I’ve been trying to learn about Cantonese Opera / 粵劇 ever since I moved to Hong Kong. Of all the artistic endeavors that are unique to South China, none evokes such a strong opinion. Cantonese Opera is often overshadowed by its aristocratic Beijing /京剧 cousin or the “Grande Dame” of Chinese Opera Kunqu 崑曲. Cantonese Opera with its fantastical makeup and acrobatics can seem to some garish and unrefined. Yet what is less controversial about it is its importance to Cantonese Society itself. It is the glue that connects the past to modern life. It does this through festivals, in theatres performances, on late night television and over the crackle of an old speaker during a lonely late-night taxi ride through Wan Chai. The lamentations of the Faa Daan / 花旦 (young female character) and the fierce roar of the Mou Sang / 武生 (warrior) are, I’m told, the heart and soul of Guangdong.
The Ko Shan Theatre and the New Wing Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre remains one of this City’s premier Cantonese Opera performance spaces.
If you’re in Hong Kong why not come along with Hong Kong Sacred Spaces on Saturday 12 May 2018 at 1:45 PM in the afternoon for a FREE English tour of the Ko Shan Theatre and the Centre. You’ll surely learn more about Cantonese Opera and who knows, you might even (heaven forbid) catch the Opera Bug!
There are several buses that stop along both Chatham and Ko Shan Roads running parallel to the Ko Shan Theatre. Please check specific bus schedules for details: 5, 5A, 5P, 11, 14, 26, 28, 93K, 101, 107, 108, 111, 116, A22 and 28MS. We’ll meet at the park directly in front of the theatre.
-Photo from the Ko Shan Website.