For almost a century, Cantonese opera in Hong Kong has responded to the challenges of the modern times, employing different aesthetic and pragmatic tactics in order to survive and remain relevant.

In this talk, Prof Li Siu-leung looks at Cantonese opera in the social context of modern Hong Kong, from the 1920s and 1930s to the present, and examines how elements of western-modern music and culture have been adapted for use in the traditional performing art form. Referencing the larger context of xiqu modernisation in mainland China and Taiwan, he discusses the work of the Hong Kong Taiping Theater Troupe in the 1930s and 40s, the Hong Kong Experimental Cantonese Opera Troupe established in 1971, and the small-scale cross-genre experimentations of emerging performing artists today.

4 May 2019 (Saturday)


Seminar Hall, 2/F, Xiqu Centre

Prof Li Siu-leung


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


Ms Chan (852) 2200 0812,

Accessibility Services:
Cantonese audio description and Hong Kong sign language interpretation are available upon request with at least 14 days’ advance notice. Wheelchair accessible seats and companion seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Please request with at least 4 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/after 10:30am on the day of the event.

About Speaker:

Prof Li Siu-leung

Currently Adjunct Professor of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Prof Li Siu-leung was previously Head of Lingnan’s Cultural Studies, Dean and Professor of the School of Chinese Opera at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Adjunct Professor in the Music Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has also taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and published works on Chinese opera and gender, Hong Kong film and pop culture, as well as comparative literature. Prof Li has served on various government and professional committees, including the Cantonese Opera Development Fund Advisory Committee, the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, the Ko Shan Theatre Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre Work Group, the Chinese Traditional Performing Arts Panel of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and Barwo’s Supervisory Committee for the Yau Ma Tei Theatre Venue Partnership Scheme.

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