Chinese opera dates back to over a thousand years and used to be entertainment enjoyed only by a privileged few. Cantonese opera, in particular, has a history of more than eight hundred years. As a Cantonese, it is disheartening to see that this cultural art form isn’t getting the kind of appreciation it deserves, even among primarily Cantonese-speaking Chinese community in Ipoh.
In view of this, Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association has taken baby steps to try to revive interest for this art form with its first cultural night of Cantonese opera held last evening at the Chin Woo auditorium.
There were three performances; the first two by members of Kelab Sosial & Kebudayaan Opera Cina Seen Ngai Ipoh, Perak, based in Bercham, Ipoh. The third performance was by two popular Cantonese opera stars, Fong Hiew Hoong and Wan Yoke Yue, who flew in from Hong Kong for free and without obligation, to help promote Cantonese culture in Ipoh. Local musicians were accompanied by a senior musician at the erhu (Chinese fiddle) and Chinese flute. He flew in from Singapore. Residents of four senior citizens’ homes in and around Ipoh were also invited to enjoy the evening.
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