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Cantonese opera artists perform star turns at concert

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the "Cantonese Operatic Songs Concert" at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) marked the successful closing of Cantonese Opera Day 2009 today (November 29).

     Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui, and Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, Dr Liza Wang, officiated at the ceremony to start the concert and presented souvenirs to the artists.

     In addition to an opening performance by the young artists of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, renowned Cantonese opera artists performing at concert were Man Kim-fei, Lee Fung, Hung Hoi, Chan Wing-yee, Chan Ming-ying, Chan Ka-ming, Sun Kim-long, Lau Wai-ming, Tang Mei-ling, Cheng Wing-mui, Wai Chun-ying and Lung Koon-tin. They performed classic operatic songs including "Breaking the Royal Sedan Chair", "Lu An Zhou", "The Lovers' Pledge at the Hall of Longevity", "The Conspiracy behind the Marriage of Princess Yin Ping", "Rendezvous at River Luo in a Dream" and "The Guessing Game".

     Starting at noon at the HKCC, the afternoon carnival of "Cantonese Opera Day 2009" attracted some 30,000 people. An array of free programmes included Cantonese operatic performances by renowned artists and Cantonese opera excerpts by young talent, young people and children, autograph sessions by famous Cantonese opera artists, a "Discovering the Cantonese Opera Heritage" exhibition and games stalls. A series of interactive workshops for stage make-up, costumes, stylised movements and postures, vocalisation and musical instruments and talks were also presented.

     This year, "Cantonese Opera Day" carries special meaning because Cantonese opera has been officially inscribed onto UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is also one of the attractions of the "Cultural EAG" programmes to celebrate the 5th East Asian Games in Hong Kong.

     The cultural departments of Guangdong, Macao and Hong Kong decided in 2003 that the last Sunday of November each year would be designated "Cantonese Opera Day". By holding this event annually, the organisers hope to build a broader audience base to promote and preserve the genre for future generations.

Ends/Sunday, November 29, 2009

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