HKU Home Faculty of Arts
About the School
News & Events
Study Abroad
Scholarships & Prizes
Career Planning
CPLL Courses
Contact Us
news and events
News List | << Previous News | Next News >>
Seminar: Cantonese opera and the Mei-Ou challenge: Regional theater in the age of nationalism
Date: 24 April 2013 

SMLC Seminar, School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Cantonese opera and the Mei-Ou challenge: Regional theater in the age of nationalism

Dr. Wing Chung NG

CPD 2.16, Centennial Campus, HKU
24 April, 2013 (wed) 
4:30 - 5:30pm

Chinese officials and elite literati had long been critical of Cantonese opera; they despised the region’s most popular genre as culturally base and socially disruptive. At the turn of the twentieth century, the entrance of this popular theater into the urban arenas of Hong Kong and Guangdong only exposed it to another kind of scrutiny. The ascendance of Peking opera as the theater worthy of the nation could not but put considerable pressure on Cantonese opera to come to its own defense. This talk looks at the two performance tours of Mei Lanfang to South China in the 1920s and Ouyang Yuqian’s tenure at the Guangdong Theater Research Institute later in the decade as particularly troublesome moments of such an encounter. How did Cantonese opera deal with this one-two punch from up north? In what manners did the acting circle, especially its principal representatives, and the supporters of Cantonese opera defend the genre's cultural authenticity and integrity?

Wing Chung NG, Associate Professor, Department of History at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist University, received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Hong Kong and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. His research interest has been in the broad area of the Chinese overseas migration, especially regarding questions of social institutions, community structure, and identity formation. Among his major publications are an article in Modern Asian Studies, a chapter in the Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas, and a historical monograph on the Chinese in Vancouver.

All are welcome. No registration is required. For enquiries, please contact Dr John Wong at

Home | Contact Us back to top