A traditional art with young faces

November 24, 2009

Cantonese opera, one of the major categories of Chinese opera, targets tens of millions of people speaking the regional dialect, mostly based in the southern Guangdong and Guangxi provinces, including the cities of Hong Kong and Macau.

The United Nations recently proclaimed Cantonese opera, which involves singing, acting and sometimes martial arts, as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Among all such opera groups in the territory, the Hong Kong Young Talent Cantonese Opera Troupe is made up of the youngest professional artists in town, many of them in their 20s. In this opera, a 16-year-old girl, who has studied Cantonese opera for ten years, is cast in the main role of a man, normally performed by older actors.

With younger faces on stage, the troupe hopes to attract a new generation of audiences to this centuries old art form.


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The UN scheme of recognising global heritages does help preserve minority traditions and regional cultures from extinction. Who cares what native Indians spoke before the West settled, and we don’t save them just becoz they play no opera ? The porblem is like global warming and maybe hundred years down the road, only a few languages are spoken on earth.

Posted by Connors | Report as abusive

Is it ironic to China that majority younger generation in Shanghai cannot speak Shanghai dialect ?

Posted by Chen | Report as abusive