It is a great shame young Hongkongers show little interest in Cantonese Opera

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 February, 2012, 12:00am


I read with interest the report on the controversy about keeping the Sunbeam Theatre, a Cantonese Opera venue, open and that they had a reprieve with a last minute deal between the landlord and a new tenant, thereby saving the landmark theatre from destruction ('Deal keeps Sunbeam Theatre open', February 19).

The report went on to say that this is the last Cantonese Opera theatre operating in Hong Kong until the Xiqu centre at the West Kowloon arts district opens in 2016.

My husband and myself attended the wonderful production Searching the Academy which was part of the programme of The Golden Age of Cantonese Opera put on by the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

As permanent residents here, we have always enjoyed Beijing or Cantonese Opera.

We were in a tiny minority of Westerners at the show at the City Hall on the evening of Saturday, February 18.

We noticed the auditorium was completely full as well as the balcony seats but the age group was middle aged and older, although we did see a few school groups of teenagers.

It appears the younger generation do not think Cantonese Opera is fashionable and seem to prefer everything Western.

It is a great shame how the Hong Kong younger public do not support their own cultural heritage as the elaborate costumes and make-up alone are a sight to behold as well as the marvellous singing and music.

I would be proud to take my overseas visitors to such a show as this is an art form that we are truly lucky to be able to witness and share and something we cannot experience in our overseas countries outside of China.

Lynn Susan Seymour, Kennedy Town