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Above Full Moon - The Legendary Life of Master Hong Yi

Source: Page To Stage Studio

After its highly successful premiere last weekend at the Putra Indoor Stadium at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which attracted over 11000 audiences, the well-received full-length Mandarin musical Above Full Moon will perform at the Esplanade Theatre from 19 to 21 Aug, 2004.

Above Full Moon is a broadway-styled Mandarin musical depicting the life of Li Shu Tong, also known as Master Hong Yi. He is a legendary figure in modern history of Chinese arts, culture as well as religion. Before the age of 39, he was a talented young artist known as Li Shu Tong.

Being one of the pioneers who introduced western art into China, he was a founding member of the first drama company in China, and was also responsible for founding the first magazine for music in China. He also penned many songs that are popular even up till today.

After the age of 39, he became known as Master Hong Yi. At the height of his career, he left his worldly achievements and dedicated the rest of his life to Buddhism. This dedication saw him becoming an authoritative figure in Buddhism during his time.

Director cum scriptwriter Ho Lin Huay came across the story of Master Hong Yi by chance. She literally walked into the artistic world of Master Hong Yi, and discovered that the life of this legendary figure was a reflection of the true perfection in life.

Lin Huay was so moved that she decided to pen the script for a musical based on Master Hong Yi – a first in the musical fraternity! She spent a total of three years in this writing process.

Above Full Moon is presented by Malaysia’s Musical On Stage Productions. It is another collaboration between director Ho Lin Huay and composer Imee Ooi, whose last collaboration in 1999 resulted in the critically acclaimed production Siddhartha - The Musical. Siddhartha first premiered in Malaysia in 1999. A year later, it was performed in Singapore to a sell-out audience. The phenomenal success of Siddhartha prompted it to be staged again in 2002 in Malaysia, and subsequently toured three cities in South Africa.

Above Full Moon brings together the original creative team and main cast of Siddhartha. This new production promises an engaging and touching drama, great musical scores, and spectacular stage and set design. Audiences will be treated to an entertaining performance made up of mainly original scores; some of the familiar legacy works of Li Shu Tong will also be featured.

The various original scores are performed in a creative mix of Western symphonic orchestra, Chinese orchestra, and even some new-age music, while the dance movement consists of classical dance, modern dance, Japanese dance, Chinese dance and even martial arts.

The musical traces the life of Master Hong Yi from the age of 19 to 63. The story spans across numerous cities, including Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Tokyo.

The musical will bring to life Master Hong Yi’s experience of the turbulent and unstable social conditions prevalent at that time, his loss of his mother, a touching love story that blossoms in a foreign land, as well as heart wrenching goodbyes.

Above Full Moon brings together some of the most talented singers in Malaysia. The title role of Li Shu Tong / Master Hong Yi is played by Malaysian singer Yang Wei Han, who has earlier performed to critical acclaims the key role of the Buddha in Siddhartha - The Musical. To play the role, Wei Han not only had to shave his head, but also had to go on a special diet to lose weight. He portrays Li Shu Tong in all the different stages of life, which include playing a female role in Camille. 

Despite such challenges, Wei Han remains unfazed as he is determined to adopt the same serious and disciplined approach to life typified by Master Hong Yi in his lifetime. With this in mind, Wei Han strives to give his best efforts in every role, in every play

Female singers Beh Kean Horng and Chew Paul Way played the roles of Mrs Li Shu Tong and his Japanese lover respectively. The two women are totally different in their personalities; one is totally trapped in feudalistic traditions, while the other is a strong willed woman willing to put aside everything in pursuit of love.

The dedication and hard work the two female singers have put into preparing for their roles will be clear from their performance. The duet by the two of them is a scene to look forward to. The scene where Chew, who plays the Japanese lover, goes to the temple to see Master Hong Yi, who in turn refuse to see any of his relatives, is a touching and technically adept scene.

Dates: 19 – 21 Aug 2004, 8 pm; 21 Aug 2004, 2.30 pm

To be performed in Mandarin with English subtitles.

Ticket Price*: $80, $65, $45, $30 (for 8 pm show); $70, $55, $40, $25 (for 2.30 pm show)

10% discount for:

- Purchase of 6 tickets and more (not applicable for $30 and $25 tickets)
- Senior citizens and students

*Exclusive of SISTIC fee $2. Tickets are available at all SISTIC outlets. Ticketing Hotline: 6348-5555 Online Booking: 

For enquiries: 6837-3767 Web site: 

Content Contributor: Page To Stage Studio for Musical On Stage Productions


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10 July 2004