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Cantonese Opera Day at HKCC

The Cantonese Opera Day, organised annually by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), was held today (November 25) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

More than 100 performers participated in the opening ceremony. Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Mrs Carrie Yau, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Mr Thomas Chow, Chairman of the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee Dr Stephen Chow Chun-kay and Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong Dr Liza Wang officiated.

Mrs Yau said that Cantonese opera was an emblem of local culture, a refined, as much as a popular, art form. The Government would actively preserve and promote this intangible cultural heritage.

“In respect of venues, the Government will build a world-class permanent performance venue for Cantonese opera troupes.” Mrs Yau said.

“We hope by creating performing venues of various scales for Cantonese opera and upgrading existing performing facilities, we will be able to meet the sector’s demands.”

“While LCSD organises and sponsors more than 300 Cantonese opera performances each year, the Government also provides funding for those taking full-time and evening part-time courses in Cantonese opera at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and subsidies for Cantonese opera-related activities organised and funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Financial resources in support of Cantonese opera is $38 million for the 2007-2008.”

Mrs Yau also thanked the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, Cantonese Opera Development Fund and The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong for their efforts in developing the art form.

After the opening ceremony, the Cantonese Opera Day 2007 began with 20 youngsters wearing costumes participating in a bus parade. An array of free programmes including Cantonese opera performances, autograph sessions by famous Cantonese opera stars, “Discovering The Cantonese Opera Heritage” exhibition, stage make-up and dressing-up, Cantonese Operatic Aria Karaoke and games stalls were also held at HKCC.

Other events were also held at various LCSD venues, as well as in Guangdong and in Macau, in support of the Cantonese Opera Day.

To continue to develop the valuable vernacular art of Cantonese Opera, the cultural departments of Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong decided in 2003 that the last Sunday of November each year would be designated Cantonese Opera Day. By holding this event on an annual basis, it is hoped a broader audience base will be built to promote and preserve the genre for future generations.

Ends/ Sunday, November 25, 2007
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