Bringing an old tradition to life

Bringing an old tradition to life

Class activity shows Chinese opera still has much to offer today's students

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Students at St Stephen's Girls' college learn the finer points of Chinese Opera.
Students at St Stephen's Girls' college learn the finer points of Chinese Opera.
HKADA
In a recent Cultural Arts lesson, our school invited the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to introduce us to Chinese opera. To be honest, I am a reluctant learner when it comes to Chinese opera. But after the performance, I was very impressed to see another side of the traditional culture.

Everything was so quiet until the music broke in. There were erhu, dulcimer and other instruments playing together. Then two performers dressed in full Chinese opera costumes came on stage to sing. To my surprise, they were as good as the renowned Chinese opera actress Yam Kim-fai.

The performers were brilliant, expressing their character's feelings through body movement and facial expressions.

The audience was very impressed, especially since the male character was played by a female! The climax came when they started fighting. We gave them a big round of applause.

Besides watching the performance, we took to the stage to try out the costumes and instruments. While our classmates modelled the costumes, the rest of us recited the famous poem written by Li Bai.

This activity changed my thoughts on Chinese Opera. I am now more aware that this tradition does not only belong to our grandparents, but is also part of our heritage. We teenagers should cherish it.

Who said Chinese opera couldn't be fun? It can be amusing, if only we take the first step to find out more about it. Hard work and determination are the keys to success in Chinese opera.

I hope this activity teaches us a lesson which we can apply to every aspect of our lives.

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