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Hong Kong: Chinese Opera Festival Runs from 19 June to 2 August

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Chinese Opera takes centre stage for more than 6 weeks during summer at performance venues throughout Hong Kong, with 9 different operatic genres in the spotlight. Can young audiences be convinced to attend?

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China-Peking-University-kunqu-Antonis-Shen

Peking Opera at Peking University in Beijing, China. Photo Credit: Antonis Shen. 

The Hong Kong Chinese Opera Festival will run from 19 June to 2 August 2015 at performance venues throughout Hong Kong.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present a full line-up of Chinese Opera for more than 6 weeks this summer.

The festival will put 9 operatic genres in the spotlight, including the three most popular types: Cantonese Opera, Peking Opera, and Kunqu Opera. Opera troupes will come from as far afield as Anhui, Beijing, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Shanghai.

The Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe will open the opera festival performing the complete edition of Farewell My Concubine at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui district.

Kunqu

China_Kunqu_Mudanting_Scene

Performance of Kunqu at Liu Garden in Suzhou, China. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theatre and the Su Opera Troupe will conclude the opera festival at the same venue performing excerps from 2 operas that have never been performed before in Hong Kong.

There will also be performances at the following venues: Hong Kong City Hall in Central, the Yau Ma Tei Theatre in Kowloon, the Ko Shan Theatre in Kowloon, and the Kwai Tsing Theatre in the New Territories.

A key question is whether the programme will find favour with younger audiences.

Despite on-going efforts to promote Chinese opera in Hong Kong, there seems to be little interest in the genre among the young, who were raised on television, Hollywood blockbusters, video games, and the Internet.

Chinese opera is an endangered species. Only time will tell if this efforts like these can keep the art form alive.

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