One of the oldest xiqu genres still performed today, Kunqu originated more than 600 years ago in the city of Kunshan near Suzhou.

The language of Kunqu performances combines the regional Wu dialect with archaic guanhua (the former language of the officials). In this talk, local Chinese opera scholar Dr Chan Chun-miu explores the relationship between the use of language and the evolution of the art form, and looks at how both dialects are used to characterise different roles. Through recorded and live demonstrations he also examines the relationship between Kunqu music and Chinese language and literature, looks at the way that music is used to highlight different roles and characters, and offers audiences insight into the distinctive sounds and melodies of the art form.

25 May 2019 (Saturday)


Seminar Hall & Studio 5, 2/F, Xiqu Centre
(The talk will take place in the Seminar Hall, with live transmission to Studio 5.)

Dr Chan Chun-miu


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:

Dr Chan Chun-miu

Local Chinese opera scholar Chan Chun-miu obtained a PhD degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and masters degrees from Hong Kong University and Soochow University (China). He has taught at City University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University. His research and teaching areas cover Chinese opera and Chinese classical literature. He has published a number of academic journals and was the recipient of the Wang Guowei traditional opera essay prize. In addition to his academic work, he has studied Kunqu singing under professionals such as Koo Siu-sun, Cheung Lai-chun and Zhou Qin.

As vice president of the Concordia Kunqu Society of Hong Kong, Chan has given talks and lectures on Kunqu at universities in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and at various music societies and cultural institutions. He has also participated in performances as a singer (performing Kunqu, Qin songs and Songqi) in Hong Kong, China and the USA, and has released two recordings of his work.

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