Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong used to be one of the city’s most popular forms of entertainment. Unfortunately, the rise of Cantopop and well as the arrival of western opera has ushered in an almost fatal decline in this traditional art form.
Today, there is only one dedicated Cantonese Opera theater left in Hong Kong, although many of the city stages often host visiting Cantonese Opera acts. Hong Kong is currently attempting to revive this musical tradition and provide more performance venues.
It’s well worth seeing a performance for the spectacular costumes and set design, however, with shows often weighing in at over three hours, you may also need some patience.
Where to See Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong
The Sunbeam Theatre
The only theater in Hong Kong with regular, scheduled Cantonese Opera performances, this place holds legendary status in the history of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong.
Ko Shan Theatre
Ko Shan Theatre has an increasing number of Cantonese Opera performances and the theater is slowly being renovated into a dedicated Cantonese Opera venue.
How to Book Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong
Cantonese Opera, as the name suggests, is all in the Cantonese language, and so, unfortunately, is much of the information surrounding the opera. Booking directly with either of the theaters above can be tough. The Sunbeam’s website is wholly in Chinese and reaching someone in the theater who speaks English can be challenging. The best way to book is through the Urbtix or CityLine booking systems. These websites list all performances at the above theaters as well as feature performances around the city. Find out more about booking tickets in Hong Kong.
Take a Cantonese Opera Appreciation Class in Hong Kong
If you’re not ready to take the plunge into a full blown Cantonese Opera, try a Cantonese Opera Appreciation Class. This one hour class at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum is run by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and offers a brief cultural background on Cantonese Opera and a live performance.