Living Culture: Chinese Opera

BODY IMAGE: 香港今旅酒店 Hotel Jen : Living Culture: Chinese Opera

Living Culture: Chinese Opera 
If you’re looking for a way to explore traditional Chinese arts and culture, the Chinese opera is definitely an ideal option. Fret not, you don’t need to understand Cantonese or be familiar with Chinese history and mythology on which these dramas are based to enjoy it. The performances themselves are entertaining enough with the kaleidoscopic costumes, distinctive falsetto singing punctuated by gongs, and intricate gestures rich with symbolism.
 
The magic is in the details 
Movements and facial expressions are the actors’ primary tools for narrating the stories, and it requires years of dedication to master these unique stage traditions. Everything – from the costume and the colours painted on an actor’s face – reveals important details about the story. For example, white indicates a sinister or evil character, while red is brave and loyal, and black is fierce yet impartial.
 
Experience it for yourself 
This fascinating Chinese art form is performed all year-round in Hong Kong in historic buildings like the Yau Ma Tei Theatre (the only surviving pre-World War II theatre in Kowloon District) and the Red Brick Building (built in 1895). Moreover, the upcoming Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District will be dedicated to showcasing Xiqu (Chinese opera) performances and become a thriving centre for its production, education and research when it opens in 2018.