在知道了,我要当个中文歌手。”

看到这条新闻的第一反应就是:可能吗?赶紧查一下美联社的新闻,果然是真的。

Oakland 4th-grader performs ancient art
By TERENCE CHEAAssociated Press
Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Tyler Thompson isn’t much different from other fourth-graders in his Oakland neighborhood. He likes basketball and pro wrestling, cartoons and comic books.

But Tyler has a talent that sets him apart from his peers: He performs Chinese opera.

The 9-year-old, growing up in a city more notable for its tough streets than its touches of culture, is bringing crowds to their feet around the San Francisco Bay Area with his uncanny ability to sing in Mandarin Chinese. It’s a language he doesn’t speak but sings like a native.

“It’s shocking for the Chinese. Here’s an African-American kid learning an art form that even the Chinese for the most part rejected or misunderstood,” said David Lei, chairman of San Francisco’s Chinese Performing Arts Foundation.

He first saw Tyler perform last year at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.

“He had a good voice and was very accurate in his singing,” Lei said. “It wasn’t chop suey. It was the real thing.” Tyler quickly became one of Northern California’s most popular Chinese music performers, wowing audiences at Oakland City Hall, the Herbst Theater in San Francisco and HP Pavilion in San Jose.

The San Jose event was filmed by China Central Television, which will broadcast his performance during its annual Lunar New Year extravaganza, a program seen by hundreds of millions in China and elsewhere around the world.

On Saturday, Tyler will be a featured performer at the San Francisco Symphony’s annual Chinese New Year concert, just four days before the Year of the Rooster begins on Wednesday. He will sing a Chinese folk song accompanied by a Chinese instrument ensemble.

“Chinese singing has gotten me this far, so I’m going to stick with it,” Tyler said.

Tyler learned how to sing Chinese songs as a student at Lincoln Elementary, a public school in Oakland’s Chinatown where 90 percent of students are Asian, mostly children of working-class Chinese immigrants.

It’s one of the nation’s few public schools with a Chinese music program, started 10 years ago by teacher Sherlyn Chew, who was born in Oakland and attended Lincoln as a child.

She teaches students of all backgrounds to sing Chinese songs and play traditional Chinese instruments.

Tyler’s mother, Vanessa Ladson, said she chose Lincoln because of its high academic standards, as well as its proximity to her job at a utility company.

Tyler has always loved music, Ladson said. Not long after he learned to speak, he’d sing with his father when they drove together in his truck. He grew up singing whatever music his mom played at home, from gospel to jazz and R&B.

“Tyler lives to sing, period,” Ladson said.

Chew said she first recognized Tyler’s talent and his “angelic” voice when he was a spunky kindergartner.

“He had a very nice voice, he could sing in tune, his timing was good, and he picked up songs very quickly,” Chew said. “When I asked who would like to sing by themselves, he would be the first to raise his hand.”

Ladson was driving Tyler home from school one day when she first heard him sing in a different language. She couldn’t believe it, and asked him to sing the song three times.

“I went home and said to his father, `Do you know Tyler is singing in Chinese?'” Ladson said.

A few years ago, Tyler asked his mother if he could join a weekend music program Chew had started at Oakland’s Laney College. Its goal was to teach students who wanted to pursue their interest in playing Chinese instruments or singing Chinese songs.

Tyler doesn’t speak Mandarin, a tonal language in which the same word spoken with a different tone has a different meaning. But Chew taught him and other students who didn’t speak Chinese by spelling out the words and teaching them how to sing with the correct pronunciation and intonation.

“Each syllable is clear. His tones are very good,” Chew said.

“He doesn’t speak the language, but he knows the meaning of the song. He knows what he’s trying to convey to the audience.”

At Tyler’s first performance, during Lincoln’s annual spring concert, he sang a Mongolian folk song about a young man who misses his friend in winter.

“When the spring comes and the snow melts, I wonder if she will remember me?” Tyler sang in Chinese.

“He sang so well that people were moved to tears. Then I said I’m going to teach him Beijing opera,” Chew said. “It’s a lot more complicated, but I thought he was ready.”

Beijing opera, one of many forms of Chinese opera, is a centuries-old art form that blends highly stylized dancing, acting, acrobatics and pitched singing that Westerners might find jarring. Once a dominant form of art and entertainment in China, Chinese opera’s popularity has steadily declined.

“It’s dying because it takes so much effort to learn,” Lei said.

“This art form must grow on you. It’s an acquired taste. But once you acquire it, you really love it.”

Tyler said learning to sing in Chinese has helped him solve one of life’s biggest questions.

“Before, I never knew what I was going to be when I grew up,” he said. “But now I know what I’m going to be … a Chinese music singer.”

新华社的稿子中,将其中介绍京剧的部分省略掉了,大约是因为那部分是给不懂京剧的洋人看的,而如果读者是国人自然不需要了。但,那一部分恰恰是最需要引起国人关注的:“京剧,曾经一度是在中国占主导地位的艺术及娱乐形式,其流行度持续下滑。雷说,京剧之所以在灭亡是因为需要花很大功夫去学它。这种艺术形式一旦吸引了你,你将会非常喜爱它。”

不过,其中另一句足以让国人汗颜的话,还是被新华社的编辑们保留了:“太令人震惊了。这个非洲裔的美国孩子正在学习一门甚至受到大多数中国人冷落或误解的艺术。”

京剧,“受到大多数中国人冷落或误解的艺术”!多么可悲!再读一遍新闻,多么可叹!再读一遍,多么可笑!

一个问题:若真有一天,无数的洋人对传统戏赞不绝口,是不是那些所谓“顺应潮流”“与时俱进”的“新京剧”就会改回去了呢?如此,究竟谁是京剧真正的观众?