Cantonese opera is one of the crown jewels of Hong Kong’s local culture. It is also the city’s first performing art to be granted a place on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). To promote this unique art form, the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong has launched a programme called “Experience Cantopera – A Taste of Hong Kong’s Intangible Cultural Heritage”, which is co-organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC), and supported by the Tourism Commission.
Performing the launch ceremony of this new programme at the Yau Ma Tei Theatre tonight (9 October) were Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong Ms Liza Wang, Commissioner for Tourism Mr Philip Yung, HKTB Executive Director Mr Anthony Lau and TIC Chairman Mr Michael Wu.
The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong has taken on the important responsibility of promoting Cantonese opera and nurturing young talent through stage performances. Conceived by the association’s Artistic Director, Mr Law Kar-ying, “Experience Cantopera – A Taste of Hong Kong’s Intangible Cultural Heritage” is tailor-made for foreign visitors and those who are new to Cantonese opera, providing them with an opportunity to learn about and appreciate this traditional Chinese art form while at the same time fuelling the development of local arts and culture.
Through videos and live performances of excerpts from selected repertoires, supplemented by Chinese and English surtitles, the new programme briefly introduces the development of Cantonese opera, and the elements of a performance, including music, vocal style, and even the poetic and symbolic meanings of the performers’ movements and gestures. At the end of the shows, the audience will be invited to meet the performing artists.
As co-organiser of the programme, the HKTB hopes that visitors can gain greater insights into Hong Kong’s distinctive living culture, as they learn about and experience Cantonese opera, one of the city’s best-kept cultural traditions, appreciate the architecture of the venue Yau Ma Tei Theatre, which is a Grade II historic building that underwent revitalisation, and explore other attractions in the district.
Source = HKTB