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Love on the Stage: A Little History of Cantonese Opera

Love on the Stage: A Little History of Cantonese Opera

By Guangdong Federation of Literary and Art Circles

Guangdong Institute for Literature and Art

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84464-682-1

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-84464-683-8

Hardback - 134 pages

November 2021


£65 €78 $98



The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Culture: Three Treasures of Lingnan Series is a set of brief and illustrated introductions to three traditional art forms -- Guangdong opera, Lingnan school of painting and Guangdong music -- in south China. We hope these three riveting books, including Love on the Stage, Beauty of Colors and Cadence of Strings, can attract more overseas readers who love Chinese and Lingnan culture to explore further their artistic and unique charm and history.

Love on the Stage: A Little History of Cantonese Opera mainly focuses on the birth and growth of Cantonese Opera, the trend of Contemporary Cantonese Opera, the artistic features of Cantonese Opera, the legacy of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong and Macao and the spread of Cantonese Opera overseas. There are also a list of the Cantonese Opera Celebrities. It also introduces the relations of Cantonese opera and Cantonese culture.

Since the beginning of reform and opening up in 1978 and with

the rise of China's economy, Chinese culture has become more and more influential in the world. As an important part of Chinese culture, Lingnan culture plays a key role and it manifests itself most notably in art, Cantonese opera, architecture and food. More and more young people of the overseas Chinese need to know the root and development of culture of their parents and ancestors. Moreover, foreigners who are interested in Chinese culture and history also want to learn this remarkable and robust culture.




Pioneers and Prosperity—Flowering of Cantonese Opera

Change: Lofty Aspirations and Innovation

Prosperity: Grand Troupe of Guangdong

Big Hit: Opera Performers and Film Stars

Joint Performance: Actor and Actress on the Same Stage

Glory: Competition between Two Masters

Cantonese Folk Songs—Birth and Growth of Cantonese Opera

Root: Entertaining Songs

Embryo: Singing Style

Wandering Troupe: The Red Boat Brothers

Uprising: Li Wenmao Declared Himself King

Self-Help: Establishment of the Opera Guild

The Rise: Revival of the Cantonese Opera

Gods of Opera: Unique Worship in Theatrical Circle

Heritage and Innovation—Trend of Contemporary Cantonese Opera

New Role: Fighting against Japanese Invaders

Rebirth: Bright New Look

Setbacks: Flowering at the Other Side

Revival: The New Enthusiasm

Guarding: Joint Efforts

Innovation: Avant-Garde

Adopt Others’ Strong Points—Artistic Features of Cantonese Opera

Singing Style: Bangzi plus Erhuang Incorporating Diverse Singing Styles

Music: Integration of the East and the West

Roles: Ten Roles with Six Pillar Performers

Wu Play: Real Martial Arts with Real Weapons

Repertoire: Inclusiveness with Masters

Stage Design: Ingenuity and Magnificence

Dazzling Performers—Great Cantonese Opera Masters

Qianli Ju: A Master of Tragedy

Liang Yuanheng: A Versatile Xiao Wu Sheng

Xue Juexian: An All-Round Master

Ma Shizeng: A Great Master

Baiju Rong: A King of Xiao Sheng

Liao Xiahuai: A Multiple-Faced Comedian

Gui Mingyang: A Gold-Medal Winner

Hung Sin-nui: A Southern Beauty on the Stage

Masters: Performers of Excellence

Successors: Pass on to the Next Generation

Heritage of the Same Origin—Cantonese Opera and Cantonese Culture

Fusion: Cantonese Opera and Pottery Sculpture

Traces: Cantonese Opera and Hong Kong Films

Openness: Cantonese Opera and Cantonese

Glory in the Neighborhood—Legacy of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong and Macao

Hong Kong: Being of One Blood

Macao: Entertainments for Gods and Men

Guardian: Protection and Heritage

Why Nostalgia?—The Spread of Cantonese Opera Overseas

Southeast Asia: The Second Hometown

Spread to North America: Rise and Fall

Bridge: Cultural Communication




Guangdong Federation of Literary and Art Circles is a provincial non-governmental organization in Guangdong province. Its mission is to unite and serve writers and artists, to train literary and art talents, and to promote the development and prosperity of literature and arts in the province.

Guangdong Institute for Literature and Art is an organization specialized in serving the provincial writers and artists to carry out their studies in the related fields.

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