SkyscraperCity banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Cantonese opera seeks a permanent home
9 May 2006
South China Morning Post

The Cantonese opera community wants a permanent theatre home to be built at North Point as it believes there is no hope of securing a venue at the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Leading Cantonese opera actress Lisa Wang Ming-chuen yesterday called for public support for the proposal, saying the traditional form of performing art would be left without a venue in three years.

Wang, a former head of the Chinese Artists Association, has complained that Cantonese opera is being "shut out" by advisory groups looking at possibilities for the cultural hub.

She hopes a 1,000-seat theatre can be built on the North Point Estate site, which is lying vacant.

"We have no representative on the [West Kowloon] committees. We're helpless," she told the Commercial Radio programme Tipping Point. "The government has made it clear that we're daydreaming if we still want to have our representatives there." The advisory group for tourism and performing arts facilities for the West Kowloon project will meet Cantonese opera groups today to discuss concerns over funding and facilities for training and performances.

The 18-member advisory group is part of the 67-strong consultative committee headed by Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan to rethink the arts hub's development.

There is only one Cantonese opera representative on the advisory group, Stephen Chow Chun-kay, the chairman of the government's Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee.

Wang has complained that Mr Chow is a Cantonese opera lover but not a practitioner.

Most Cantonese opera performances in Hong Kong are staged at the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point. The theatre was to have closed last August, as the landlord wanted to raise the rent, but after intense negotiations it will remain open until 2009, with the same monthly rent of $208,000.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
LCQ20: Performance venues for Cantonese opera
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Choy So-yuk and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur Li, on behalf of the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, in the Legislative Council today (May 24):

Question:

It has been reported that so far the property owner of the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point has only agreed to extend its tenancy agreement to August 2009. The Cantonese opera sector will then face the problem of lacking a permanent performance venue. Regarding assistance to facilitate the development of Cantonese opera, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of its specific plan to help the Cantonese opera sector solve the problem of lacking a permanent performance venue; and

(b) whether it will adopt the recommendation of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, which represents the Cantonese opera sector, to build, on the cleared site of the former North Point Estate, a standard theatre for use as a permanent performance venue for Cantonese opera; if it will, of the details; and if not, how to ensure the passing on and development of the local Cantonese opera?


Reply:

Madam President,

At present, Cantonese opera performances take place at various venues in Hong Kong. Every year, there are on average 300 opera performances at the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point. These include different forms of operatic performances and singing. Cantonese opera performances account for a majority of these bookings. Apart from the Sunbeam Theatre, Cantonese opera performances are regularly staged in performing arts venues managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). They may take the form of bookings by the professional companies or presentations by LCSD. There were 364 such presentations in 2002-03, 373 in 2003-04 and 385 in 2004-05. From time to time, other non-government venues such as the facilities of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts are hired for Cantonese opera performances.

The Government attaches importance to the development of Cantonese opera as a traditional performing art form in Hong Kong and is fully aware of the concerns of the Cantonese opera sector over the shortage of suitable performance venues, particularly when the Sunbeam Theatre is no longer available.

Regarding part (a) of the question, we have been working closely with the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, set up in May 2004 and the Cantonese opera sector, on how best to address the sector's need for performance venues. Short- to medium-term measures in the pipeline include special booking arrangements at various LCSD venues to suit the needs of Cantonese opera performances and improvements to the Ko Shan Theatre where Cantonese opera performances have the highest booking rate amongst other LCSD performing venues so as to make it a performance venue more suited to the requirements of Cantonese opera.

The special booking arrangements tailored to the needs of Cantonese opera performances comprise the following measures -

* Priority booking of Ko Shan Theatre - Booking for full-script Cantonese opera performances is accorded high priority in Ko Shan Theatre throughout the year. Applications can be made as early as from 12 to eight months in advance ahead of booking by other performances which are only accepted seven months in advance;

* Reservation of the auditoriums at Sha Tin Town Hall, Tsuen Wan Town Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre, Tuen Mun Town Hall and Yuen Long Theatre for Cantonese opera performances for the first 15 days of Lunar New Year;

* Reservation of Ko Shan Theatre for Cantonese opera performances for the first 14 days of Lunar New Year;

* Reservation of the concert halls of Hong Kong Cultural Centre and City Hall for full-script Cantonese opera performances for Lunar New Year eve and the first five days of Lunar New Year;

* For all Lunar New Year bookings, they can be made by the Cantonese opera sector as early as 24 months in advance;

* Full-script Cantonese opera performances are given priority in booking for the month of September at Sha Tin Town Hall, Tsuen Wan Town Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre, Tuen Mun Town Hall and Yuen Long Theatre 12 months in advance. This is earlier than the normal seven months' advance booking arrangement for other users;

* Long-running performances have priority in booking LCSD venues. The Cantonese opera performances should be able to benefit from this arrangement;

Improvements to Ko Shan Theatre aim at making this venue more suited to the operational requirements of Cantonese opera performances. Works include -

* Lighting improvement for access road to the Theatre (already completed);

* Dressing room facilities improvement (already completed);

* Sound system improvement (already completed);

* Additional cubicles for female toilets (in progress, expected completion before end 2006);

* Providing a covered loading and unloading bay for props (in progress, expected completion in 2007);

* Providing a covered walkway to facilitate pedestrian access (in progress, under consultation with the Kowloon City District Council);

We are consulting various parties concerned on a plan to construct an Annex Building to Ko Shan Theatre which will provide a 600-seat auditorium and multi-purpose rooms suitable for Cantonese opera training and performance. This plan is however subject to resource allocation according to established procedures.

Regarding part (b) of the question, according to the existing Outline Zoning Plan for the North Point Estate, it is zoned Residential (Group A). According to the notes of the Plan, a performance venue may require a submission to the Town Planning Board. At this stage, we have no intention to make a submission to the Town Planning Board as the subject site is under land use review.

To address the sector's concern for a centrally located performance venue after the expiry of the lease for the Sunbeam Theatre, we are actively studying how to introduce an even more flexible booking policy at selected centrally located LCSD venues. We shall consult the Cantonese opera sector, in particular, the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, in due course.

As for the longer term development, we would look to the sector to give us their views by making full use of the West Kowloon Cultural District consultative machinery, namely the Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Performing Arts and Tourism Advisory Group (PATAG), and the focus group meetings for the Cantonese opera sector organised by PATAG.

We wish to add that the preservation and development of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong is not just a matter of performance venues. In consultation with the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, we are undertaking other measures to achieve this objective, namely-

* Setting up of the Cantonese Opera Development Fund. The Fund has supported a first batch of 18 projects to support Cantonese opera training, promotion and performance as well publication of materials related to the sector;

* LCSD's regular presentation of Cantonese opera performance programmes, and organisation of seminars and workshops;

* LCSD's organisation of the District Cantonese Opera Parade;

* LCSD's invitation of amateur Cantonese opera companies to participate in audience building schemes, such as the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme, the Programme Partnership Scheme and the School Culture Day;

*Earmarking the last Sunday of November as Cantonese Opera Day in conjunction with Guangdong and Macau to promote the art form through large scale performances in the three places;

*Supporting small Cantonese opera companies through the one-year grantee scheme and various project grants of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council; and

*Diploma programmes offered by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to provide systematic training in an academy context to complement the traditional form of apprentice training.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hong Kong director brings Cantonese opera to Paris
10 September 2008
Agence France Presse

Cantonese opera is set to debut at the all-night "Nuit Blanche" cultural event in Paris next month, the opera's producer said Wednesday.

The as yet unnamed production, the brainchild of Hong Kong action film director Johnnie To, will be performed on a bamboo stage recently erected outside the historic Comedie-Francaise Theatre in the French capital.

"To was invited by organisers of the annual extravaganza in July to do something along the theme of Hong Kong action," Shan Ding, producer of the opera, told AFP.

"We thought the Western world only knows about kung fu legends Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. They do not know that the inspirations behind flying daggers and their other stunts all came from Cantonese opera," he said.

"We decided to put on an opera to introduce to foreigners the heritage of our action films."

Ding said they had the giant bamboo stage built in Hong Kong for added authenticity before it was shipped to Paris. A 32-strong cast from a Hong Kong theatrical group will perform at the opera.

Since its inception in 2002, "Nuit Blanche" has attracted over a million art fans each year who stroll around six of Paris's districts to admire artworks specially installed for the occasion.

The event, an attempt by mayor Bertrand Delanoe to liven up the city's image, has caught on in other cities around the world from Rome to Toronto.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Theatre's closing a good time to give art form a facelift, say Cantonese opera performers
18 September 2008
South China Morning Post

The key players involved in Cantonese opera are planning to use the "difficult" time without a major regular venue to reform the art form and cultivate a new audience base.

The Sunbeam Theatre in North Point where most large-scale Cantonese opera productions are held is closing early next year and performers will not have a regular place to perform until the West Kowloon Cultural District opens.

But the lack of business sense by those who sponsor Cantonese opera could pose a much greater obstacle to the growth of the local art form than the lack of venues in which to perform.

Veteran performer Leung Hon-wai, a member of the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, called the period between the closure of the Sunbeam Theatre in January and the opening of the new facilities in the West Kowloon Cultural hub an "empty period".

"It is going to be difficult during this particular time," Leung said.

He said the government knew about the closure of the Sunbeam Theatre a few years ago and new ideas to support Cantonese opera had been agreed on, including allowing a Cantonese opera group, Spring-Time Chinese Opera, to partner Tuen Mun Town Hall under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's venue partnership scheme. The partnership scheme matches performing arts groups and venues to help develop the city's art scene.

There have also been proposals to renovate Yau Ma Tei Theatre and build new performing arts venues where Cantonese opera performances will be a priority.

"But what is lacking now is a new and professional management that knows how to manage a group in a more disciplined way and present this traditional art form to a newer audience," Leung said.

Affluent sponsors preferred to support familiar productions and faces, and did not tend to question the quality of a production, even if it failed, he said.

"Many [sponsors] put in the money, but because the return or box office success isn't their prime concern, no one really questions the quality of a production," Leung said.

"This amount of money could be the cost of just one dinner for these rich people, but it can be a budget for a production. This is really a waste of money and resources." It has to be changed by professional management."

Veteran performer Christina Wan Fai-yin, also a member of the Cantonese Advisory Committee, said the "empty period" was a chance to reform the Cantonese opera scene.

"The closure of Sunbeam Theatre means we have to look for new locations. This is a good chance to take the art form outside of North Point to newer areas {hellip} to cultivate a new audience base," she said.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
港府扼殺粵劇千人失業
09/12/2008
東方日報









曾 經 一 度 逃 過 結 業 厄 運 的 新 光 戲 院 , 租 約 原 定 下 月 底 屆 滿 , 業 主 最 近 答 應 延 長 租 約多 一 個 月 , 以 免 明 年 農 曆 新 年 鑼 鼓 絕 響 。 接 近 業 主 的 消 息 人 士 炮 轟 特 區 政 府 , 早 年以 保 育 粵 劇 為 名 要 求 業 主 捱 義 氣 , 以 市 值 四 折 月 租 廿 萬 元 的 超 低 價 續 租 物 業 , 但 五年 來 「 政 府 一 直 翹 埋 雙 手 乜 都 無 做 , 令 業 主 有 被 政 府 呃 感 覺 。 」 最 近 政 府 竟 然 又 再 業 主 心 口 , 要 求 再 度 平 租 續 約 多 五 年 。 消 息 人 士 強 調 , 業 主 已 向 政 府 下 最 後 通 牒 ,一 定 會 以 商 業 方 式 處 理 新 光 的 租 約 問 題 , 不 會 再 受 騙 。 粵 劇 界 則 指 , 一 旦 新 光 捱 不起 市 值 租 而 結 業 , 行 內 最 少 有 千 多 人 的 飯 碗 被 砸 爛 。

新 光 戲 院 是 本 港 碩果 僅 存 的 粵 劇 表 演 場 地 , 該 戲 院 租 約 原 本 ○ 三 年 屆 滿 , 當 時 各 界 紛 紛 要 求 業 主 伸 援手 予 以 續 約 , 以 免 本 港 粵 劇 失 去 最 後 橋 頭 堡 , 業 主 當 時 考 慮 到 政 府 承 諾 積 極 處 理 粵劇 永 久 場 地 問 題 , 最 後 答 應 續 約 五 年 。

新 光 業 主 「 捱 義 氣 」 多 年
不 過 , 接 近 業 主 消 息 人 士 炮 轟 特 區 政 府 在新 光 續 約 後 未 有 履 行 承 諾 , 推 動 粵 劇 發 展 , 以 致 缺 乏 新 血 加 入 , 觀 眾 呈 老 化 , 日 趨式 微 , 「 粵 劇 已 經 在 深 切 治 療 部 , 但 政 府 仲 以 為 係 小 小 傷 風 , 只 畀 粒 感 冒 藥 就 算 ,完 全 不 知 道 粵 劇 已 病 入 膏 肓 ! 」 他 表 示 , 新 光 業 主 去 年 中 已 去 信 通 知 特 區 政 府 約 滿後 將 不 擬 續 約 , 但 未 獲 理 會 , 直 至 最 近 政 府 始 透 過 新 光 戲 院 的 營 運 者 香 港 聯 藝 機 構有 限 公 司 , 再 向 業 主 要 求 繼 續 以 廿 萬 元 月 租 續 約 五 年 , 待 西 九 文 化 區 的 粵 劇 場 地 落成 。

消 息 人 士 強 調 , 今 次 業 主 不 會 再 咁 傻 , 一 定 會 以 市 值 租 金 出 租 場 地 , 估 計 月 租 水 平至 少 五 十 萬 元 。 他 揚 言 「 業 主 已 經 畀 晒 時 間 特 區 政 府 , 但 政 府 蹉 跎 歲 月 , 新 光 有 乜事 都 係 政 府 咎 由 自 取 , 要 負 全 責 ! 」

拖 了 五 年 又 再 等 五 年
消 息 人 士 強 調 業 主 並 非 想 借 收 回 新 光 戲 院 要 脅 政 府 出 價 收 購 , 亦 從 無 打 算 將 新 光 戲 院 售 予 政 府 , 只 希 望 政 府 遵 守 承 諾 弘 揚 粵 劇 。

政 府 發 言 人 表 示 , 政 府 除 會 將 油 麻 地 戲 院 紅 磚 屋 改 為 戲 曲 中 心 及 在 高 山 劇 場 興 建 劇場 外 , 亦 會 向 粵 劇 界 提 供 優 先 租 場 計 劃 , 但 兩 個 場 地 最 快 要 待 二 ○ 一 一 至 二 ○ 一 二年 始 啟 用 。

本 報 暫 未 能 夠 聯 絡 到 新 光 營 運 者 香 港 聯 藝 機 構 有 限 公 司 , 了 解 該 公 司 與 新 光 業 主 商 討 續 約 事 宜 。

八 和 會 館 永 遠 會 長 陳 劍 聲 表 示 , 新 光 每 年 上 演 粵 劇 二 百 多 日 , 若 結 業 的 話 , 行 內 一千 多 人 將 受 影 響 , 她 不 希 望 政 府 帶 頭 製 造 失 業 。 她 表 示 , 雖 然 政 府 已 經 在 多 區 的 大會 堂 等 場 館 實 施 優 先 租 場 計 劃 , 但 由 於 手 續 繁 複 , 加 上 部 分 地 區 交 通 不 便 , 未 必 受觀 眾 歡 迎 。      
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
本土文化遺產湮沒
09/12/2008
東方日報



藝 術 團 體 炮 轟 政 府 一 直 漠 視 粵 劇 發 展 , 令 粵 劇 此 一 非 物 質 文 化 遺 產 , 陷 於 式 微 。 春天 舞 台 行 政 總 裁 兼 監 製 高 志 森 直 斥 政 府 忽 視 粵 劇 的 發 展 , 又 指 政 府 在 西 九 管 理 局 董事 局 非 官 員 的 成 員 名 單 中 , 完 全 無 加 入 粵 劇 界 的 任 何 代 表 , 可 見 政 府 對 粵 劇 界 的 要求 完 全 敷 衍 。 他 認 為 粵 劇 發 展 「 旨 意 政 府 蛇 都 死 ! 」

西 九 管 理 局 無 粵 劇 界 代 表
高 志 森 表 示 , 粵 劇 是 本 港 的 文 化 遺 產 , 但因 為 政 府 並 無 扶 助 及 支 持 , 觀 眾 流 失 嚴 重 , 年 輕 人 對 粵 劇 不 感 興 趣 , 粵 劇 已 陷 於 水深 火 熱 , 西 九 小 組 早 前 曾 向 政 府 建 議 , 要 求 西 九 文 化 區 內 闢 建 專 為 粵 劇 表 演 而 設 的戲 曲 中 心 , 內 有 兩 個 大 劇 院 , 令 粵 劇 界 有 永 久 場 地 , 但 政 府 並 無 委 任 粵 劇 界 代 表 加入 西 九 管 理 局 董 事 局 , 顯 示 政 府 對 粵 劇 並 不 重 視 , 他 對 政 府 同 意 於 西 九 闢 建 粵 劇 劇院 不 存 厚 望 。

高 志 森 認 為 政 府 應 加 強 宣 傳 粵 劇 文 化 , 例 如 考 慮 將 粵 劇 的 曲 詞 列 入 通 識 育 , 提 高 年 輕 一 輩 對 粵 劇 的 興 趣 。

東 區 區 議 會 副 主 席 鍾 樹 根 表 示 , 新 光 戲 院 是 北 角 區 的 地 標 , 每 年 也 上 演 二 百 多 齣 折子 戲 。 他 希 望 政 府 盡 快 與 新 光 業 主 商 討 , 續 租 有 關 物 業 。 區 議 會 稍 後 亦 擬 約 見 業 主, 希 望 業 主 同 意 保 留 劇 院 , 滿 足 市 民 的 期 望 。
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Slim hope for Sunbeam Theatre lease extension
13 December 2008
South China Morning Post

The government still hopes the Sunbeam Theatre, Hong Kong's hub for Cantonese opera, will keep running even though the chance that its landlord will extend the lease again appears to be slim.

Speaking at yesterday's Legco home affairs panel meeting, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs So Kam-shing said: "We are not giving up yet."

Mr So told the panel that the landlord and Sunbeam Theatre had not yet reached an agreement over the North Point premises, "but we hope that they can continue negotiations".

The theatre's lease expires at the end of next month, with closure expected in early February after Lunar New Year performances.

Earlier in the week, the government admitted that the Home Affairs Bureau had sent a letter to the landlord to explain the situation and expressed the hope the landlord would continue to support the Cantonese opera sector.

But Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, who represents the sports, performing arts, culture and publication functional constituency in the Legislative Council, said a lease extension did not look likely.

"I have been in contact with the landlord but it's not likely that the landlord will change its mind," Mr Fok said.

The government has proposed converting Yau Ma Tei Theatre, a grade two historic building, and the nearby Red Brick Building, a grade one historic building, into a Xiqu activity centre, as a training ground for young Cantonese opera talent and hopefully a tourist attraction. The project would include a 300-seat theatre, management offices and rehearsal rooms.

It has been estimated the project will cost HK$171 million and be completed in 2011. The government will also build a new annex building at Ko Shan Theatre for Cantonese opera performances by 2012.

Legislators expressed concern about where Cantonese opera would be shown in the years between the possible closure of the Sunbeam Theatre and the opening of the new venues.

Mr So said the government had contingency plans if the Sunbeam Theatre closed and had reserved show dates at Leisure and Cultural Services Department venues for Cantonese opera performances.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Rent subsidy may save Sunbeam Theatre
24 December 2008
South China Morning Post

A new plan being considered by the government could save the embattled Sunbeam Theatre.

Democratic Party lawmaker Kam Nai-wai said the plan included the government paying part of the rent.

Mr Kam was speaking after a meeting yesterday with the undersecretary for home affairs, Florence Hui Hiu-fai.

"The government would consider ways to support the operation of the theatre through seeking sponsorship and appropriate subsidy schemes," the Home Affairs Bureau said.

The theatre, a centre for Cantonese opera productions, faces closure because of decreasing audiences and the likelihood of a rent rise after the current lease expires on January 31. If it closes, the last performances would be held during the Lunar New Year.

The theatre pays HK$200,000 a month in rent, while rents for nearby buildings and shopping complexes are much higher. The rate expected under a new lease was in the region of HK$400,000, Mr Kam said.

The plan would hinge entirely on the government and the property owner reaching an agreement. "If the rent is too high, the government will be unable to justify the proposed subsidy to taxpayers," Mr Kam said.

Even if the negotiations over rent failed, it would not spell the end of large-scale Cantonese opera productions. Mr Kam outlined some possible alternatives, including relocating many productions to Sha Tin and Tuen Mun town halls through "venue partnership schemes", as well as granting opera productions priority venue hiring in four other public arenas - the Tsuen Wan Town Hall, Hong Kong City Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The government is also considering projects to increase the number of opera venues available. These include the HK$171 million conversion of the Yau Ma Tei Theatre and Red Brick Building into a cultural activity centre, and the construction of additional venues at the Ko Shan Theatre and in the Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Mr Kam welcomed the ongoing consultation between the government and the theatre's landlord and he encouraged opera companies to take advantage of the alternate venues to hold productions.

"We cannot rely only on these solutions," said Mr Kam, noting that the Yau Ma Tei project was not scheduled to be completed until 2011. "The current plan is too piecemeal and it only concerns itself with the short-term future of the opera industry."
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Arts boss foreshadows Sunbeam Theatre deal
1 January 2009
South China Morning Post

A deal is expected to be struck this month between the government and the owners of the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point in a plan to keep the popular Cantonese Opera venue open until an alternative is available.

The venue had faced closure because of a drastic increase in rent but the government now plans to increase subsidies to the opera groups using the theatre while negotiating a rent they can afford.

Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai said the government could not use public money to subsidise the theatre's rent directly.

But with extra funding, the groups should be able to afford the new rent until the Xiqu Centre opens in the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2015.

The present rent is HK$200,000 a month but the landlord has been asking for HK$800,000 after the contract ends next month. A government source said earlier it estimated the market rent at HK$400,000.

Speaking at a media gathering yesterday Mrs Yau, who is involved in the negotiations, gave no details of the likely rent or planned subsidies. But she said she expected a deal to be struck with the landlord next month.

Closure of the Sunbeam Theatre next month would leave the groups without a suitable home before the West Kowloon theatre opened.

On the progress of developing the arts hub in West Kowloon, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Cathy Chu Man-ling said 67 candidates were vying for the post of executive director of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, including engineers and people from the arts sector.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
North Kowloon Magistracy eyed as possible opera centre
Artists association unveils plan for Cantonese opera centre

6 January 2009
South China Morning Post

A key Cantonese opera society has unveiled a plan to convert a historic building into a training centre and museum dedicated to the local art.

But some opera veterans said the proposed centre would never be able to replace the Sunbeam Theatre, if the renowned North Point venue were to shut down next month after the Lunar New Year holiday. The theatre is at the centre of a rent debate.

The Chinese Artists Association said it had submitted an application to turn the North Kowloon Magistracy into a cultural centre for Cantonese opera under the Development Bureau's Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme.

The building was among the seven historic structures listed in the first phase of the scheme.

The association's chairwoman, Lisa Wang Ming-chuen, said the group's application was among the final three of the 21 submitted for the North Kowloon Magistracy. The results will be announced next month.

She said meetings had been held with the vetting committee, which was most concerned about how the proposed centre would be operated and managed. She declined to speculate on the likelihood that the association's application would be accepted, but she said it was necessary that immediate steps be taken to preserve Cantonese opera.

"Hong Kong has a more original form of Cantonese opera than what is practised on the mainland. Its development is different and incomplete because of the Cultural Revolution," Ms Wang said.

The North Kowloon Magistracy would be the ideal venue for an opera centre as Sham Shui Po was slated to become a new cultural hub, she said.

The proposed centre would have six floors and include a traditional tea house where Cantonese opera songs would be performed, a museum, an archive of Cantonese opera materials, rehearsal studios, and offices.

The top floor of the building would be transformed into a dormitory available for visiting Cantonese opera troupes or tourists. Parts of the historic building, including two former holding cells and one of the four court rooms, would be preserved.

Ms Wang said the government would provide HK$150 million to pay for renovations and HK$5 million for the first three years of operation.

"But we will still have to raise at least another HK$15 million in order to cover all the costs," she said.

Admission fees for the museum, expected to be HK$30 for adults, and rent from the dormitory, which would be HK$500 to HK$600 a night for a room for two people, would be the main sources of income, she said.

But association vice-chairman Yuen Siu-fai said the centre would not be able to replace the Sunbeam Theatre because of its history and location. He said the landlord was less concerned about raising the rent than the apparent lack of a plan for development of Cantonese opera.

The Home Affairs Bureau said Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing had met with the landlord and the operator of the Sunbeam Theatre last month and that the bureau hoped negotiations for a lease extension could be continued.

The lease is up at the end of this month but the landlord agreed to extend it until after the Lunar New Year. The bureau said it could consider adopting a different funding plan.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Talks bring new hope for survival of city's only permanent Cantonese opera venue
17 January 2009
South China Morning Post

After weeks of uncertainty and gloom, a ray of hope has appeared on the horizon for the Sunbeam Theatre, Hong Kong Island's popular Cantonese opera venue.

The landlord is said to have agreed to extend the North Point venue's lease, which expires next month, to 2012, but the rent is still being negotiated. The progress comes after weeks of talks between Home Affairs Bureau officials and the landlord.

Civic Party legislator and conservationist Tanya Chan, who met landlord Law Sau-fai yesterday, said Mr Law had expressed a willingness to extend the tenancy for three years.

"We believe it is good news. But it is not the end of the story. The government still needs to work out a long-term policy and plan to support the development of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong," Ms Chan said.

"Otherwise, there will be another round of difficult negotiation with the landlord after three years."

The theatre, which opened in 1972, is facing closure because of a big increase in rent. Earlier, the government planned to increase subsidies to the opera groups using the theatre while negotiating a rent they could afford.

The rent at present is HK$200,000 a month but the landlord had asked for HK$800,000 after the tenancy expires. The market rent was estimated to be about HK$400,000, according to a previous estimate.

The government has wanted to keep the venue open until an alternative is available. That alternative is slated to be a Cantonese opera centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District. But that would not be available before 2016. The government also plans to build an extension to the Ko Shan Theatre in Hung Hom by 2012.

There are also plans to convert the Yau Ma Tei Theatre - a grade two historic building - into a Cantonese opera training centre. But the 300-seat venue would be too small for staging performances.

A bureau spokesman said last night a deal had not been finalised but: "The government was thankful to the landlord. And it is hoped the discussion with the landlord could produce fruitful results."

The Sunbeam Theatre first faced closure in 2005 when the landlord wanted to turn the site into a shopping mall. But Mr Law changed his mind after strong lobbying from the Cantonese opera sector.

Veteran peformer and Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee member Leung Hon-wai said last night he expected a formal announcement by the government soon.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Sunbeam all set for new lease of life
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, February 05, 2009

The landlord of the Sunbeam Theatre, the only dedicated venue for Cantonese opera in Hong Kong, has agreed to extend the lease at HK$699,000 a month rent until 2012, according to a source.

After weeks of talks between the Home Affairs Bureau and landlord Yu Tai Hing, the landlord agreed to lower by about 12.5 percent the rent it had originally sought. Yu Tai Hing had wanted a 300 percent increase to HK$800,000 a month from the current HK$200,000.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen watched a Cantonese opera on Tuesday evening at the North Point venue.

A government source said the administration will not directly subsidize the rent. He said the Sunbeam operator is expected to raise charges for Chinese opera groups, for which the administration has been providing financial support. He expected the groups may need more funding in the future, and the government hopes to help by seeking more sponsors for Cantonese opera groups.

But he said criticisms by lawmakers and opera groups indirectly enhanced the bargaining power of the landlord instead. "It may not be easy for the landlord to find a tenant these days, and it will also cost him quite a lot if he were to renovate the building," the source said. However, a property agent said it is a win-win deal for Sunbeam and the landlord, as he believed HK$699,000 is a bit lower than the market price.

Yu Tai Hing bought the 80,000-square-foot property in 2003 for HK$162 million, aiming to transform it into a shopping mall.
 

·
EiGhT 5 & tWo
Joined
·
4,141 Posts
配合油麻地戲院翻新
露宿者之家倡變廣場



2009年2月11日





【明報專訊】政府計劃翻新屬二級和一級歷史建築的油麻地戲院和紅磚屋成為戲曲中心,但因地盤面積太小,無法擴展公共空間。民政局昨提出修訂,建議將毗鄰的垃圾站和露宿者之家搬遷,騰出空地發展露天廣場,並興建小型建築物作為額外更衣區和排練室等,加強項目特色。

民政局常任秘書長今日率領跨部門官員實地視察,研究重置設施是否可行,但第二期廣場最快2011年才能動工,未能同步配合戲曲中心落成。

紅磚屋戲院改建戲曲中心

現時油麻地戲院和紅磚屋之間由上海街分隔,兩者間有一所政府建築物,內設公廁、垃圾收集站和露宿者之家。民政局申請撥款1.9億元翻新兩座歷史建築,並打算一併改善兩者位置和設計割裂等問題。

民政局昨向立法會提交文件,指油麻地戲院將於2011年完成翻新,成為戲曲中心,局方將申請額外撥款實施第二期計劃,把垃圾站和露宿者之家遷移到渡船街天橋近碧街一段的橋底空地,並原址清拆重建設計更佳的廁所,方便戲曲觀眾
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
LCQ19: Preservation and development of Cantonese opera
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, in the Legislative Council today (October 21):

Question:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has inscribed Cantonese opera onto the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (world intangible cultural heritages), and the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Macao Special Administrative Region Government have put forward different policies on the conservation and preservation of Cantonese opera. Regarding the development and preservation of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that UNESCO requires that the governments concerned must put forward specific supporting policies for the conservation and preservation of items designated as world intangible cultural heritages, whether the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has formulated specific policy proposals and plans for the preservation, conservation and development of Cantonese opera in accordance with such a requirement; if it has, of the details; if not, when the Government will formulate and introduce the relevant measures;

(b) apart from the Yau Ma Tei Xiqu Activity Centre, the Ko Shan Theatre in Hung Hom which is being extended, and the Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District, whether the Government has plans to set up a dedicated permanent venue on Hong Kong Island for Cantonese opera performances; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) given that the relevant authorities on the Mainland have enacted specific legislation on the conservation of local traditional operas, whether the Government will follow the practices of the Mainland to conserve Cantonese opera or other traditional operas; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(d) of the details of the latest cooperation programme drawn up by the HKSAR Government, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Macao Special Administrative Region Government for the conservation and preservation of Cantonese opera;

(e) whether the Government has conducted a review of the existing financial sponsorship mechanism for the development of Cantonese opera and increased the amount of such support as needed; if it has, of the details of the review and the outcome; if not, whether the Government will conduct the review shortly; if it will not, of the reasons for that; and

(f) whether the Government has specific new plans at present to promote Cantonese opera and provide relevant training in schools to enable more young people to have exposure to and get to know Cantonese opera; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

(a) The Government is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and development of Cantonese opera and has set the following policy objectives to provide continued support to the preservation and development of Cantonese opera:

i) To develop performance venues for Cantonese opera;
ii) To nurture Cantonese opera professionals, preserve the tradition and promote creative works;
iii) To promote Cantonese opera education, audience building and community participation;
iv) To foster cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, and promote cultural exchange;
v) To preserve the essence of Cantonese opera and showcase treasures of our cultural heritage; and
vi) To promote Cantonese opera as a major tourist attraction.

The Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) set up the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee (COAC) in May 2004 to advise the Government on policies and issues in relation to the promotion, preservation, study and development of Cantonese opera. While conceiving different projects to meet the specific needs in the development of Cantonese opera, the COAC focuses on the development of performance venues and preservation and promotion of Cantonese opera. To tie in with the work of the COAC, the HAB established the Cantonese Opera Development Fund (CODF) in November 2005 to raise donations to provide funding support to programmes and activities on the study, promotion and sustainable development of Cantonese opera.

Furthermore, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) established the Programme and Development Committee (PDC) in January 2007. The PDC is supported by six Art Form Panels (AFP), including the Chinese Traditional Performing Arts Panel which covers, inter alia, Cantonese opera and other Chinese Xiqu. The PDC and AFPs are tasked to advise the LCSD on the strategies of performing arts programmes (including local, Mainland and overseas) and to formulate structured and sustainable strategies to identify and support the development of budding and small-scale performing arts groups. The LCSD has placed much emphasis on preserving the tradition, promoting creative works and nurturing budding artists in organising Cantonese opera programmes. It has plans to rearrange and rewrite traditional Paichang plays. In addition to inviting local experienced masters and budding artists to join hands in excerpt performances of Paichang with traditional singing styles, it also considers inviting master artists of ancient Paichang plays from Guangdong to teach in Hong Kong to further promote Cantonese opera as an art form through performances and exchange platforms.

(b) In the planning for the provision of performance venues for Cantonese opera serving the Hong Kong community, the Government has to consider from a broad perspective of the overall development needs of Cantonese opera and prudently take into consideration factors such as the availability and rate of utilisation of existing facilities as the provision and operation of performance venues involve heavy capital investment and long-term commitment of resources.

At present, various performance venues of the LCSD in Hong Kong are available for hire by Cantonese opera troupes. The Cantonese opera sector has also taken part in the "Venue Partnership Scheme" of the LCSD and enjoys priority in staging performances at two venues of the LCSD (the Sha Tin Town Hall and the Tuen Mun Town Hall). We also keep on improving the priority venue hiring policy for Cantonese opera performances of the LCSD, which includes making the Ko Shan Theatre as the major performance venue for Cantonese opera and reserving time slots for staging performances by local professional troupes at several major venues (including the City Hall, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Kwai Tsing Theatre, the Sha Tin Town Hall and the Tsuen Wan Town Hall). In the coming few years, we will build performance venues of different scales for Cantonese opera at different districts, including the conversion of the Yau Ma Tei Theatre and the Red Brick Building into a Xiqu Activity Centre (with a theatre of about 300 seats), the construction of an Annex Building for the Ko Shan Theatre (with a theatre of about 600 seats) and the construction of a Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District (with two theatres of 1,200 to 1,400 seats and 400 seats respectively). A total of four new performance venues will be available by then.

(c) As mentioned in (a), we have formulated a set of concrete and comprehensive policy and measures to preserve, promote and develop Cantonese opera. We will continue to listen to the views of the COAC and the Cantonese opera sector and make reference to the practices of the Mainland and other regions to consider how to provide suitable legal protection.

(d) The First Greater Pearl River Delta Cultural Cooperation Meeting was held in Hong Kong in November 2002. One of the deliverables of the meeting was that Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao had agreed to enhance cooperation in respect of Cantonese opera. A working group on the promotion of Cantonese opera among the three places was subsequently set up to take forward different projects. So far the major cooperation projects have included the Cantonese Opera Day, the proposed inscription of Cantonese opera on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the compilation of the Dictionary of Cantonese Opera and the Information Compendium on Cantonese Operatic Antiquities as well as cooperation performances.

Except for the proposed inscription of Cantonese opera on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, details of the cooperation programmes are as follows:

i) Cantonese Opera Day
Starting from 2003, the last Sunday of November has been designated by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao as Cantonese Opera Day to promote Cantonese opera. At the Tenth Greater Pearl River Delta Cultural Cooperation Meeting in February 2009, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao also confirmed to continue to enrich the contents of activities of Cantonese Opera Day and enhance the promotion of Cantonese opera among children and young people in the three places.

ii) Cantonese Opera Performance Cooperation Projects
Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will continue to explore performance tours and exchanges. In the 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Reunification with China in 2007, famous artists from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao staged two cooperation performances in Cantonese opera excerpts entitled "A Showcase of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Cantonese Opera Masters" in Hong Kong. On October 30 and 31, 2009, a group of over 20 famous artists from the three places will stage two performances in the "Cantonese Operatic Songs Gala Concert by Cantonese Opera Masters from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China" in the Hong Kong Coliseum.

iii) Dictionary of Cantonese Opera and Information Compendium on Cantonese Operatic Antiquities
In a course of five years and with the direction of the Guangdong authorities, the Dictionary of Cantonese Opera was printed and published in November 2008. A team will be formed by experts from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao for further improvements and amendments to the Dictionary. As for the collection and collation work for the Information Compendium on Cantonese Operatic Antiquities, museums in the three places are embarking on electronisation of information of their own collections. The ultimate goal is to achieve resources sharing on the Internet.

(e) The Government has supported the development of Cantonese opera through different forms and channels. These include support by the LCSD to about 500 Cantonese opera and operatic singing performances each year; funding of Cantonese opera performance, education, promotion and other development projects by the CODF and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC); and subsidy by the HAB for Cantonese opera programmes organised by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). The Government estimates that in 2009-10, around $33 million will be deployed for the promotion and development of Cantonese opera.

The CODF has granted about $20.3 million to support some 260 Cantonese opera projects since its establishment, about $3 million of which has been granted for the implementation of a three-year grant scheme for the Hong Kong Cantonese Opera Troupe for New Talents. Furthermore, the CODF has supported various Cantonese opera performance projects by budding artists or jointly presented by experienced artists and budding artists, as well as other promotional performance projects, children or youth cultural exchange and arts education programmes, and professional training and community promotional projects. Subsidies are also made available to venue development projects, research and archival projects to provide comprehensive support for the development of Cantonese opera. In future, the CODF will look for more donations or injections to support the development of local Cantonese opera.

(f) The LCSD, the CODF and the HKADC organise or subsidise thematic and large-scale arts education, community promotion and audience development projects, such as the Xiqu Education in Schools Scheme, the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme, the District Cantonese Opera Parade, the School Culture Day Scheme, visits to and performances at secondary and primary schools, the Cantonese Opera Promotion Scheme for Tertiary Institutions, the Guangdong - Hong Kong Youth Cultural Exchange Progrmme and youth training workshops. Pilot educational research projects are also supported to provide reference cases to schools. An example is the Research Project on Interactive Learning through School Visits by Cantonese Opera Master Artists.

To further promote Cantonese opera in the community, the LCSD joined hands with district organisations for the first time between March and April 2009 in organising the Appreciate Cantonese Opera at Bamboo Theatre at bamboo theatres in three different districts for the public. The programme, which included Cantonese opera performances for students and interactive learning sessions, attracted more than 8,000 participants. In view of the satisfactory results, the LSCD will continue to organise such programme in future. The Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students and the School Arts Animateur Scheme launched in the 2009-10 academic year by the LCSD will provide Cantonese opera programmes and training for students.

Concerning the promotion of and training in Cantonese opera in schools:

i) The Music Curriculum Guide (Primary 1 – Secondary 3) published by the Education Bureau (EDB) in 2003 has recommended that teachers should develop students' music skills, aesthetics, creativity and imagination, and knowledge of and respect for traditional Chinese culture through the introduction of different types of music including Cantonese opera. In the New Senior Secondary School Curriculum implemented in 2009, Cantonese opera is included in the core and elective modules of the music curriculum. Students can also study Cantonese opera and Cantonese operatic songs by taking certain elective modules under the Chinese Language and the Chinese Literature curricula. The learning experiences of "Aesthetic Development" under the New Senior Secondary School Curriculum will also help provide senior secondary students with opportunities to get to know and learn Cantonese opera and other Chinese Xiqu.

ii) In order to enable teachers to acquire the knowledge and the learning and teaching skills of Cantonese opera, the EDB has kept organising various workshops and seminars on the learning and teaching of Cantonese opera for primary and secondary teachers as well as producing relevant teaching materials for their reference and use. Since 1999, the EDB and the Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Association have jointly organised Schools Cantonese Operatic Singing Competitions as well as workshops for teachers. Starting from the 60th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival in 2008, Cantonese Operatic Songs singing has been listed as a regular competition item in the Schools Music Festival each year.

iii) In 2007, the CODF subsidised the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) and four primary and secondary schools to carry out the "Teaching Cantonese Opera in Schools: A Pilot Project". This year, the Quality Education Fund has supported the HKIEd to conduct a three-year Partnership Project on Teaching and Learning of Cantonese Opera in Primary and Secondary Schools which is the second phase of the pilot project with a view to enhancing teachers' experience and confidence in teaching Cantonese opera. Moreover, many Cantonese opera troupes have organised training courses in schools to help promote the development of Cantonese opera.

iv) In the tertiary education sector, courses on Cantonese opera or Xiqu are offered by the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University, the HKIEd and the HKAPA.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Artists say Unesco honour could help secure art's future in Hong Kong
25 October 2009
South China Morning Post

Unesco's recognition of Cantonese opera could play a critical role in securing its future in Hong Kong by persuading the government to build a permanent theatre and college, and making it part of the school curriculum - long-term demands of the opera community.

"This confirms the cultural value of Cantonese opera," Liza Wang Ming-chun, chairwoman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, said. "In future, the government must more actively seek a permanent home for Cantonese opera and increase the facilities to train new talent for the art. Foshan [in Guangdong] has built a large theatre, museum and opera school, with policies and support from the government. I am very envious."

The outlook is not so optimistic. In Tong Tik-sang's heyday in the 1950s, his plays were the most popular art form in Hong Kong, playing to packed houses every night. He and his leading performers had the superstar status now accorded to Jackie Chan and Andy Lau Tak-wah. But audiences today are a fraction of those in the 1950s. Hong Kong now has only one theatre - the Sunbeam in North Point - dedicated to Cantonese opera, whose groups lease it, not own it. In February, efforts to have the former North Kowloon magistracy converted into an opera theatre were rejected; instead, the government chose to turn it into an art and design college. Lobbying is under way for a dedicated theatre for opera to be included in the West Kowloon cultural hub.

"For 20 to 30 years, the government has been too passive in its support of Cantonese opera," said Wang, a leading opera actress.

Poon Po-chiu, the author of a book on Tong's work, said that cities on the mainland, such as Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Foshan, had been more proactive than the Hong Kong government. "Guangzhou city has built a dedicated Cantonese opera house. Governments there are more decisive; here there is a great deal of discussion but little action."

Professional and amateur groups put on hundreds of performances a year, but most devotees are middle-aged or elderly. Young people find the performances unintelligible, dealing with subjects and personalities they know nothing about. They prefer films, computer games and popular music.

Tong's fans are determined that he will never be forgotten. "Tong is part of the literature of Hong Kong," Poon said.

Mark O'Neill
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hong Kong strives to revive Cantonese Opera's heyday

HONG KONG, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong artist Christie To is only 16, but her aspirations to stardom are rooted in a centuries-old artform fighting extinction: Cantonese opera.

In frenetic, capitalist Hong Kong, where Cantopop and film stars hold most sway over teenagers, To is a rarity.

Cast in the main role of a man for a professional production of "Fearless Sword", normally performed by older actors, To is one of ten young Cantonese Opera artists who've been striving to resurrect the ancient Chinese art form with modern audiences.

"We're trying to make Cantonese opera more youthful, to change impressions that it's an art for the old only," said Christie's mother, Marilyn To, who heads the government-funded Hong Kong young talent Cantonese opera troupe.

"There must be new life and the younger generation needs to take up the baton."

Cantonese opera, one of the major categories of Chinese opera, targets tens of millions of people speaking the lively dialect, mostly in south China's Guangdong and Guangxi provinces, including the cities of Hong Kong and Macau.

Following a golden age in the 1950s and 60s when the leading practitioners of Cantonese opera -- which involves singing, acting and sometimes martial arts -- spilled into Hong Kong from China, the indigenous artform has been on a steady decline.

"My heart has slowly been turning grey," said old master Man Chin-Shui who has devoted 60-years of his life to practising and teaching Cantonese opera, mostly in Hong Kong. "To revive Cantonese opera again in Hong Kong will be very difficult."

FADING MASTERPIECE

The United Nations recently proclaimed Cantonese opera, which originated in Canton, or Guangzhou, and became popular in Hong Kong during the Sino-Japanese war, as one of the "masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity".

But in Hong Kong, the recognition may have come too late.

It has proven an uphill battle to find younger audiences and performers given its musty image, uncertain career prospects and extreme hardships in mastering the artform.

"If you don't put time into it, it's not meaningful," said Doris Kwan, one of the members of To's young opera troupe. "But it's very difficult to make a living," added Kwan, who holds two part-time jobs.

While some critics say Cantonese opera's lack of melodies and rather old-fashioned plots and lyrics need a thoroughly modern makeover, purists of the artform have resisted such changes.

Initiatives like the Hong Kong young talent Cantonese Opera troupe have provided a platform for amateurs, and the local government including senior officials with a passion for the artform are pushing mandatory opera eduction in local schools, but some experts say much more has to be done.

"They don't learn from a young age, they lack a foundation and this is a big challenge," said Man. "You can't rely on these youngsters as the next generation, I think the real successors for Cantonese Opera are in mainland (China)."

Some, however, fear an assimilation of Hong Kong's unique tradition that's considered less political and rigid than that in Communist China, and which was once energised by legendary figures like librettist Tong Dick-san and actor Yam Kim-fai.

"Merging with the Cantonese opera in Canton is not very wise because Hong Kong's own tradition, the smaller one, will eventually be homogenised," wrote Yu Siu-wah, a Chinese opera expert and the author of "Such are the Fading Sounds".

"Conforming to the mainstream pan-Chinese opera, the characteristics and the uniqueness of local Hong Kong Cantonese Opera will be compromised," he added.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Over 100 Hong Kong artists to present Cantonese opera treasures for Shanghai Expo
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Government Press Release

Over 100 acclaimed artists from Hong Kong will next month stage classic Cantonese opera works for Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) in two star-studded performances.

Presented by the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, "Hong Kong Cantonese Opera Treasures" will be performed on August 19 and 20 in the Academy Theatre of the Shanghai Theatre Academy as a HKSAR cultural programme for Shanghai Expo.

Chairperson of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, Ms Liza Wang, said: "The inscription of Cantonese opera on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last year was a milestone in the development of the performing arts in Hong Kong.

"In our Expo production, the plays are carefully selected to form the'Hong Kong Cantonese Opera Treasures', signifying the most traditional and typical plays in Cantonese opera.

"With the diverse background and ample experience of our artists and crew members, we are delighted to demonstrate our best to Shanghai people and audiences from all around the world through this opportunity."

The two performances for Shanghai Expo will feature renowned Cantonese opera talent, including Mr Yau Sing-po, Ms Liza Wang, Mr Law Kar-ying, Mr Yuen Siu-fai and Mr Sun Kim-long.

The performances consist of set pieces and regular repertoires.

Set pieces are a unique part of the Cantonese opera repertoire, rarely found in other Chinese regional operas. They are performed on special occasions to pay tribute to the occasion and to arouse the interest of audiences before the regular repertoire. A regular repertoire is often performed after one of the traditional set pieces.

The first evening (August 19) will feature two exciting performances. "The Imperial Emperor of Heaven Holding Court" is a set piece to showcase the Association's strong cast. "Luk Long Reprimands His Son", a glittering piece chosen from the renowned "18 Grand Classic Pieces", is sung in the authentic classical dialect with strict adherence to the traditional style.

On the second evening (August 20), "Towering Legends of the Three Kingdoms", part of the regular repertoire, focuses on intrigue and warfare as well as entanglements of the main characters in the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms".

For full programme details and ticketing information, please visit the Event Calendar section on Hong Kong's Expo website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.


"The Imperial Emperor of Heaven Holding Court" and "Luk Long Reprimands His Son"
Date: August 19, 2010
"Towering Legends of the Three Kingdoms"
Date: August 20, 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Academy Theatre, Shanghai Theatre Academy
Length: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes
In Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles
Ticket prices: RMB 380、280、200、150、100
Online booking: www.ticket2010.com
Booking hotline: (86 21) 962388
Programme enquiries:
(Hong Kong Arts Festival) (852) 2828 4922
(Shanghai) (86 21) 6190 6163
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
101,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
HKSAR Government committed to preserving and developing Cantonese opera
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Government Press Release

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, today (August 19) received a certificate of the inscription of Cantonese opera on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (Representative List) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at the presentation ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

"The Government will continue to support and maintain a cultural environment for the promotion, preservation and development of Cantonese opera. We will work closely with the sector to build audiences and reinforce the unique market dynamics of Cantonese opera," Mr Tsang said.

"We will also encourage the sector to reform, enhance professionalism and nurture young talent so that together, we can preserve and cultivate this traditional performing art," he added.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect in 2006. UNESCO promulgated the implementation guidelines in 2008 detailing the application mechanism and criteria for inscription on the Representative List. There were 22 items from China inscribed on the list first released in 2009, including Cantonese opera which was jointly applied for by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. Cantonese opera became the first item of the world intangible cultural heritage owned by the three places.

The Chinese Ministry of Culture decided to present certificates issued by UNESCO to every applying body. State leaders who were present at the ceremony today included Madam Liu Yandong, State Councillor, and Mr Cai Wu, the Minister of Culture.

Following the inscription of Cantonese opera on the Representative List on September 30, 2009, the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) applied to the Legislative Council for funding of $69 million for injection into the Cantonese Opera Development Fund for further preservation, research, promotion and development of Cantonese opera. Of this amount, $9 million was earmarked for implementation of the "Hong Kong Young Talent Cantonese Opera Troupe". So far the Fund had received over $100 million in funding, and granted a total of about $33 million to support around 350 projects on Cantonese opera development and training programmes.

The HAB also applied for funding of $680 million for the construction of an annex building with a medium-sized theatre, training facilities and research centre at Ko Shan Theatre. Together with the existing theatre of 1,031 seats, the new theatre is expected to further enhance Ko Shan Theatre's function as a dedicated venue for Cantonese opera.

Moreover, the Cultural Presentations Section of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has enhanced its "Paichangxi Repertoires of Cantonese Opera Series" by inviting experienced Cantonese opera performers and tutors to teach performing skills of the traditional southern school. Subsidies were also provided to Cantonese opera troupes to perform new works.

Mr Tsang said, "In addition to the funding support provided by the Cantonese Opera Development Fund, the HAB has deployed around $30 million for the promotion and development of Cantonese opera in 2009/10."

The Government has offered subsidies for various educational and publicity programmes to help build audiences in the community, including the Xiqu Education Project, Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme, District Cantonese Opera Parade, School Culture Day Scheme, School Arts Animateur Scheme, Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students and Let's Enjoy Cantonese Opera in Bamboo Theatre.

In addition, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum recently collected about 2,700 Cantonese opera artifacts, increasing the total collection to more than 23,000 items. The museum also video-recorded a number of traditional works for archive and research, held thematic exhibitions, offered guided tours for the local community to the Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall and thematic exhibitions, as well as provided assistance to the Hong Kong Tourism Board to bring exhibitions and performances to visitors.

The Hong Kong Arts Festival 2010 opened with "Cantonese Opera Treasures" staged by the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, which was also presented at Expo 2010 Shanghai China in August.

To enhance co-operation and co-ordination, the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao agreed at the 11th Greater Pearl River Delta Cultural Co-operation Meeting held in June this year that a working group be set up on preservation of Cantonese opera.

"The art of Cantonese opera has been developing in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao for over a hundred years, and it remains one of the most favourable types of performing art in the region. With the encouragement of the successful inscription of Cantonese opera on the Representative List, the SAR Government will continue to work hand in hand with the community to take this art to its next level," Mr Tsang said.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top