By SONG Jie, SUN Tuo
Translated by CHE Xiao
Villain in a Turbulent Time was first created in 2011 for the 2nd Global Alliance of Theater Schools International Theater Festival held in Beijing, which designated one Shakespearean play, Richard III for that year, to be performed by several outstanding theater schools in the world. The Chinese Opera Directing Class of Shanghai Theater Academy adapted Richard III into Peking opera and performed it as their graduation piece in 2012. Professor SONG Jie and his student SUN Tuo wrote the script. It was premiered at Shanghai Theater Academy, and later attended several international theater festivals, with this translation projected as the subtitle. The play was well received by the audience.
In order to turn this Shakespearean historical play into a Chinese story, the adaptors put the characters in the historical era of China’s Five Hu and Sixteen Kingdoms (304-439 A.D.). This era was characterized by power struggle, sibling murder, and incest, quite similar to the period of Wars of the Roses of Richard III. Based upon the real history of the three generations of the Shi family during the later Zhao period (319-351 A.D.) competing with each other for the imperial throne, the adaptors turned Richard III into a real historical figure Shi Zun, one of the emperors of the period. In order to perform the long monologues describing the character’s mind in the Shakespearean play, the adaptors divided Shi Zun into two characters A and B, who wear the same face patterns and costumes. A mainly sings and speaks, and B mainly dances and does acrobatics. In order to make the play more colorful and entertaining, the adaptation also staged those actions of female roles that were merely described in the Shakespearean play, such as Richard III’s murdering of Lady Anne and rape of his niece. It cut repetitive scenes and those characters unrelated with the main plot, such as Elizabeth, Duchess of York, citizens, scrivener, etc. The lyrics and spoken parts were written as similar to the Shakespearean language style as possible, with the rhymes and meters of Chinese opera. The acrobatic fights in the prologue and epilogue parallel with each other in order to compensate for the lack of fighting in spoken drama.
Since this play was written in the rhymes and meters of Chinese operatic language, modeling upon the archaic Shakespearean language, it’s hard for translations to remain in the same poetic style. Also, plain language is better for the audience to understand and digest during performance. So in my translation, I delivered the meaning of each sentence as faithfully as possible, using direct and simple modern English.
SONG Jie is a professor and director at Shanghai Theater Academy, where he founded Chinese Opera Directing as a discipline in 2002. His works were performed in the US in 1981 and 2000 and Japan in 2001, where he gave lectures as well. In the 1970s he wrote scripts of Chinese opera, and since 1990 he directed Peking opera plays, which won several prestigious national awards. He published two books on the directing of Chinese opera and an essay that won the national drama essay award in 2006. In 2004, 2006, and 2009, he was honored as an outstanding teacher by the Shanghai municipal government. Since 2005, he has led his Chinese opera directing classes to adapt foreign plays and traditional Chinese operas into full-length modern Chinese operas, which were also performed as students’ graduation pieces.
SUN Tuo graduated from the affiliated Chinese Opera School of Shanghai Theater Academy in 2008, majoring in Spoken Drama, Film and TV. In 2012, she got her BA degree in Chinese Opera Directing from the College of Chinese Opera of Shanghai Theater Academy. Now she teaches at the Shanghai TV Station Little Screen Stars Art School. When studying at Shanghai Theater Academy, she won student fellowships and an award for her script of Chinese opera, and performed in and directed several spoken dramas and Chinese opera plays.
CHE Xiao, translator, was a postdoctoral fellow of performance studies at Shanghai Theater Academy between 2011-2014. After getting her MA degree in American and English Literature from Beijing University in 2003, she won a prestigious fellowship to study theater arts at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her PhD degree in 2010. Her research and teaching include theater, dance, film, literature, and cultural studies, and she has published and presented papers in leading international and Chinese journals and conferences. She has taught at University of California, Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, and Shanghai Theater Academy. She has written, directed, and acted in plays and films, and has done lots of translation and interpretation for theater and film studies and productions.
Villain in a Turbulent Time
Script Adaptors: SONG Jie, SUN Tuo
Translator: CHE Xiao
Presented by The College of Chinese Opera,
Shanghai Theater Academy
Experimental Peking Opera Musical Villain in a Turbulent Time
Adapted from Shakespeare’s Richard III
Artistic Consultant: Sun Huizhu
指导老师 宋捷 郑稳 李丽来（10级MFA研究生） 滕孝晓（11级MFA研究生）
Instructors: Song Jie, Zheng Wen, Li Lilai (MFA graduate student of 2010), Teng
Xiaoxiao (MFA graduate student of 2011)
Producer: Guo Yu
监制 王立军 钱平安 田蔓莎
Supervisors: Wang Lijun, Qian Ping’an, Tian Mansha
统筹 黄暾炜 赵群 于翔
Coordinators: Huang Tunwei, Zhao Qun, Yu Xiang
Performance Organizer: Shanghai Theater Academy Performing Arts Center
演出运作 马俊峰 滕孝晓
Performance Operation: Ma Junfeng, Teng Xiaoxiao
剧本改编 宋捷 孙庹
Script Adaptors: Song Jie, Sun Tuo
导演（按姓氏笔画排列） 于天虹 马莹 闪烁 孙庹
齐乐 余东泽 房卉 贺敬庄 柳菁 康睿 鞠沛霖
Directors (in order of surname strokes): Yu Tianhong, Ma Ying, Shan Shuo, Sun Tuo, Qi Yue, Yu Dongze, Fang Hui, He Jingzhuang, Liu Jing, Kang Rui, Ju Peilin
作曲 王为 王美敬
Composers: Wang Wei, Wang Meijing
Music Production: Wang Wei
Percussion Design: He Qun
Lighting Design: Ye Jing
Costume Design: Yu Jian
Image Design: Xin Xiaodan
Translator: CHE Xiao
(in order of entrance)
石遵 高 挺 饰演
Shi Zun: by Gao Ting
石遵乙 李名扬 饰演
Shi Zun B: by Li Mingyang
石世 张博恩 饰演
Shi Shi: by Zhang Bo’en
石斌 王飞智 饰演
Shi Bin: by Wang Feizhi
张柴 鞠沛霖 饰演
Zhang Chai: by Ju Peilin
安姬 陆艺君 饰演
An Ji: by Lu Yijun
凶手甲 范旭航 饰演
Murderer A: by Fan Xuhang
凶手乙 肖 遥 饰演
Murderer B: by Xiao Yao
皇后 柳 菁 饰演
Empress: by Liu Jing
柏金汉 冉鹏程 饰演
Bo Jinhan: by Ran Pengcheng
海世勋 董炳义 饰演
Hai Shixun: by Dong Bingyi
凯慈 鲁佳亮 饰演
Kai Ci: by Lu Jialiang
李福斯 戴思绪 饰演
Li Fusi: by Dai Sixu
葛雷 宋金钊 饰演
Ge Lei: by Song Jinzhao
普兰 何 奕 饰演
Pu Lan: by He Yi
Soldiers: by students
Ban’gu (small drum for marking time): played by He Qun
Jinghu (a Chinese instrument with bowed string): played by Wang Meijing
Stage Managers: He Jingzhuang, Ju Peilin
A shining golden crown,
Mottled by the vicissitudes of millions of years;
The iron bone clanks!
The imperial power lifts up heaven.
Who cares about bloody war,
Who talks about brothers’ alienation.
Hero’s victories and defeats are all masterpieces,
Rolling waves cover rise and fall.
Generals and Soldiers: The Jin army is seriously defeated!
Generals: Congratulations, our lord has regained the crown!
Emperor Zheng: Hahahaha …… our Jiezushi family have regained the world.
We all depended on you to eliminate enemies. Second Brother—
Shi Bin: Yes.
Emperor Zheng: I grant you Lord Protector and Grand Prime Minister.
Shi Bin: Thank Your Majesty.
Emperor Zheng: Third Brother—
Shi Zun: Yes
Emperor Zheng: I grant you Lord Protector and Grand General.
Shi Zun: Thank Your Majesty.
Emperor Zheng: My nephew Zhang Chai—
Shi Zun: I report to Your Majesty, Zhang Chai was killed in the war.
Emperor Zheng: What?
Shi Zun: Zhang Chai was killed in the war!
Emperor Zheng: I lost another confidant general to protect my kingdom……
Shi Bin: Your Majesty, please be not sad. It is important for you to ascend the throne early.
Please return to the palace so that the whole kingdom can celebrate Your Majesty’s enthronement ceremony!
Shi Zun: Second Brother, as Lord Protector Prime Minister, you’re under one person but above millions of others.
In the future, please give more instructions to your younger brother.
Shi Bin: As brothers, you and I are in the same mind.
Emperor Zheng: Third Brother, bury General Zhang Chai in glorious state ceremony.
Shi Zun: Receive the decree. Ai …….
(Sing) My good nephew!
第 一 场
Shi Zun: (Sing) I regret that Zhao Kingdom has lost a general—brave and invincible;
I cry for you ……
Shi Zun B: (Sing) You, you, you …… really have great acting skill.
Shi Zun: (Sing) Who is not acting in life?
Only competing, struggling, and PK ……
Shi Zun B: (Sing) PK who has better acting skill!
You took advantage of the chaos of the war to stab Zhang Chai to death—got rid of a reliable assistant of the emperor.
Shi Zun: (Sing) He is the enemy of my great career in the future.
Shi Zun B: (Sing) Ha, ha, ha …… you are afraid of telling the truth even to me?
You even want to take his wife by this.
Shi Zun: (Sing) Ha, ha …… why don’t you take a close look at yourself?
Shi Zun B: (Sing) Your left shoulder is higher than your right shoulder,
You limp, and are distorted,
Born with an ugly appearance and a deformed shape.
Shi Zun: Are you laughing at me?
Shi Zun B: Didn’t I tell the truth?
Not only human being, even when a dog saw us,
Wang Wang! Wang! It barked and yelped louder.
Shi Zun: (Sing) Heaven, my parents! Why did you give me such a disabled shape and useless body?
Born into an imperial family, who are competing with their looks!
In terms of scheme—
Shi Zun B: No one can compete with us;
Shi Zun: (Sing) In terms of exploits of war—
Shi Zun B: We’re number one;
Shi Zun: (Sing) I tried to gain the upper hand—
Shi Zun B: Gaining the upper hand caused envy;
Shi Zun: (Sing) I devoted myself—
Shi Zun B: Still for the sake of others!
Shi Zun: (Sing) I contributed my youth and my love to the imperial family—
Shi Zun B: (Sing) Hi, don’t mention it,
We should blame our mother—
She did not give us a plastic surgery,
Before throwing us into—this human world to breathe,
Flirting for love—who can like this body,
I never enjoyed asking for favor from a bright mirror filled with feelings;
Cannot compare with the grace of Eros,
How can I stride in front of a gentle, elegant, fairy lady?
Since I cannot be bold with passion, or coquette, or shine splendidly,
I can only make up my mind to become a scoundrel.
Shi Zun: (Sing) Heaven—since you made me such an ugly body,
Simply make me an evil heart to match my appearance,
I want to play with the imperial crown,
Shi Zun B: I will go to do it immediately!
Shi Zun: (Sing) No, this good play starts with women first……,
Shi Zun B: (Sing) Women?
Shi Zun: (Sing) Starts with women!
Shi Zun B: (Speak) I will go to get it!
Shi Zun: (Speak) It does not need you.
Shi Zun B: (Speak) Then, then what should I do?
Shi Zun: (Speak) There is another thing more important than this,
Shi Zun B: (Speak) You mean?
Shi Zun: (Speak) Someone is blocking my way. Whoever blocks my way, I must make him die ……
Shi Zun B: (Speak) I still want to do the first thing. How romantic it is to deal with women! But for murder……
Shi Zun: (Speak) Who told you to murder? You pretend to be in dream, to spread rumors, and to blow wind from the hell ……. Look!
Shi Zun B: “Treacherous people dominate the world ……”
Shi Zun: I’m not asking you to speak, but to pretend to be in dream!
Shi Zun B: Being in dream—oh, steal someone’s dream space …… I understand!
Shi Zun: I must make Big Brother Emperor and Second Brother Prime Minister become fatal enemies towards each other,
and make everyone spread the rumor that in the new kingdom, someone whose name includes character “bin” is going to kill the emperor and usurp the crown ……
As long as Big Brother believes it, I will surely make him imprison Second Brother Prime Minister.
(Sing) The emperor is cowardly and suspicious;
He is ill,
I must put the crown on my head,
As long as I play the scheme—
Spread scandal, exhaust extravagant language, slander, flapdoodle, instigate,
cheat, and execute poisonous tricks,
Firmly grasp the opportunity!
Lady An: Husband!
Shi Zun B: I understand. Act One of a wonderful play is going to begin! I’m going ……
第 二 场
Lady An: (Speak) Husband, husband! My husband!
(Sing) Ah …… my husband！
The imperial family becomes skeletons,
The sacred body is like ice and blood drains dry;
The culprit stabbed a sword from his back through his heart,
More poisonous than snakes, spiders, poison, and toads!
I call for my husband millions of times,
I regret that your heroic soul swallows anger and no one wipes out rancor for you.
Shi Zun: Madam, please be not so sad. This person is dead. It is not worthy to ruin your health.
Lady An: Which devil comes to obstruct the loyal love in the human world?
Shi Zun: Oh, Madam, it is important to be kind and benevolent. Please do not use bad words.
To be benevolent we should return kindness for evil and return virtue for grievances.
Lady An: You are talking about benevolence to me?
You do not understand justice, nor consider human feelings!
You killed my husband from his back!
Shi Zun: Oh, Madam. I understand your grievances at the present.
Please do not impose imaginary accusations upon me.
You wronged me.
Lady An: There are dozens of bright eyes who saw your criminal action!
Shi Zun: Oh, your angry eyes make you so lovely.
I can never praise enough your natural beauty.
I will have enough days to express my feelings to you.
Lady An: Go away! (Sing)
You are a ferociously evil creature in the human hell,
injured my husband to death.
You made the human world cry,
You smeared a happy world bleak!
You take a look—
see how the loyal and the kind swallow angry feelings in their eyes.
Murdered and crying grievances, they face the sky with fury eyes,
Seeing you their veins blow again!
With wounds cracking and blood flowing again,
They curse the wolf with an evil soul,
who goes against heaven to blow inverse waves.
With an evil heart and an ugly face, you’re a rogue in times of chaos!
Heaven, use your thunder and lightning to hit criminals,
Earth, split to swallow crimes and return a pure world to me.
Shi Zun: A pure world …… Your pure heart leaves me no place to stay.
I cannot cheat you anymore. I want to plead guilty to you.
Madam, I, I am the murderer.
Lady An: My husband, you really became a lonely soul and a wild ghost at the sword of this devil!
Shi Zun: Madam, the dead is dead. Let him leave peacefully.
He is more happy and at ease in heaven than on earth.
Lady An: You devil, you should go to the deepest hell.
Shi Zun: Madam. Apart from the deepest hell I have a better place to go.
安 姬：哼 你这样的人，还有更好的去处！
Lady An: Humph! A person like you has a better place to go!
Shi Zun: That’s Madam’s boudoir!
Lady An: Shameless rogue!
Shi Zun: Madam. You really do not know, what is the root of heinous crimes in imperial palace?
Lady An: The root is your wolfish heart!
Shi Zun: Wrong! The visible war comes from …… Madam ……
Lady An: I?
Shi Zun: Madam!
(Sing) It was your utmost beauty that caused all the trouble,
Your beauty entangled so much in my dream,
That I was unable to care for the loss of lives in the world,
I only want to acquire a moment of warmth beside your soft breasts.
Lady An: (Sing) If I knew it earlier, I would definitely scratch my face with my own hands.
Shi Zun: (Speak) No, no, no, Madam you get excited at the moment—
a moment of impulse will lead to regrets for millions of years.
Heaven creates beauty, like the sun brings to the world—all colors……
安 姬：（唱） 无非亦是红颜美色只为人间添灾难
Lady An: (Sing) Beauty only adds disasters to the human world.
石 遵：（唱） 这一切都是天性使然。
Shi Zun: (Sing) All these come from human nature.
Shi Zun B: (Speak) Among all men in the world, who does not love beautiful women?
In competing for women never judge according to the principle of right and wrong,
Never according to the principle of right and wrong.
Lady An: (Sing) All men are so ambitious to compete for the world,
Women’s shield is their appearance,
I would rather ruin my appearance,
Than become the laughing stock for the world.
Shi Zun B: (Speak) During Three Kingdoms Cao Cao eliminated Yuan Shao,
They fought a bloody war.
Father and son all fought for a beautiful woman,
Everyone praised Zhen Fu as affectionate,
Heaven entitled her “The Goddess of Luo Water” to be remembered for millions of years.
Shi Zun: (Sing) The good reputation of “The Goddess of Luo Water” has been circulated for millions of years.
Lady An: (Sing) I do not want my beauty to be known for millions of years,
I would rather follow my husband to the lower world.
Shi Zun B: No—No—No! You cannot die!
(Speak) If Madam goes to the lower world,
The world of men collapses.
Shi Zun: (Sing) If Madam is unable to release your anger inside,
Fine, Fine, Fine! Kill me then you can revenge your wrongs
Shi Zun: Please use this dagger to stab into my sincere heart!
Shi Zun B: Release my devoted heart!
Shi Zun: To end my life.
Lady An: (Speak) It is best if you die. I can revenge for my dead husband.
石 遵：（白） 为了你这美人我死也值得！
Shi Zun: (Speak) It is worthy for me to die for a beauty like you!
(Sing) As long as I see your eyes,
I feel happier even dead.
Your charming eyes look like ocean,
Make me cry like a child.
I eye for power,
But cannot forget your beauty,
If you want me to die, I will,
As long as I can kiss Madam’s sweet cheek.
Lady An: (Sing) I …… raise my dagger and sword
I sigh that at crucial moments it is difficult for women to make choices—
difficult, difficult, difficult!
Shi Zun B: Madam, your sword dropped.
Lady An: I do not want to be your executioner.
Shi Zun: Then order me to commit suicide. I will do it myself!
Lady An: I already told you that I did not want to be your executioner.
Shi Zun B: Kill, kill! Right now stab a knife into my heart.
Lady An: I really want to see your heart.
Shi Zun B: My heart hangs on my lips.
Lady An: I am afraid your heart and your words are completely different.
Shi Zun B: Then there is not a single honest person in the world.
安 姬: 好啦，好啦，把你的匕首收起来。
Lady An: Fine, fine, take your dagger away.
Shi Zun: Madam. You’re reluctant to kill me. Pick up that knife, otherwise raise me up.
Shi Zun: That means reconciliation.
石 遵： 我这有一块玉，我将它赠了于你。
Shi Zun: I have a jade here, and I want to present it to you as a gift.
Shi Zun: Madam, if you take this jade away, it is as if you take my heart away.
I also want to ask you a favor.
Lady An: What?
Shi Zun: Please allow me to handle this funeral.
I have committed a serious crime, so I must atone for my crime.
安 姬: 我能看见你这样深悔前非，我心里也十分喜悦。我得走了。
Lady An: I feel very happy to see you repent so deeply. I must go.
Shi Zun: Madam, please bid farewell to me.
Lady An: Since you taught me how to treat you well, you can imagine I already bid you farewell.
Shi Zun: Come, carry the coffin to Fa’men Temple. Wait until I ask an eminent monk to save the soul of General Zhang Chai and bury him in state funeral.
Soldiers: Make a way!
Shi Zun: You …… aren’t you Second Brother?
Shi Bin: Third Brother!
Shi Zun: Second Brother! Why did you put shackles on your body?
Shi Bin: Third Brother! My name harms me.
The Emperor and the Empress had the same dream last night.
In their dream, God appears and leaves a prophecy at their bedside.
Shi Zun: What prophecy?
Shi Bin: “A treacherous person dominates the world. He will usurp the crown and kill his brothers.
His name comprises character wen and character wu.
This prophecy is left as a warning.”
The emperor and the empress immediately woke up and really found this prophecy at their bedside!
石 遵：待我看来！ “有文有武即是名”……
Shi Zun: Let me look! “His name comprises character wen and character wu” ……
Shi Bin: “Character wen and character wu” equalize character “bin”, which is my name.
I think about it numerous times. This prophecy—does it declare me guilty!?
Shi Zun: The emperor and the empress had the same dream?
A prophecy was left at their bedside?
Shi Bin: Yes ……
Shi Zun: Don’t you already understand?
Shi Bin: What do I understand?
Shi Zun: The man is manipulated by the woman.
It is not our Emperor Brother who wants to imprison you.
It is his wife—at the empress’s instigation!
In our Zhao Kingdom, the empress’s relatives start to handle our Shi family of Jie nationality ……
First, it is you; second it is me …… How horrible it is!
Shi Bin: Third Brother. You must devote your allegiance to serve our Zhao Kingdom.
Shi Zun: Second Brother endures the imprisonment temporarily.
I am going to meet our Emperor Brother;
Whatever the issue, as long as you order me,
I will do it even if I must lower myself to that evil empress and her reckless relatives.
That huge insult—
(Sing) I must endure it,
As long as I can exchange freedom for you ……
This feeling of brothers turning into enemies—
Drops like blood on my heart;
I must save you even if I must sacrifice myself,
I will leave you the eminent position of the Prime Minister!
Shi Bin: (Sing) At least we have strong brotherhood with the same mother.
For the country and the people we cherish the same goal;
My good brother ……
Soldiers: Prime Minister. It is time for you to go!
Shi Bin: Your brother goes now …… Hi!
(Sing) I go, go, go!
Shi Zun: (Sing) Go straight forward beyond redemption, not turning your head,
He is such a pure brother without filth,
How can I be worry-free in front of him,
Encountering on a narrow road, only womanly benevolence will lead to giving up—
Shi Zun B: (Sing) The Satan of murderers is employed.
Shi Zun: What is the philosophy of your lives?
Killer A: Feel depressed everyday if keeping the law,
Killer B: Sing happily every night if tyrannous and violent.
Killer A: Enjoy a grand lifestyle if selfish,
Killer B: Famish if upright and fair.
Killer A: Be blind if repair bridges and roads
Killer B: Many sons if murder and arson.
Killer A: I went to the Western Paradise to ask my Buddha,
Killer B: Buddha said:
Killer A and B: I also have no way!
Shi Zun: Good! I like you two very much; go to do it quick; Go, go, hurry.
Shi Zun B: You must do it quick. Your heart especially must be like stone and iron.
Killer A: We do not give empty talk.
Killer B: We do it with hands not words.
Shi Zun: Yes, your eyes must be like stones. Only fools drop foolish tears.
Killer A: Although we do it without words,
Killer B: Our prepaid commission must double.
Shi Zun B: Modern people are all like this.
Shi Zun: One hundred thousand.
Killer A: Not enough for retirement pension.
Shi Zun B: Two hundred thousand.
Killer B: Just enough to buy a restroom.
Shi Zun: Come for gratuity after finishing your work!
Shi Zun B: Humph! Moral degeneration in our time!
Killer A and B: It is like this:
Killer A: I went to the Western Paradise to ask my Buddha.
Killer B: Buddha said:
Killer A and B: Buddha said: I also have no way!
Emperor Zheng: (Sing) I feel so dizzy that I lay on bed. My sickness robs my soul ……
All Officials: Wake up, Your Majesty!
Emperor Zheng: (Sing) Force my eyes open to see my officials;
All Officials: Please treasure Your Majesty’s health!
Emperor Zheng: (Sing) Cannot settle down my mind due to three unfinished issues.
Hai Shixun: The first one?
Emperor Zheng: (Sing) I am sick but my Crown prince has not returned to the capital.
Hai Shixun: Wait until I go to City Lu to welcome the Crown prince back to the capital.
Li Fusi: Wait until I go to City Lu to welcome the Crown prince back to the capital.
Hai Shixun: I will go!
Li Fusi: I will go!
Emperor Zheng: Alas. Empress reads the decree.
Empress: Obey the order. (Read) “Father Emperor is sick. Return soon to the capital.”
Emperor Zheng: Chamberlain. Order the express delivery of the order to City Lu.
Li Fusi: Your Majesty. Can I ask for the second issue?
Emperor Zheng: (Sing) The second issue is that I am afraid there is no harmony among the princes so the kingdom will not remain stable—
Li Fusi: I promise to heaven: although I Li Fusi is the Empress’s relative,
I will certainly discard personal resentment for my loyalty to the country.
Heaven can testify to it.
Ge Lei: I promise to heaven: although I Ge Lei is the Empress’s relative,
I will certainly discard personal resentment for my loyalty to the country.
Heaven can testify to it.
Emperor Zheng: Madam!
(Sing) Please listen to my last words:
If your relatives make mistakes, please do not justify for them,
There should be peace among princes and aristocrats.
Empress: I will not remember old grudges any more.
I am willing to assist the imperial family with all the princes, ministers, and generals in the palace.
We all wish Your Majesty well!
Emperor Zheng: Lord Hai, and General Bo?
Hai Shixun: Your Majesty’s minister Hai Shixun will discard previous grudges.
I swear I’ll be sincere and honest!
Bo Jinhan: If I Bo Jinhan has any friend or relative who hates the Empress or does not support the Empress loyally,
I’m willing to be punished by heaven!
Hai Shixun: Wish the Empress a long life, a long long life!
Bo Jinhan: Wish the Empress a long life, a long long life!
Shi Zun: Lord Protector comes!
Shi Zun: I come to pay my respect to Your Majesty!
Emperor Zheng: Third Brother! You see among the conflicting dukes, ministers, and generals,
war turns into friendship and hatred transforms to love.
Shi Zun: (Sing) Good good good, I am so happy.
Emperor Brother, please listen to my expressing my loyalty:
The most important thing is to eliminate estrangement,
If I offend anyone I will apologize;
Wish we’re all as pure as the new-born baby,
Lord Protector will forever treat others with humility.
(Speak) Emperor Brother, please forgive my frankness.
I have been worrying about Your Majesty’s illness.
The throne inheritance concerns the prolongation of our Zhao Kingdom……
Emperor Zheng: (Speak) We have considered the same thing.
I would like to erect the throne candidate,
but I’m afraid he is unable to take the responsibility at the moment!
Shi Zun: (Speak) Big brother, please settle down your mind.
The candidate you’ve selected is certainly outstanding.
He is certainly able to bear this great task!
Emperor Zheng: (Speak) Chancellor. You record it. I would like to erect ……
Emperor Zheng: (Speak) Prince Zhao as emperor! He will inherit my kingdom!
Emperor Zheng: I’ve already delivered the order.
The Crown prince will soon return to the capital from City Lu.
Empress: (Sing) Wish heaven will fill up the cracks in the human world.
Please pardon Second Brother and bestow extrajudicial grace upon him.
Emperor Zheng: Yes. The prince’s enthronement all depends on the assistance of Second Brother and Third Brother.
Second Brother is an important minister to support the orphan.
Soon deliver my order to pardon Second Brother!
Shi Zun: Ah? Don’t Your Majesty and officials already know that my Second Brother ……
He is already dead in prison?
正 帝: 你……你说什么？
Emperor Zheng: What … what did you say?
Shi Zun: Just now I went to visit my Second Brother.
The prison official reported: the Emperor has issued the order to grant death to my Second Brother ……
Emperor Zheng: Ah!
(Sing) The news sounds like thunder booming,
When did I give him death penalty?
I immediately feel dizzy and my blood rushes up ……
All (Together): Your Majesty, our Emperor ……
Shi Zun: Ai!
(Sing) I’m so sad …… my wronged Second Brother,
Cry for my Emperor Brother!
Shi Zun B: (Speak) Admire admire! All Best Actors of the Year are yours!
(Sing) First you murdered Second Brother—you did it well,
Later you fooled Big Brother—you did it gloriously,
Every trick of yours is fatal,
Shi Zun: (Sing) Lacking one trick, our road looks uncertain ……
In public he called the Crown prince back to inherit the throne,
Shi Zun B: (Sing) Ah …… tricks are used up …… basket carrying water ……
Shi Zun: (Sing) — have been busy for nothing!
Shi Zun B: How can you be like a hero who can accomplish great cause?
The Emperor Brother is already dead. Who has the greatest power?
See here comes a person who fits the world!
Bo Jinhan: (Sing) Cry hides turmoil,
Kai Ci: (Sing) At crucial moments don’t be too sad;
Shi Zun: (Sing) Wondering whether they are enemies or friends?
Two Together: (Sing) To fit the world we rely upon a big tree to enjoy a good shade.
Shi Zun B: (Sing) To accomplish great cause needs supporters.
A good man needs the help of others.
Shi Zun: (Speak) I thank your attention to me.
My Emperor Brother has reconciled all court officials before he died.
But I most want to know Chancellor Hai Shixun’s feeling at the moment.
Bo Jinhan: Of course. Chancellor, is very important.
Kai Ci: I’ll immediately go to Lord Hai to find the truth.
Bo Jinhan: What truth?
Kai Ci: I understand it very well.
Bo Jinhan: Your honor. Now the most important thing is to alienate the Empress’s arrogant relatives and friends from the Crown prince!
Shi Zun: The Crown prince? What a pity that this Crown prince is not the descendent of my big brother!
Bo Jinhan: Ah? How did you reach this conclusion?
Shi Zun: Lord Bo you should remember, our Empress gave birth to this “Crown prince” within 8 months.
Bo Jinhan: So the Crown prince was the Empress’s bastard!
Shi Zun: My big brother damaged the self-respect of the imperial Zhao family, ashamed …
Bo Jinhan: Who fails to make a necessary decision will be bothered by it.
The best strategy is to rush to City Lu, to kill that bastard “Crown prince”.
Then announce the truth to the world.
Shi Zun: My consultative official! My altar prophet!
My good brother, after I accomplish the great cause,
You will become Chancellor and General Protector, with northern Yan as your territory.
Bo Jinhan: Thank Your Highness for your reward!
Kai Ci: Lord Protector! Report to Lord Protector,
Chancellor Hai Shixun will assemble officials tomorrow to discuss crowning the prince.
Shi Zun: Ah? He even didn’t discuss with me? So anxious to crown him?
This is another conspiracy with the Empress.
Lord Bo should not delay, hurry to City Lu to stop and exterminate the Crown prince.
Bo Jinhan: I will set out immediately on an express horse.
Shi Zun: General Kaici, assemble all army of the kingdom to surround the capital,
In court tomorrow you follow my order to take action, come over here to listen!
Hai Shixun: In a country without a monarch people cannot settle down.
Li Fusi & Ge Lei: Erect the new monarch according to the will.
Hai Shixun: The purpose for convening you Lords is to decide an auspicious day to enthrone the Crown prince.
Kai Ci: Is everything ready for the crowning ceremony?
Li Fusi & Ge Lei: Everything is ready; we’re just waiting for the date.
Hai Shixun: A country cannot be without monarch even for a day. Tomorrow is the auspicious day.
Kai Ci: Wondering what opinion the Lord Protector has?
Hai Shixun: Yesterday I ordered you to invite Lord Protector to the meeting. Why didn’t I see him come?
Ge Lei: Look, Lord Bo Jinhan comes!
Hai Shixun: You’re late. Where have you been?
Bo Jinhan: I went to welcome the Crown prince.
Hai Shixun: Where is the Crown prince now?
Bo Jinhan: I’ve sent him to death!
All Officials: Ah? You dare to rebel?
Shi Zun: Bo Jinhan did a good thing!
This Crown prince is not the lineage of our Shi family,
how can we pass our Zhao Kingdom to another family?
Kai Ci: Lord Protector! Report to the Lord Protector,
I dug out a wooden puppet from the backyard garden of Mr. Hai,
There are seven needles stuck into its seven apertures.
Lord Protector please take a look!
Shi Zun: Let me look.
Shi Zun: Lord Hai. You wrote my name and date of birth on the wooden puppet.
What did you want by nailing needles into its seven apertures?
Hai Shixun: I absolutely did not do that.
Bo Jinhan: This is a sorcerer’s trick of magic nightmare.
Obviously it intends to harm the life of the Lord Protector.
Hai Shixun: The prince is going to be crowned. You murdered the prince and scheme rebellion!
Bo Jinhan: What you intended to crown is a bastard!
An insult to the imperial lineage of the Grand Zhao Kingdom!
Shi Zun: Lord Hai, my Emperor Brother married the pregnant Empress into the palace and granted her the Queen.
She gave birth to a son within 8 months. You shouldn’t forget this, should you?
Hai Shixun: Although the Empress came into the palace with pregnancy.
The son she conceived is the descendant of the late emperor.
Li Fusi: The Empress is the legitimate empress!
Ge Lei: The Crown prince is the legitimate prince!
Hai Shixun: You murdered the Crown prince. What do you intend to do?
Shi Zun: You three important officials, are you cliquing to rebel?
I Shi Zun have not been murdered by you yet.
The imperial family of Zhao lineage has not died out! Assemble the army!
Hai Shixun: (Sing) The loyal, the good, and the innocent are knifed.
Bloody war comes;
In a tragic and evil time,
Heroes are not afraid of guillotine!
Bo Jinhan: I, Bo Jinhan, respectfully ask the real dragon to ascend the throne.
Kai Ci: I, Kai Ci, respectfully ask the real dragon to ascend the throne.
All together: We all pay our respect! Your Majesty! Your Majesty, Your Majesty!
Empress: A wolf usurps the throne!
(Sing) Curse Shi Zun’s wolfish nature,
Murdering my imperial son is like cutting out my heart with a knife!
The late emperor is dead but his body is not cold yet,
You, you …… you killed the Crown prince, murdered the royal,
and harmed the loyal and the good.
Your series of crimes are not tolerated by heaven!
Shi Zun: (Speak) The first thing not tolerated by heaven:
you married my Emperor Brother pregnant with a bastard child.
Empress: (Sing) Your brother had violated me before the marriage.
Shi Zun: (Speak) This fetus was not my brother’s seed!
Empress: (Sing) You insulted me with dirty words and spoiled my reputation!
As an empress falling into abyss again, I can only sigh for women’s fate!
Shi Zun: (Speak) I already rule the country with my authentic lineage.
You can listen to subjects’ loyalty.
All Together: Your Majesty! Your Majesty, Your Majesty!
Empress: (Sing) Heaven … why do you only sleep, and allow him to carry out atrocity!
In this world who is willing to listen to me telling my suffering?
Shi Zun: (Speak) “Victors become princes but losers are thieves.”
This conclusion is passed down to today from ancient times.
Think about how to protect your royal family, honored ……
also protect your beautiful daughter.
Empress: (Sing) Cannot understand what implication it is?
My daughter Princess Pulan is your niece,
Unmarried, clean like jade and pure like ice,
I only beg you to have mercy on her young life!
Even if you ask me to die early.
Shi Zun: How could I! To be honest, I love your beauty ……I also want to protect your chastity.
So I will marry your daughter, my niece Princess Pulan, as my wife.
I will grant her the Queen of the grand Zhao!
Empress: You …… you beast!
第 五 场
Princess: (Speak) Father perished, and brother died. A war is going on.
Sad, sad ……
Who pities a young girl’s youth.
Shi Zun: (Speak) Limped, humpbacked, a ghost in women’s eyes,
Eros’s bless gives double strength.
Princess: Your Majesty.
Shi Zun: Don’t address me like this.
Princess: Uncle King.
Shi Zun: Don’t call me Uncle King even more.
Princess: You’re my Uncle King!
Shi Zun: What? Didn’t your mother tell you after she returned from the royal court?
Princess: After my mother came back from the court, she embraced me and cried.
Shi Zun: What did she cry for?
Princess: Cried for my Father King, and for my brother ……
Shi Zun: Didn’t she care about your marriage?
Princess: My marriage? Hey, my father and brother just died. How can I talk about my marriage?
Shi Zun: There is such a saying: the dead already passed out, youth is hard to stay.
Princess: Youth is hard to stay …… Uncle King, are you referring to your niece me?
Shi Zun: Yes, Pulan. If I remember correctly, you’re 17 this year.
Princes: Alas. What a pity to be born into a royal family.
I can only resign myself to the loneliness of the deserted palace.
Shi Zun: Emperor most cherish bloom. How can I let Pulan send out fragrance only for herself.
Princess: Uncle King, what do you mean?
Shi Zun: Pulan. Pulan at 17 blooms and sends out enchanting fragrance.
You are exactly like your mother at that age, better than your mother at that age.
Heaven created such beauty. Shouldn’t you be the Queen?
Princess: Uncle King’s words, your niece cannot completely understand ……
Shi Zun: Fine, fine, I just came to the inner palace and haven’t seen your boudoir yet.
Don’t you invite me to patronize it?
Princess: My mother told me that men were not allowed to enter Pulan’s boudoir.
Shi Zun: Ha Ha …… I am the supreme ruler. Can’t my order overrule your mother’s order?
Princess: Then Uncle King …… Your Majesty please ……
Empress: (Sing) I heard the report that the beast had rushed into the inner palace—
Empress: (Sing) Scared and panic
Heaven is cruel and sends out disaster,
Ask the Queen to save Pulan you’re a good aunt!
Lady An: (Sing) Cannot delay but hurry to the inner palace!
Shi Zun: (Sing) A flourishing flower is especially fragrant.
Empress: Why did you, you, you come to my inner palace?
Shi Zun: Sister-in-law did not follow your King’s order, so I had to come to woo by myself.
Empress: You! …… Why did you go to my daughter’s boudoir?
Shi Zun: Pulan’s boudoir is graceful!
Lady An: Beast!
(Sing) Human scum is shameless,
Lust rages and causes chaos in human relations;
Recollect how you trapped with your sweet talk at first,
Falling into your snare I was awakened by nightmare every night;
A humpbacked toad and a lame viper,
More hideous after ascending the throne!
Shi Zun: (Sing) Heaven gave me an abnormal appearance,
My mind is hard to calm down when I look at others;
Want to revenge this world,
Do all the evil things without scowl like iron clanks!
Lady An: (Sing) You got your task in hell,
You sold soul especially for the devil;
Earth is going to split up,
Hell spouts out flames;
Humans and gods wail together,
All are angry and hang your soul!
No longer bear this evil golden hoop for the Queen!
Shi Zun: Grant Princess Pulan as the Queen of the Great Kingdom of Zhao!
Empress: Pledge your life to resist the order!
Pulan: Mother, I already belong to him ……
第 六 场
General Bo asks to see the Emperor!
Bo Jinhan: (Sing) At that time when we schemed the crown for him,
He promised me the positions of Chancellor and General Protector with my territory in the north.
Half a year has passed without fulfilling his promises,
Not conferring his favor when should, he took advantage of people too severely.
Bo Jinhan: Long live the Emperor! I heard about this news, my lord.
Shi Zun: Why did you enter the palace at midnight?
Bo Jinhan: Shi Min revolted, and his army comes fiercely.
Shi Zun: What arrangement have you made? Where is your responsibility?
Bo Jinhan: Your Majesty, I think Your Majesty has forgotten an important issue.
Shi Zun: You are coercing Your Majesty.
Bo Jinhan: Yes, I am asking you.
Your Majesty made a promise before, once you ascended the throne,
You would grant me Chancellor and General Protector, together with my territory in Northern Yan.
The key is here: the title of Lord Hairuiford and those properties you’ve promised should all belong to me.
Shi Zun: The territory in Northern Yan …… Isn’t that the place where Shi Min revolted?
You’ve committed a crime.
Bo Jinhan: Your Majesty has not granted me the territory of Northern Yan. I’m innocent.
What would Your Majesty say to my proper request?
Shi Zun: This Shi Min. I remember when I conquered the world for Kingdom Zhao,
Shi Min was only a naughty child. Maybe—
Bo Jinhan: Your reputation and credit should be protected.
Shi Zun: Why didn’t I kill him at that time?
Bo Jinhan: Your Majesty, the titles you promised to me—
Shi Zun: I need you to take a look at the situation of Northern Yan.
Bo Jinhan: Your Majesty.
石 遵： 唉，什么时间了？
Shi Zun: Ai. What time is it?
Bo Jinhan: I dare to ask Your Majesty to recollect your promise to me at that time.
Shi Zun: Well. What time is it?
Bo Jinhan: Three-shift.
Shi Zun: Fine, let it beat.
Bo Jinhan: Why do you let it beat?
Shi Zun: Because at one hand you’re begging, at another hand I need to meditate.
But you beat nonstop like the watchman’s rattle, drum, and gong.
Today I’m not in the mood of granting a reward.
Bo Jinhan: Then I ask Your Majesty to make another promise.
Shi Zun: You really bother too much. Now my mood is not right.
Bo Jinhan: Ah?!
(Sing) When using me you promised me reward,
Once ascending the throne you kicked me aside;
Where will I end by supporting such a monarch?
Worse than revenging on the battlefield spear to spear.
Soldier: General Shi Min raises an army to crusade against Shi Zun!
Soldier: General Shi Min fights for justice!
Kai Ci: The Emperor of Grand Zhao himself sets out to crusade against Rebel Shi Min!
第 七 场
Shi Zun: (Speak) Lit the light, lit the light.
(Sing) At midnight I was awakened by a nightmare,
Pairs of skinny fingers pinched my neck.
The journey to the throne is laid with thorns,
I’m a fearless big hero.
Lady An: (Speak) Husband, husband.
Shi Zun: (Speak) You … you … you
Lady An: (Sing) At first you killed my husband,
Then you cheated me to become your wife;
Never had a moment of peaceful sleep beside you,
Usurping the throne you killed me my blood still dropping ……
Now make you turn over and over again,
On battlefield knock down your dull knife with your soul having no place to go!
Shi Zun: No. It is Bo Jinhan’s idea to kill you.
Bo Jinhan: My idea?
Bo Jinhan: (Speak) You black-hearted tyrant!
(Sing) I supported you to be crowned;
You executed despotic power to me.
In nightmare make your gall split and your heart break,
On battlefield make you despair and faint!
Lady An: The journey to the lower world is lonely. Husband you come quick to accompany me!
Zhang Chai: (Speak) Do you still remember me?
(Sing) The heart-piercing sword from my back took my life.
My body still warm you married my wife.
The journey to the lower world is lonely.
You also come to experience the cold and desolation in the underworld!
Three Spirits: (Speak) The journey to the lower world is lonely.
Drag you Shi Zun to accompany us!
Shi Zun: (Speak) No…no…no……
(Sing) Wild ghosts drag me to accompany them,
Cry lonely on the way to the lower world.
(Continue singing) Suddenly opening my eyes,
Blue glimmer sparkles, and lifeless midnight is cold,
See sweat hanging on my flesh and shaking,
What a scary nightmare!
Am I afraid as well?
Conscience deeply troubles me;
Conscience disturbs me until my heart frets,
Millions of tongues stretch out to spit out angry words;
Accused me of the crime of perjury, a crime unforgivable;
The crime of murder, bloody;
The crime of incest, bullying the world,
All kinds of crimes, big and small, all crowded to the courtroom,
Shouting together “Guilty! Guilty!” Crimes are heinous!
I hate myself …… I love myself ……
An ugly form and a deformed shape have accompanied me half my life,
How am I worthy of hatred and worthy of love!
Why should I make my conscience a coward disturbed and frightened,
I got this supreme crown by myself,
I stand highly upon the Great Zhao Kingdom, with power in hand—
A flying arrow has no way to return,
I can only rush forward with courage,
Don’t mention that a repented man is a fool,
Who pities me for my deformity?
Desperate I determine victory or defeat.
Through the ages success or failure is all empty talk;
As long as give me a horse on the battlefield,
I still will revenge earth and revenge heaven!
Shi Zun: Speak!
Guard: General Shi Min led the army into the palace. The city is under siege!
Shi Zun: Bring me the horse! Suppress rebellion!
Shi Zun: A horse! A horse! My throne exchanges a horse!
Chorus: A horse! A horse! My throne exchanges a horse!
Chorus: A shining golden crown,
Knives and Swords are like a dream;
Iron bone clanks for nothing,
The right way is full of vicissitudes;
Do not want those bloody wars,
Do not want those evils and furies;
Beauty, ugliness, good, and evil are judged by heaven,
Rolling waves cover rise and fall.