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Cantonese Opera Cantonese Opera

Cantonese Opera

Cantonese Opera

Cantonese opera is one type of Chinese traditional theatre, with singing and spoken lines delivered in the Cantonese dialect. It is popularly found in the Cantonese-speaking regions, which include mainly Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong and Macao. In each opera production, the story is told through the "four basic skills" of singing, acting, delivery of spoken lines and martial arts, enhanced by stage makeup, costumes, props and the percussive beats on gongs and drums. The presentation format is a fine mixture of literature, drama, ballad singing, dance and martial arts. The singing style, role types, makeup, stylised movements, libretti and singing scores are all rich in artistic value. Aside from being a form of performing art for public entertainment, Cantonese opera can serve as religious drama presented as part of the ritual of thanksgiving to the deities, or for occasions of jiao festivals. It is therefore highly praised for its social and cultural values. Cantonese opera was inscribed onto the first national list of ICH in 2006, and the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.