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Hong Kong marks second Cantonese Opera Day

Thousands of people were treated to a colourful feast of Cantonese opera today (November 28) in celebration of the second Cantonese Opera Day which was held to promote more interest in this ancient performing art form in places like Guangdong and Guangxi.

Secretary of Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho and Chairman of the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, Dr Stephen Chow officiated at the opening ceremony at Shatin Town Hall.

Dr Ho paid tribute to the many outstanding artists who were dedicated to the art and made remarkable achievements to develop Cantonese opera and keep the genre alive for future generations.

He said it was also due to the hard work of the young performers that the influence of Cantonese opera was found in Chinese communities in other parts of the world and enjoyed the staunch support of Chinese opera lovers to this day.

Professional Cantonese opera artists, community Cantonese opera troupes and children's opera groups performed and participated in various activities to help promote this local performing arts.

Families enjoyed an opening parade, children's Cantonese opera excerpts, "Paichang" performances, Cantonese puppet plays, autograph sessions and games stalls at Shatin Town Hall. Free Cantonese opera performances were also staged at other venues including Ko Shan Theatre, Yuen Long Theatre and Tuen Mun Town Hall. Nearly 20 renowned Cantonese opera artists performed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre for "Cantonese Operatic Songs Concert with Orchestral Accompaniment".

The concept of organising a Cantonese Opera Day came from a conference held at 2002 with members of cultural divisions from Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau keen to provide an opportunity for people to appreciate the art of Cantonese opera.

The first Cantonese Opera Day was held last year by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and received an overwhelming response. This year, the programme was more extensive, extending from mid-November to late-December and consisted of different performing styles under the title, "BRAVO! A Cantonese Opera Fiesta!".

Details about "BRAVO! A Cantonese Opera Fiesta!" can be obtained from programme leaflets or by visiting the website: .

Ends/Sunday, November 28, 2004.
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