Hong Kong Xiqu Overview 2019 is a project supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The HKADC’s annual Overview series includes volumes on dance, theatre, music, and xiqu (Chinese opera). The overviews aim at recounting and documenting the important events, issues, and changes around individual art forms in the year.
The ebook Hong Kong Xiqu Overview 2019 is organized in two parts: “overview” and “special topics.”
The first two chapters constitute the overview part whereas each of the other three chapters deals with one topic that was selected for its significance relevant to the year being retold.
The first chapter “Hong Kong Chinese Opera Event Files 2019: A Year of Celebrations and Restlessness“ files the big events around the two focuses of jollification and unrest that shaped the year 2019 as special for the city’s Chinese opera. The second chapter “Selected Events, Hong Kong Chinese Opera 2019” is a compendium to the first chapter, listing notable events and activities in the eight categories of new productions; other significant productions; regional Chinese opera productions other than Cantonese opera; events celebrating the 10th anniversary of Cantonese opera’s entering on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; books publications, film, TV, online media; training and promotion; programs and events cancelled due to the anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill protests; others.
The three special-topic chapters cover three subjects; namely, the Xiqu Centre that opened in January 2019, genres of Cantonese operatic music, a survey of 14 books on Chinese opera published in 2019.
The chapter “Before Xiqu Centre, After Xiqu Centre” provides a larger social-cultural context for the coming into being of the Xiqu Centre in 2019. Putting the discussion in historical perspectives, the chapter examines issues of Chinese opera venues, the government’s cultural polices regarding performance venues, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority’s Chinese opera programming strategies, and the Xiqu Centre’s potential in effecting changes in the city’s translocal Chinese opera ecology.
“Four Genres of Cantonese Operatic Music Revisited: Daibayin, Narrative Singing, Cantonese Music, Cantonese Operatic Tunes Sung in Official Mandarin” is an ethnomusicological chapter reviewing the recent history of Cantonese music, Cantonese opera music, and Chinese music training to illustrate the complexity and diversified origins of music in Cantonese opera, with special reference to the 2019 musical event of “Guangdong Quadrangle” (an event in Hong Kong’s annual Chinese Opera Festival 2019) as an effort demonstrating the early forms of Cantonese music and Cantonese opera music.
“A Survey of 2019 Books on Chinese Opera,” the last chapter in the volume, overviews the numerous Chinese opera publications of the year—a year that saw fruitful and bountiful output in artistic and academic studies of the art form, covering topics from artists’ biographies, ritual drama, Cantonese operatic music and teaching materials, history of Chinese opera, Cantonese opera repertoire, textual studies of traditional Chinese drama, to Cantonese opera films. The chapter provides a comprehensive introduction to each of the selected 14 books, followed with comments from academic research and practical performance perspectives in the translocal context of Hong Kong, mainland China, and Taiwan.
Supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.