Monday July 2, 2012
Singer Yao Lee’s autobiography launched
By YEOH YI SHUEN
Photos by AZMAN GHANI
Fans of Chinese singer Yao Lee can now get to know more about her from her autobiography titled Yao Lee, The Ever Glorious Rose.
The book written by Yang Wei Han, was launched recently.
Yao Lee, 92, flew in from Hong Kong to attend the book launch at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac).
“I am very moved to see this book being published. Initially, there were many offers from others to write an autobiography about me but I rejected them all because I did not think I had done anything special.
“I am just a person who sings. I originally did not want to come to Malaysia but after Wei Han read the book to me, I was so moved that I cried. So I thought, since I can still walk and talk, how could I not come to Malaysia?” said Yao Lee.
The book focuses on her life from birth until her retirement from the music industry.
The book cover is an unassuming white.
“I chose white because I think Yao Lee is a very innocent and pure person, and I think of her more as a white rose than a red one.
“White may not be striking but when you look closely, you might find something that touches your heart, which is why the title of the book is also white and not very visible unless you look closely. This was also done with Yao Lee’s approval,” said Yang.
The idea for the autobiography came about six years ago, when Yang contacted her and sent her a CD of him singing. She was so touched that she started crying. It was then that she started paying attention to him.
Two years later, he went to Hong Kong to propose the idea of getting people to write an autobiography about her.
“I then told him, why don’t you write it instead? I trust you most, and you understand me. I am sure you can do it,” said Yao Lee.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The autobiography is mainly focused on the trials and tribulations she had gone through in her life, and only touches on the time when she was at the peak of her fame, as Yang said that he wrote it for her as an individual and not as a singer, and that she moved him as a person.
The book also contains many photographs of Yao Lee, some popular and other more personal ones given to Yang by Yao Lee herself.
This book is in English and Chinese, tranlated by Liau Siau Suan. There will only be 2,000 copies of this book, and will be shipped globally. This book might also be shipped to universities in China.
Besides writing this book, Yang has also produced a musical about her life entitled Yao Lee, The Legendary Rose Musical.
This musical was staged from June 21 till yesterday at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC). Tickets were priced at RM223, RM183, RM153, RM123 and RM 83.
The musical was sponsored by the Sime Darby Foundation, and the proceeds will go to three organisations, namely Nalanda Buddhist Society, Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Centre and Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Malaysia (FaGu Shan), which share a common philosophy on music, culture, arts, traditions and morals.
Both the production of the musical and the writing of the book was completed by Yang within sixmonths.
There was a special promotion for the book during the staging of the musical.
It was sold at RM80. The original price is RM120.