Transmission and transformation of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong: From school education to professional training

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

After the return of the sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the issue of nurturing Chinese culture through schooling has been raised to the agenda of education in Hong Kong. As a recognised Intangible Cultural Heritage initiated by the Government, the Cantonese opera has implanted its cultural and artistic position since the early 20th century. At present the Cantonese opera is included in different school subjects such as Chinese Language, General Studies and Music. Extra-curricular classes teaching the genre are found inside and outside schools. However, the transmission of the Cantonese opera has been regarded as at risk when those master artists have faded out from the stage while the new generation faces difficulty to grasp the baton. Further, there seem to have very few youngsters who value and support the genre by attending the performances. The Cantonese opera is facing the issue of transmission. In order to describe and analyse the current situation and to provide implications for policy making for the arts education and cultural development, the paper addresses four issues related to the transmission and transformation of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong: 1. the nature and attributions to the difficulties in transmission; 2. nurturing future audience through school education; 3. transmission from the master artists to the young performers through a hybrid of oral transmission approach and a conservatory approach; and, 4. the linkage among school education, professional training and the cultural contexts of Hong Kong. Different recent research studies implemented by the author will be linked together to draw a holistic picture of the issue on how transformation should be undertaken.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Citation

Leung, B. W. (2013, July). Transmission and transformation of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong: From school education to professional training. Paper presented at the 9th Asia-Pacific Symposium of Music Education Research ISME Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Singapore.

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