2010-02-13 – Cantonese Opera Performance Art
Aspect Ratio: 1-1
Cantonese opera is a very dramatic art form that can be haunting and powerful. This is not something that a fad or hit of the day. This is culture that tells stories that transcend time. The performers are true artists and today they are educated at university to ensure the art is passed on to future generations.
Hong Kong Chinese opera also called Cantonese Opera is over 300 years of local tradition. Today the art form is facing an aging audience that’s not being taken up by the youth. The art form is complex on many levels. The performances can last for hours and often held during certain local cultural such as the Yu Lan Ghost Festival held on seventh moon in the Chinese lunar calendar, on the 14th day. The opera is held in temporary bamboo theaters that are built specially for the show.
Cantonese opera is not the same as Beijing opera. Cantonese opera is story telling that can be a little hard on Western ears. There are lots of unique sounds with heavy percussion gongs and bangs that is often new to ones ear.
As a photographer I find the facial expressions and costumes to be well worth capturing. The singers have to learn four skills; singing, acting, speaking and martial arts as they are very much multi-talented performers.
Listed in 2009 as part of UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
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