The Yau Ma Tei Theatre (YMTT), which has been converted into a performance venue dedicated to the promotion of Chinese opera and training of Cantonese opera talents, will be inaugurated on July 17. The opening programme for the public consisting of two special Cantonese opera works, "Prime Minister of Six States" and "Birthday of the God of Venus", will be held at 7.30pm that day.
The YMTT opening programme is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and organised by the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong. The performers include well-known Cantonese opera stars Law Kar-ying, Yuen Siu-fai, Sun Kim-long and Wan Yuk-yu, as well as young artists. Law is also the artistic director of the production.
The special "Prime Minister of Six States" is a traditional piece staged only for celebratory causes or at the beginning of a new series of performances. It is noteworthy that the work has retained the original form of music, singing and performance routines used in early Cantonese opera. Such a performance usually features a grand presentation with the full cast and with characters having their own special designated routines. This traditional piece will be performed by Law, Yuen, Sun and Wan together with budding artists who will participate in the venue partnership programme of the YMTT.
"Birthday of the God of Venus" features a legend of eight fairies offering their greetings on the birthday of the god of the planet Venus. The two performances are in Cantonese without subtitles.
Tickets priced at $200 and $100 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk.
Classified as a Grade 2 historic building, the YMTT first opened in 1930 and is the only pre-World War II cinema building that remains in the urban area. The venue has been converted into a performing arts venue for the promotion of Chinese opera and in particular as a training and performance venue for budding Cantonese opera talents. The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, the venue partner at the YMTT since April this year, has the mission of nurturing upcoming and young Cantonese opera performers.
Detailed programme information can be found in the programme leaflet distributed at all performing venues of the LCSD. Other opening events including a Fun Day, a Seminar on the Building and Heritage Conservation of the YMTT, a series of Cantonese Opera Young Talent Showcase performances and the Tianjin Song Art Troupe of Chinese Opera Festival 2012 will be held as part of a fortnight-long celebration programme.
For enquiries, please call 2264 8108 or browse the webpage www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/ymtt/en/c_programmes.php.
Ends/Thursday, June 28, 2012
Cantonese opera star Law Kar-ying.
Cantonese opera star Yuen Siu-fai.
Cantonese opera star Sun Kim-long.
Cantonese opera star Wan Yuk-yu.