The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announces the opening of the first landmark performing arts venue, the Xiqu Centre, at the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon) on 20 January 2019.  Conveniently located at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road West in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Xiqu Centre is designed to be a world-class platform for the conservation, promotion and development of Cantonese opera and other genres of xiqu (Chinese traditional theatre) in Hong Kong and beyond. In addition to presenting quality programmes, its mission is to promote the development of new repertory, reseach, education, training and exchanges, as well as holding professional development programmes to help nurture young talent.

The building’s striking design, created by Bing Thom Architects (now Revery Architecture) and Ronald Lu and Partners, was inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns and blends traditional and contemporary elements to reflect the evolving nature of the art form. Stepping through the main entrance, shaped to resemble parted stage curtains, visitors are led directly into a fully open and lively atrium with a raised podium and space for presenting a variety of performances and exhibitions.

Henry Tang Ying-yen, Chairman of the WKCDA Board said, “The year 2019 commemorates the 10th anniversary of Cantonese opera’s addition to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  The opening of the Xiqu Centre will be conducive to developing a locally-rooted xiqu network that has a regional impact with an important role in international arts development.  It also demonstrates West Kowloon’s commitment to facilitating and enhancing cultural exchange and cooperation among Hong Kong, Mainland China and beyond, with arts and culture spreading across the city and Chinese culture promoting to the rest of the world.”

Duncan Pescod, Chief Executive Officer of the WKCDA added, “The opening of the Xiqu Centre is a defining moment in the history of the West Kowloon development and will be a benchmark for venues designed to showcase traditional theatre.  It also underlines the great importance WKCDA attaches to supporting the development of all forms of Chinese opera in Hong Kong, in particular Cantonese opera.”

Following the official opening ceremony on 20 January 2019, WKCDA is privileged to present the Cantonese opera classic, The Reincarnation of Red Plum, under the artistic curation of Cantonese opera great, Dr Pak Suet-sin.  With performance by established and emerging Cantonese opera artists, The Reincarnation of Red Plum celebrates the 60th anniversary of its premiere and marks the commencement of a three-month Opening Season. Ballot application will be open online at www.westkowloon.hk from 10am on 16 October to 9pm on 28 October 2018.   It is also available in person at the Xiqu Centre ticket office.

Thereafter, a series of Spring Festival Showcase by the Hong Kong Cantonese Opera Chamber of Commerce will be presented in February 2019 to continue West Kowloon’s initiative of promoting xiqu during Lunar New Year.  The Opening Season will be concluded by a master selection of excerpts from award-winning artists of the renowned China Theatre Association Plum Blossom Award Art Troupe in March 2019.

At the Tea House Theatre, Cantonese Opera and Tea, directed and curated by Cantonese opera virtuoso, Law Ka-ying, and performed by the Tea House Rising Stars Troupe will be introduced to audiences new to Chinese traditional theatre, offering an intimate viewing experience with traditional tea and dim sum served during the performance.

As part of the opening programme, the Xiqu Centre will also present a special screening series, showcasing some of the most iconic xiqu films produced over the past 80 years. Alongside the xiqu performances, there will be a comprehensive programme of guided tours, talks, workshops and a special school programme.

Louis Yu Kwok-lit, Executive Director, Performing Arts, WKCDA said, “The Reincarnation of Red Plum is the household Cantonese opera, with a star-studded cast of three generations of Cantonese opera artists.  This programme is a celeberation and the best demonstration of the Xiqu Centre’s mission to preserve and nurture our cultural heritage and promote it to the world.  With various programme line-up during the opening, I am confident that the Xiqu Centre will be able to attract a wide range of audiences.”

Before the opening of the Xiqu Centre, a stage dedication by the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong with two specially selected pieces ── Birthday of the God of Venus and Prime Minister of Six States, will be staged on 30 December 2018 to mark the start of use of the Grand Theatre in accordance with the customary practice of the xiqu sector.  The Stage Dedication Day will be followed by a week of Open Days with an array of free programmes designed to allow the public to participate in the final stages as West Kowloon prepares for the operations of the Xiqu Centre.  

For details, please visit our website https://www.westkowloon.hk.

Remarks

About West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.

Annex

Ballot application for tickets of the opening programme ── The Reincarnation of Red Plum

  • Free registration and open to everyone aged 11 or above
  • Online registration is easy with three simple steps
  • Valid photo ID card / passport / student ID card is required for registration
  • Only one registration per person is allowed. Each successful applicant can purchase up to four tickets
  • No rush for registration. All registrations made during the 13 days registration period have an equal chance in the ballot

 

Ticketing Information

Date

Item

Details

Ballot application for tickets of the opening programme ── The Reincarnation of Red Plum

10am on 16 Oct 2018 – 9pm on 28 Oct 2018

Registration

  • Registration can be completed online at www.westkowloon.hk or in person at the Xiqu Centre ticket office*
  • A reference number will be provided to each registered applicant for the ballot result announcement

5 Nov 2018

Result announcement

  • Ballot results will be announced on the West Kowloon’s website
  • Successful applicants will be contacted by email and/or phone

10am on 10 Nov 2018 – 9pm on 18 Nov 2018

Ticket purchasing period for successful applicants

  • A one-time passcode will be provided to successful applicants for ticket purchase
  • Ticket purchase: 1) online at www.westkowloon.hk; 2) in person at the Xiqu Centre ticket office*; or 3) by telephone at +852 2200 0022

Other opening programmes

From 26 Nov 2018

Tickets on sale

  • Ticket  purchase: 1) online at www.westkowloon.hk; 2) in person at the Xiqu Centre ticket office*; 3) by telephone at +852 2200 0022; or 4) through other ticket outlets at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and designated Tom Lee Music outlets (from 27 Nov 2018)

*Opening hours of Xiqu Centre ticket office: 10am to 9pm daily