"Cai Hua Tian Ma" - Nessun Dorma

This is a video from the 2011 final of the "China's Got Talent" series.

In it, a woman nicknamed "Cai Hua Tian Ma" (菜花甜妈), sings Puccini's Nessun Dorma. 
According to the lore on the Internet, she sells food in a Shanghai market.
One of my Chinese students* kindly informed me today that "Cai Hua Tian Ma",
means "Sweet Cauliflower Auntie"; the nickname was given to her because of her work.
My student also explained the singer's real name is Hongping Cai (蔡洪平).   

Anyway, the story goes that the singer loves Pavarotti's rendition of this song intensely,
but she wasn't able to understand the lyrics.
Her musical solution was to use the phrases from her daily life at work.

A commentator on YouTube
says these are the "lyrics" Hongping Cai usually sings:
Chicken drumstick, chicken wing
Duck drumstick, duck wing
carrot, tomato, green Chinese onion
shepherd's purse, parsley, celery, cabbage, chili
broccoli, cucumber
kidney bean, sword bean, green olive
Hurry come and buy!
Free shallots!

In the version below, which I've edited from the YouTube piece,
 Hongping Cai imitates the original Italian lyrics. 

In case you're interested, here's a link to some more information about "Cai Hua Tian Ma".
(There are lots of copies of this on the Net; I don't know if this is the original.)


I think it's a cool story and that Hongping Cai has an astounding voice.

And by the way, I'm definitely not an opera fan - especially not sopranos.


* My sincere thanks to my student, Qiongying Ma, for helping me.

   Date Time: 26 August 2012 00:36:50