“Experimental Chinese Opera Festival 2020”
Courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

It’s showtime! The Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District will present “Experimental Chinese Opera Festival 2020” from 10 October to 15 November 2020, highlighting original productions and new perspectives on the possibilities of Chinese opera. The festival will showcase two award-winning productions which blend traditional Cantonese opera techniques with contemporary stage design, and a specially curated series of Creative Sharing Sessions to encourage local and overseas creators, performers and audiences to exchange ideas online.

The two award-winning Xiqu Centre experimental Cantonese opera productions are Wenguang Explores the Valley and Farewell My Concubine (New Adaptation). Farewell My Concubine (New Adaptation) has received rave reviews for performances in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. The production was recognised with the Best Experimental Xiqu Award at the China (Beijing) Performing Arts Expo 2018, and the Honorary Credential awards at the 2018 and 2019 Xiqu Opera Black Box Festival (Beijing). Wenguang Explores the Valley was honoured with Best Play and Best Actor in the Contemporary Small Theatre – Xiqu category at the 2019 Beijing New Arts and Culture Outstanding Theatre Showcase series and now will have its Hong Kong premiere.

The festival also offers a series of Creative Sharing Sessions featuring representatives of troupes in Mainland China and Taiwan, including Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe, Shanghai Yue Opera House, Jin Liansheng Gaojia Opera Troupe of Xiamen City, and Contemporary Legend Theatre and Hsing Legend Youth Theatre. Each conversation explores different aspects of experimental Chinese opera and offers insight into some of the different genres’ creative productions. Creators and performers will participate in sessions via live-streaming, sharing creatives choices and performance styles. The sessions present video excerpts from highlighted works and offer audiences the chance to exchange questions and ideas with the artists and experts.

Naomi Chung, Head of Xiqu, Performing Arts of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA), said, ‘The vision of the Experimental Chinese Opera Festival is to preserve tradition, foster creativity and extend the reach of a heritage art form. Through this brand-new platform, we aim to encourage discussion amongst practitioners and engage new audiences. We hope audiences will get a taste of experimental productions across different regions created and performed by young artists.’

Programme Details of “Experimental Chinese Opera Festival 2020”

Performances

Date Programme
22-27 October 2020
(Thursday-Tuesday)

Experimental Cantonese Opera Wenguang Explores the Valley – Xiqu Centre

Cast: Keith Lai, Janet Wong, Ng Lap-hei, Shum Pak-chuen

6-8 November 2020
(Friday-Sunday)

Experimental Cantonese Opera Farewell My Concubine (New Adaptation) – Xiqu Centre

Cast: Keith Lai, Janet Wong, Ng Lap-hei

10-13 November 2020
(Tuesday-Friday)

Time 7:15pm
Venue Studio 1, Xiqu Centre, West Kowloon Cultural District
Ticket Price HK$250
On-sale Date 25 September 2020 (Friday)

Creative Sharing Sessions

Date Topic
10 October 2020 (Saturday) From Theatre of the Absurd to Kunqu
Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe
17 October 2020 (Saturday) Gaojia Opera’s Comic Tales of Human Lives
Jin Liansheng Gaojia Opera Troupe of Xiamen City
31 October 2020 (Saturday) A Woman’s Perspective, Past and Present
Shanghai Yue Opera House
15 November 2020 (Sunday) Blending Peking Opera, Street Dance and Rock
Contemporary Legend Theatre︱Hsing Legend Youth Theatre
Time 3:00pm
Venue Studio 1, Xiqu Centre, West Kowloon Cultural District and live-streaming
Fee Free admission. Limited capacity on a first come, first served basis. Please register online in advance.

Please visit www.westkowloon.hk/ecof2020 for programme details and the latest ticketing information.

Remarks

About the Xiqu Centre
The Xiqu Centre at the West Kowloon Cultural District is the first landmark performing arts venue. It acts as the eastern gateway to the District. Specifically built for performances of Chinese traditional theatre, the Xiqu Centre is designed to conserve, promote and develop the art of xiqu. It also provides a centre for the production, education and research of this unique art form. Xiqu Centre was selected as one of TIME Magazine's 2019 World's Greatest Places.

About West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.