Aspiring Cantonese opera singers are in the spotlight this week as the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA) stages a series of public performances. The performers have been following the APA's part-time certificate programme targeted at 'talented amateurs' ranging from 13 to 50, run jointly with the Cantonese Opera Academy of Hong Kong. Currently, 93 are enrolled. A further 10 students are training for professional careers on its full-time programme. Many of the part-time students are motivated by interest rather than ambition. Primary school teacher Fung Ling-yan, 23, enrolled because of her passion for the genre. Ms Fung said she liked to perform on an occasional basis, but had no desire to give up the classroom - her interest had stemmed from her parents taking her to performances as a child, she said. According to Eliza Wong Leong-wa, 26, interest in Cantonese opera was growing among young people. She said she was taking the course more out of interest than wanting to pursue a career on the stage. 'It combines many things that I'm interested in - Chinese literature, dance and music,' she said. 'When you're on the stage, it's like becoming another person.' The students will give their final performance tomorrow, of Lady General Hua Mulan , Peony Pavilion and Lady Liu at Zhang Tai, at 7.45 pm in the APA drama theatre, which follows Thursday's school matinee and an evening performance yesterday.