A form of Cantonese narrative singing, nanyin has its origins in folk ballads. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was absorbed into Cantonese opera as one of a range of delivery styles and has since undergone multiple transformations to become the refined form it is today.

Predominantly performed in Cantonese, nanyin played a pivotal role during Cantonese opera’s transition from the use of guanhua (the official language of imperial China) to the Cantonese vernacular.

In this talk, Professor Yu Siu-wah explores popular nanyin excerpts from Cantonese opera, and offers insight into the history and evolution of this particular style of vocal delivery.

5 March 2019 (Tuesday)


Seminar Hall, 2/F, Xiqu Centre

Prof Yu Siu-wah


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

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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 2 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 3:30pm and onwards.

Ms Chan (852) 2200 0812, learning@wkcda.hk

About Speaker:

Prof Yu Siu-wah

Prof Yu Siu-wah is the chief editor of the Hong Kong volumes of Chinese Opera Annals and Anthology of Chinese Opera Music, and adjunct professor of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University and of the music department at Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the early 1980s, Yu worked for the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, RTHK, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in various capacities. In 1996 he received his PhD in musicology from Harvard University. Yu’s research interests include organology, instrumental music, Chinese music history, Chinese opera, music of the Manchus and Mongols in the Qing court, popular music, movie music and cultural politics in the music of Hong Kong. He has also received training in nanyin, a form of Cantonese narrative singing.

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