Nanyin music concerts to tell stories of life

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the "A Revival of Traditional Culture" Yau Ma Tei Theatre Series is staging three nanyin concerts entitled "The Storytellers". Four Hong Kong and Guangdong nanyin artists will collaborate with a group of Chinese music performers for the concerts, to be held from December 31 to January 2. The stage of the Yau Ma Tei Theatre will come alive with traditional nanyin music pieces telling different stories about the vicissitudes of life.

The four renowned nanyin performing artists are Guangdong singers Chen Liying and Liu Zhiguang and local singers Tong Kin-woon and Tong Siu-yin, who will together perform a selection of familiar nanyin masterpieces.

Each of the three nights' performances will feature a different programme. In the first performance, to be staged on New Year's Eve, Tong Kin-woon will sing two pieces, "Seduction by Playing the Lute Under the Moon" and "Stealing the Poem at Night", from the work "The Story of the Jade Hairpin", basing his performance on the version passed down by the blind nanyin artist To Woon.

In the second performance, on New Year's Day, Chen Liying will sing "Consoling Ruilan in the Boudoir" from "Blessing of the Moon" and "Min Ziqin Driving the Carriage" in her ancestral pingqiang voice, while the blind artist Liu Zhiguang will perform "A Ghostly Tale" and "Burning Funerary Goods for His Love" from the dishui nanyin genre.

For the third performance, on January 2, local female artist Tong Siu-yin will sing "Nocturnal Lament" and "Li Qingzhao", while the two pieces "Chen Lin Transporting Fruit" and "The Weird Wind That Blows Off His Hat", from "How a Dead Cat Was Substituted for a New-born Prince", will be sung by Tong Kin-woon. The ensemble will also perform alongside the vocalists at each concert. All performances will be supplemented with Chinese surtitles and English synopses.

"The Storytellers" Nanyin Concert will be staged at 8pm from December 31 to January 2 (Monday to Wednesday) at the Theatre of the Yau Ma Tei Theatre.

Tickets priced at $180 and $120 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20 per cent is offered for the "A Revival of Traditional Culture" Yau Ma Tei Theatre Series package.

A group booking discount scheme is also available. Please refer to the programme leaflets for details.

Other programmes of the "A Revival of Traditional Culture" Yau Ma Tei Theatre Series include "A Concert of 'Hard-bow' Ensemble", "A Concert of Chaozhou Music" and "A Tribute to Wan Chi-chung, Guiding Light in Cantonese Saloon Music in Hong Kong".

For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit

For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

There are two pre-performance talks (conducted in Cantonese).

Admission is free with limited seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details are as follows:

Topic: Differences in Dishui Nanyin and Cantonese Operatic Nanyin
Speakers: Chen Liying, To Wing
Date: December 16 (Sunday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Topic: Nanyin Music and Vocalisation
Speakers: Tong Kin-woon, To Wing
Date: December 29 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: AC1, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Published on: 2012-11-19

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