The Guangdong Quadrangle is a combined showcase of four musical art forms indigenous to Guangdong: Dabayin (“The Eight Sounds”, traditional music played for religious or secular festivals), Shuochang (narrative singing or musical storytelling), Cantonese music (traditional music from the Pearl River Delta), and Cantonese operatic songs in the classic singing style.

Dabayin, traditionally played by groups of men hired to celebrate community events, gained significance in the mid-1850s, when uprisings in southern China led to a four-year ban on performances of Cantonese opera and bayin troupes used suona (reed horn) of two different sizes and pitches to mimic the vocal ranges of sheng (male) and dan (female) actors. Shuochang narrative singing, one of the essential elements of the ballad-singing system in Guangdong, can be subdivided into nanyin (southern sounds), moyuge (wooden fish songs), banyan (measured) and longzhou (dragon boat, brisk), with nanyin and moyuge inscribed onto the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Cantonese music, or Guangdong music, is the traditional music of the Pearl River Delta, distinguished from other forms of traditional Chinese music by its lively, happy tempo. Cantonese operatic songs in the classic singing style are sung in the archaic dialect of the Central Plains, the original language of Chinese traditional theatre. Today almost all Cantonese opera productions are performed in Cantonese, and few actors are trained in the classic singing style.

The Guangdong Quadrangle performances showcase the unique attraction of these folk art forms and the talent of a number of renowned local artists. Leading a five-piece ensemble in a revival of the sounds of bayin troupes from their heyday is percussion ensemble leader, Ko Yun-kuen. Veteran Cantonese opera actor Yuen Siu-fai is joined by Leung Hoi-li, a young singer of nanyin, in a performance of banyan, moyuge and nanyin narrative singing. Yu Siu-wah and Chan Chi-chun lead a Cantonese music ensemble performing classics such as Autumn Moon over a Placid Lake and The Peacock in Its Full Glory, and Yuen Siu-fai, Ng Chin-fung and Sun Kim-long sing a selection of repertoires in the classic singing style, including Jia Baoyu’s Lament for the Wrong Match in the Arranged Marriage and Waiting in the West Chamber under the Moon

Yuen Siu-fai, Ng Chin-fung (5 July only), Sun Kim-long (7 July only), Yu Siu-wah, Chan Chi-chun, Ko Yun-kuen, Ko Yun-hung, Cheng Man-yee (4–6 July only), Leung Hoi-li, Ho Kang-ming, Chan Kwok-fai

Programme details


Narrative singing

Cantonese Music

Cantonese Operatic Songs in the Classic Singing Style


(with new lyrics)

A Monk Misses His Wife

A medley of Cantonese operatic songs in the classic singing style: On the Swallow Tower, Bidding Farewell by the Autumn River
(4 and 6 July only)

An Ingot of Gold

Moyuge: The Fable of the Ungrateful Wolf

Lovers’ Sorrow 

Chen Gong Chastising Cao Cao
(4 and 6 July only)

The Advent of Spring

Nanyin: Excerpt from Nocturnal Lament

Butterflies among the Flowers

Jia Baoyu’s Lament for the Wrong Match in the Arranged Marriage
(5 July only)

Wuzhao Pass 

Nanyin: Blind Musician Dou Wun
(4 July only)

The Toll of the Temple Bell

Han Xin Accepting Food from the Washer Woman
(5 July only)

Filing the Complaint in the Underworld 

Nanyin: Excerpt from Farewell My Concubine
(5 July only)

Autumn Moon over a Placid Lake

Rendezvous at the Monastery of Sweet Dew
(7 July only)

On Silver Terrace 

Nanyin: Burning Funerary Goods for His Love
(6 July only)

A Hungry Horse Shaking Its Bells

Waiting in the West Chamber under the Moon
(7 July only)


Nanyin: Excerpt from A Wanderer’s Autumn Grief
(7 July only)

The Galloping Stallion and the Hero




The Peacock in Its Full Glory


4–7 July 2019 (Thursday–Sunday)


Running time:
Approximately 3 hours, including an intermission of 15 minutes 

Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually. Latecomers will only be admitted at a suitable break.

Tea House Theatre, Xiqu Centre

Cantonese and the archaic dialect of the Central Plains with Chinese and English surtitles.

$430, $330 (Please note that no refreshments will be served during this performance) 


Online booking:
Credit card telephone booking: (852) 2111 5999
Ticketing enquiries: (852) 3761 6661
Tickets are available at the Xiqu Centre Ticket Office.

For more information, please visit the Chinese Opera Festival website:

Programme information provided by the troupes.

The presenters reserve the right to change the programme and substitute artists.

The programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Xiqu Centre or the West Kowloon Cultural District.

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