Introduce Cantonese Opera
Cantonese Opera is one of the major styles of Chinese Opera and having more than 300 years of history after spreading to Hong Kong. In addition, it is the representative art form in Hong Kong and South China as it blends with Chinese legend, music and drama that able to mirror the social-cultural and beliefs. In the early colonial years, Cantonese opera was usually performed in bamboo shed theaters. While, with rapid economic development in the 20th century, the golden era of Cantonese era was in the 1970s and 80 as Hong Kong’s economy shifted to become an international financial center. With the enhanced living standard, people looked at pursuing leisure and recreational. Hence more theaters were built in Hong Kong to meet the growing demand for Cantonese Opera.
Cantonese opera emphasizes the fundamental skills: singing, dialogue, acting and acrobatic fighting, which also are the vital basis for cultivating professional performers. Compares to the Western drama, Cantonese opera as shown distinct characteristics, for instance, colorful costumes, diverse settings, unique style of singing and enriched stage props, that highlights the diversity and value of Cantonese opera.
Value of Cantonese Opera
As the Chinese traditional integrated art form, the Cantonese Opera has been one of the core representations of Hong Kong culture and identity as it was officially included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. It also provides a strong cultural bonding between Cantonese speakers in locals or even in other countries as the value of Cantonese opera has been recognized internationally. Therefore, Cantonese Opera is acknowledged by its artistic, historic, educational, economic, iconic and recreational value.
Through the digital gallery, we hope to promote Cantonese Opera to global audiences and help preserve the cultural heritage. Currently, the Heritage Museum only launch a physical exhibition but not the digital one. With the digital gallery, we hope to eliminate the time and geographical constraints to increase citizens’ awareness. In our gallery, we have added plug-in include: exhibition to showcase the fundamental skills of Cantonese Opera, Collection Tree, map for visitors to browse related facilities for watching Cantonese Opera, related useful link for more information as well as contribute an item by visitors. Our mission is to let more people know about this cultural heritage and value behind, thus aid preservation. We have a user-friendly page, for people who have never come into contact with Cantonese Opera, they can also learn and find more from our digital gallery.
- Foreigners who interested in Cantonese opera
- NGOs for intangible cultural heritage protection