A Night at the Cantonese Opera
The Hungry Ghost Festival falls on this Friday, but it’s not just spirits who will be walking the streets. This month will see Cantonese opera performances all over the city. Backstage photos by Kirk Kenny
Cantonese opera holds close to its traditions: This centuries-old art form encompasses singing, dancing, acting, drama, poetry, martial arts and acrobatics into a thrilling whole. It’s said to have originated from Foshan, in Guangdong province, before coming to Hong Kong.
But while many operas in China were modified to fit with the political doctrines of the Cultural Revolution—or banned outright—British-controlled Hong Kong allowed classic Cantonese opera to thrive. While attendance may be down, a select group is keeping this slice of heritage alive—and even evolving it for our modern age.
The Opera Veteran
Sun Kim-long is a veteran who regularly performs on stages all over Hong Kong.
Man Wah is a playwright and the founder and director of Tin Ma Music and Opera Association, Ltd.
The New Blood
Yuen Tak-man joined the Bright Sing Cantonese Opera Troupe two years ago as a full-time performer.
Stella Ma is the director of Cha Duk Chang Children’s Cantonese Opera Association.
Behind the Scenes
The secret bits: Take a backstage tour of the opera.
Cantonese Opera Shows to See
Places to go, things to see…