Heritage traditions and contemporary aesthetics – A new xiqu experience
The Xiqu Centre’s Black Box Chinese Opera Festival presents experimental productions that offer new perspectives on Chinese opera, merging history and tradition with artistic and technical innovation.
Since 2017, the annual festival has showcased new and original works in a range of regional genres and styles, from Cantonese opera to Peking opera and Kunqu. Devised and adapted for the modern stage, each production highlights the diversity and vitality of the heritage art form through bold experimentation and a contemporary sensibility, all within a 90-minute format.
This year’s festival, generously supported by our title sponsor Friends of Hong Kong Association, sees the premieres of two new experimental Cantonese opera productions: Cantonese opera legend Law Ka-ying’s Asura Judgement – Solo Performance, Law’s first one-man performance in a five-decade long career, and The Imperial Decree (Preview), the third original production by the Xiqu Centre’s award-winning team.
In addition, the acclaimed Xiqu Centre productions Farewell My Concubine (New Adaptation) and Wenguang Explores the Valley return to the stage, offering audiences the chance to revisit these groundbreaking and popular works.
The event also includes a programme of hands-on xiqu-inspired workshops, the Living Heritage Workshop Series, where participants explore traditional crafts and try their hand at marigold flower embroidery, imitation kingfisher feather brooch making and printmaking.
Our vision for the future is that the Black Box Chinese Opera Festival continues to grow in scope and significance, and that the event becomes a key date on the performance arts calendar alongside established Black Box festivals in Beijing and Shanghai.