EVENT First Initiative Foundation Cantonese Opera Fund-raising Dinner
WHERE China Tang restaurant, Central


Happenings: First Initiative Foundation (FIF) hosted a gala dinner with some of the brightest Cantonese opera stars from Hong Kong, including Connie Chan, Mandy Mui, Yam Ping-yee and Franco Yuen. The charity's founder, Michelle Ong, handpicked all the details for the soirée, from the dinner menu to the artistic chocolate as a souvenir.

Collaborating with Yan Pak Charitable Foundation, FIF raised funds from the dinner to support the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts' (HKAPA) School of Chinese Opera. FIF also announced its support of the charity performance The Reincarnation of Red Plum at HKAPA's Lyric Theatre which took place on March 27.

Guests, including Canto-pop star Miriam Yeung, supported the charity by purchasing a precious photo book, which features rare images of Cantonese opera stars on set and behind the scenes of The Reincarnation of Red Plum. Only 100 of the autographed books were available. 


OVERHEARD A lot of thought has gone into the night. Even the table centrepiece is inspired by Reincarnation of Red Plum.


CHIC CHAT with Michelle Ong

Can you tell us how your interest in Cantonese opera started?
I saw a production of The Reincarnation of Red Plum and was mesmerised by the beauty and cultural sensibility of Cantonese opera. There’s something compelling about the style, cultural significance and historical connection of an art that’s truly ours.

Why do you think Cantonese opera is a rare craft that we must strive to preserve?
It’s a true heritage art and the best way to preserve it is through education and mentorship. By providing an opportunity for our youth to continue the tradition and art form, we ensure its future.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned running the foundation?
A foundation gains strength and momentum for its initiatives through the support of its members and the community.