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Cantonese Opera Workshop and Lecture in LA Chinatown and UCLA: January 28-29, 2024

Cantonese Opera Workshop and Lecture in LA Chinatown and UCLA: January 28-29, 2024

Leung Bo-Wah (梁寶華), Education University of Hong Kong

Cantonese opera is one of the 348 Chinese opera genres popular in Guangdong Province including Hong Kong and Macao since late Qing Dynasty. In 2009, Cantonese opera was enlisted in the Human Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. Consequently, governments of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao have collaborated to preserve and transmit the genre to the new generations.

On Sunday, January 28, a Cantonese opera workshop was held at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of Los Angeles (CCBA) 羅省中華會館 headquarters in Chinatown, featuring live performances by Professor Leung Bo-Wah (Education University of Hong Kong), Professor King-Kok Cheung (UCLA) as well as esteemed experts, artists and local community members. This event was co-sponsored by the All-American Chinese Youth Federation (AACYF) and 粤曲欣赏会.

On the following day, Monday, January 29, Professor Leung Bo-Wah gave an engaging lecture on Cantonese opera at the UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library that drew many students and faculty from across the campus community: "Cantonese Opera: Connecting Music with Language". Professor Leung's talk provided key insights into the historical and socio-cultural contexts of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong and south China. The lecture included an introduction to the music of Cantonese opera, characterized by the close connection between linguistic tones of lyrics and melodic tones, and presented an overview of the musical systems underlying Cantonese opera. Professor Leung also delved into the fixed tunes and aria types with their scales, modes, meters, instrumentation, notation, and accompaniment. The lecture was presented by the UCLA Asia Pacific Center as part of its Hong Kong Studies Lecture Series, and was co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and UCLA Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library.

Professor Leung Bo-Wah (梁寶華) is an esteemed academic and music expert, currently holding the position of Professor in the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts, as well as the Executive Director of the Xiqu and Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre at The Education University of Hong Kong. Internationally renowned for his pioneering work in integrating Cantonese opera into formal music curriculum, Professor Leung has earned numerous accolades for his exceptional contributions to the field.

Among his prestigious awards, he was honored with the Musical Rights Award from the International Music Council (founded by UNESCO) in 2011 and received the Knowledge Transfer Award from HKIEd in 2012. Both distinctions recognized his outstanding leadership in the research project titled “Collaborative Project on Teaching Cantonese Opera in Primary and Secondary Schools.” As a prolific scholar, Professor Leung's work transcends borders, with numerous research papers in leading international journals and edited books. Professor Leung's books like Creative Arts in Education and Culture: Perspectives from Greater China (Springer, 2013) and Traditional Musics in the Modern World: Transmission, Evolution, Challenges (Springer, 2018) showcase his thought leadership in creative arts and global traditional music transmission.

Beyond his work with EdUHK, Professor Leung's expertise is widely recognized in various prestigious roles, such as the current President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Executive Forum Member of World Alliance for Arts Education, Chair of the Board of Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research (APSMER), and Adjunct Professor of Music at renowned institutions like the Northeast Normal University, Guangzhou University, and South China Normal University in China. A life member of the Chinese Musician Association, Professor Leung has held significant positions, such as Chief Editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education and Consultant of the Chinese Opera School at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

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Published: Monday, January 29, 2024