To further foster the preservation, education and heritage of Cantonese opera, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has established at the Ko Shan Theatre New Wing a permanent Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre. With a floor area of approximately 2 100 square feet, the Centre employs advanced technology, including giant television screens and multimedia projectors, to present digitised, interactive Cantonese opera resources. Its aim is to educate and entertain, promoting history in an enjoyable way. The Centre is open, free to the public in hopes that more students, teachers, teenagers and young artists will gain hands-on exposure to Cantonese opera and in-depth knowledge of the art.
To fashion the Centre into a self-contained, high-tech repository combining tradition and technology, it is divided into six separate zones: the History Zone traces Cantonese opera’s origins and development; the Artists Zone features 80 opera stars of outstanding stature; the Playscript, Vocal and Music Zone showcases original scripts in digitised format with explanatory notes as well as introduction on vocal styles and musical instruments; the Makeup Zone illustrates the characteristics and techniques of Cantonese opera makeup and costumes; the Stage Set Zone presents stylised performances from Prime Minister of Six States, a “ritual play” that precedes the first show of any performance season, explaining the meanings behind its traditional staging; and finally, the Audio-visual Zone presents a vast archive of exclusive materials on Cantonese opera, complete with a search engine for visitors to utilise in their one-stop viewing experience.