The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO) is pleased to support the Hong Kong Cultural Expo 2018 organised by the Starlight Chinese Opera Performing Arts Centre (Starlight) in Toronto in September. HKETO is a major sponsor of the Cultural Expo, which aims to showcase young Cantonese opera talents from Hong Kong, including graduates of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, to Canadian audience and enhance cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Canada.
The Expo comprised a seminar entitled “Mix the Spurious with the Genuine: An Introduction to Xiqu (Chinese Opera) Performance” on September 12 co-organised with the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library of the University of Toronto; as well as Cantonese opera performances on 14 and 15 September at the Flato Markham Theatre. The performance on 14 September is a full-length Cantonese opera performance called “The Legend of Mermaid”, while the matinee performance on September 15 will feature “Selected Cantonese Opera Excerpts”.
Director of HKETO Miss Kathy Chan noted at the press conference on 12 September that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is committed to developing Hong Kong into an international arts and cultural hub. “Cantonese opera was officially inscribed onto UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. Over the years, the HKSAR Government has been actively promoting the development and succession of Cantonese opera. The Opera Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong will open its doors later this year. It will be an ideal nurturing ground and performing venue not only for Cantonese opera, but also for other genres of traditional Chinese opera,” Miss Chan said.
"The Legend of the Mermaid" is a love story about a mermaid and an impoverished scholar. The two performances on September 14 and 15 feature elaborate costumes and spectacular stunts. Miss Chan said they would enable not only Chinese but also people from other ethnic backgrounds to appreciate the beauty of Cantonese opera.