Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Of Shanghai Beach, Singing, Learning Chinese & Frances Yip's Concert!

Good morning! What a salad of a title for today's post!

It's not quite beauty-related yet it is, depends on how wide and vast your definition of beauty is. :D To me, it is. And this post is also partly about the cause which I support strongly, as a woman and a medical professional - the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

But it's more of my ramblings on one of my favorite TVB dramas of all time, my love for singing (I was in the school choir for as long as I can remember), how I combined both to learn to read Chinese and master Cantonese (dialect) and most important of all, it's about one of my favorite Hong Kong singers, Frances Yip, will be in town soon for a charity concert by Estee Lauder Companies in conjunction with their Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign 2010!

Being of Chinese descent and a Cantonese, ironically, the first language I learned to speak was English and the Hokkien dialect. I spent my early childhood with my maternal grandparents in Penang who taught me to speak English and Hokkien. Then I moved to Kuala Lumpur with my parents. My Dad is a Cantonese and obviously he wanted his children to be able to speak Cantonese. And it so happened at that time (early to mid 80's), the limited number of TV stations in Malaysia started screening some TVB series, of which one of them is the ever popular The Bund (or Shanghai Beach;
Sheung Hoi Tan (上海灘) ). OK, some of you may be 'lost' at this point but that was the era I grew up in where we listened to music from casette (vs. my little girl's generation, OK, may be earlier than that, who listens to music from CDs and MP3 and what else....gosh, I feel like a mammoth now! :P) and watched soaps and movies from the VHS (vs. DVDs nowadays).

Anyways, to cut a long granny story short, my Dad let us (at that time, it was only my younger sis and myself) watch these drama series and that's how we picked up our Cantonese, and singing the theme songs from these dramas taught us to recognize and learn to read the Chinese characters. And the theme song from The Bund, with the same Chinese title as the series,
上海灘, was one of the first few Cantonese songs my sis and I learned to sing. It's opening bars, usually played by an orchestra and piano accompaniment, gave a representation of grandeur of the Republican Era in Shanghai of which the plot of the series and its sequels was based on. The series' theme song and subsequently those of the sequels are sung by Frances Yip (葉麗儀 / 叶丽仪). You can listen to preview (audio only) of The Bund theme song in Frances' website, click on her name. Or you can Youtube it and watch the beautiful Frances Yip in action.

That brings back some wonderful childhood memories of mine of an evening with Frances Yip at her dinner show in the Grand Ballroom of Shangri-la Hotel in Kuala Lumpur when I was about 10 years old. We were invited by my Dad's friend, who bought a few tables at the show, and gave some tickets to my Dad. It was such a great concert and so much interaction from Frances with her audience that to this day, I could still remember walking down the spiral staircase leading to the ballroom, had a sumptuous 8- or 9-course Chinese dinner, but I was so excited to see Frances in person that I didn't remember much about the food. Unfortunately, my sis and I didn't get her autograph or even pictures with her. *pouts

She sang her famous numbers of Cantonese songs including the 3 theme songs from 3 chapters of The Bund and its sequels, but also sang the famous Indonesian song, Widuri, and Tagalog song, Da Hil Sayo (hope I get the spelling right), among the few songs which I could remember.

So when I found out from The Intrepid Beauty that Estee Lauder Group of Companies Malaysia is bringing Frances Yip to Malaysia for A Pink Charity Evening With Frances Yip accompanied by The Orchestra this October, I jumped for joy!!!!


I'll leave the details of the concert for The Intrepid Beauty to share.....

Support A Very Worthy Cause: A Pink Charity Evening With Frances Yip

Every year, the Estee Lauder Group of Companies has campaigned for breast cancer awareness through public talks and raised funds by for e.g., selling limited edition cosmetics sets (I purchased the lip set last year which was selling like hot cakes). I am very supportive of this campaign as it reaches out to women of all ages.

It’s important for women to know how to detect breast cancer symptoms as early detection saves lives. I speak from personal experience as several close family members of mine have been afflicted with breast cancer and lost their lives. And one of Vonvon's aunts was also a breast cancer survivor, who unfortunately succumbed to NPC (nasopharyngeal carcinoma) years later. The breast cancer awareness talks organized by the Estee Lauder Group of Companies have been very educational.

Click on image to enlarge for details

Frances Yip, the very talented Hong Kong singer, is a veteran of the industry and happens to be a breast cancer survivor. She will be performing in a charity concert on 29th October at the Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The funds will be channeled towards cancer research and treatment.

As Frances Yip will be backed by a 32-piece orchestra, this is a concert not to be missed!!

Give yourself an evening of entertainment while supporting a worthy charity at the same time.

Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the following places:

Click on image to enlarge for details


Fieran said...

Hm, as strange as this sounds - I think I sang Shanghai Beach's theme song at a concert in kindergarden. Such vivid memories. I still reemmber bits of the lyrics :)

Vonvon said...

Yep, Fieran, I think this song transcends many cultures..... one of the many songs that withstands the test of time! :)

fieran said...

Indeed! It's quite a nice song though. I was in Kindergarten in 1990 I think .. yeah.. was 6 years old then. LOL

Vonvon said...


Yea, it was around those times, and earlier that the song was the most popular and actually still is, today. :)