Li Pui Yan, an American born Cantonese opera artist, was introduced to the traditional Chinese art form during her childhood. This session will reveal her fascinating adventures in the world of Cantonese opera from her training and professional career as dan (female role) to her strong commitment to passing on the art form to younger generations.

Li will also share anecdotes and the challenges she has faced in her career. In addition, she will introduce the costumes and make-up styles of sheng (male role) and dan, as well as the singing styles and performing techniques used in Cantonese opera. Those attending may have the rare opportunity of trying on costumes.

24 June 2018 (Sunday)


Campfire – Wong Chuk Hang
5/F, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road (3 minutes walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR station exit A1)

Joanna Lee

Li Pui Yan


Free admission. Limited capacity on a first come, first served basis. Please register online in advance. Light refreshments will be served.


Ms Leung (852) 2200 0872,

Accessibility Services:
Cantonese audio description and Hong Kong Sign Language interpretation are available upon request with at least 14 days’ advance notice.

Adverse Weather Arrangements:
The talk will be cancelled if a black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force at 11am and onwards.

Abour Moderator:

Joanna Lee

Joanna Lee

Joanna Lee attended London’s Royal College of Music and completed her PhD at New York’s Columbia University. From 1994 to 1998, she managed global copyrights and promotion at the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. Between 1998 and 2000, Lee took over the business and contractual administration of the Grammy-winning, New-York based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She contributed 11 articles to the current New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. She has spoken at the Shanghai Grand Theatre (televised on Shanghai Oriental TV), Rhodes Forum: Dialogue of Civilizations (Greece) as well as the Cini Foundation in Venice. In May 2016, she served as a panelist at the Classical:NEXT conference in Rotterdam. She currently serves on the Advisory Board and Jury of the International Opera Awards. She was the cultural consultant to David Henry Hwang’s Broadway comedy Chinglish and the 2017 Broadway revival of M Butterfly (directed by Julie Taymor).

About Speaker:

Li Pui Yan 

Li Pui Yan

Li Pui Yan, a graduate of Wellesley College, a top-ranked private women’s liberal arts college, was born in New York into a family with a Cantonese opera heritage. Li has been taught by numerous famous Cantonese opera performers and her repertoire ranges from classics to new productions.

She has performed for the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Chinese Opera Festival, the Macau Arts Festival and the benefit inaugural performance at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Li also featured as one of West Kowloon Cultural District’s Rising Stars of Cantonese Opera in 2014, and she is the recipient of one of the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards (Award for Young Artist – Xiqu) for 2017. 

Through working with artists from other disciplines, such as Ming Wong and Mariko Mori, Li is inspired to further explore the cross-disciplinary potential of the traditional art form. Aside from performing, Li devotes her time to the English translation of Cantonese opera librettos and has served on the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee in Hong Kong for three terms.

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