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Cantonese Opera Day at Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The first Cantonese Opera Day, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, was launched this afternoon at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC).

Officiating at the opening ceremony in the foyer were Mr Luo Pinchao, renowned Cantonese Opera artist; Ms Chan Kim-sing, Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong; and Ms Anissa SY Wong, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms Wong announced that the last Sunday of November each year would be designated Cantonese Opera Day as a long-term measure to promote the development and appreciation of Cantonese Opera, an important cultural asset of the Greater Pearl River Delta Region. A decision to launch Cantonese Opera Day was reached as a result of an agreement at the Cultural Summit held at the end of last year between representatives of the cultural departments from Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong.

Ms Wong said that in organising Cantonese Opera Day, the LCSD hoped to build a broader audience for the genre. She also hoped the special day would become an annual event, bringing together the Chinese communities in Guangdong, Macau, Hong Kong and all parts of the world.

Four Gig Heads, the Dance Team of Bishop Hall Jubilee School, Cheung Chau Floating Colours Parade Team and numerous performing groups participated in an opening parade at the Cultural Centre's piazza.

More than 500 groups and individuals joined in the activities for the first fun-filled Cantonese Opera Day. The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong performed two Cantonese operas while famous artists conducted a sing-along session. Other participants included students of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, numerous Cantonese Opera troupes and operatic organisations plus budding artists from 13 groups taking part in the District Cantonese Opera Parade.

Members of the audience also joined in the fun, participating in a number of activities, including badge making, an autograph session, a stage make-up and dress-up demonstration, a name-guessing game and a mask puzzle game. To further arouse public interest in Cantonese Opera, an exhibition was held at the Level 4 Foyer.

Various programmes in support of Cantonese Opera Day were also held today at different LCSD venues, including Ko Shan Theatre, Sha Tin Town Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre, Hong Kong Film Archive and Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Simultaneously, Guangzhou City celebrated with a Guangzhou Cantonese Opera Day while Macau held Cantonese Opera performances.

Ends/Sunday, November 30, 2003
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