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Cantonese Opera: Connecting Music with Language

Cantonese Opera: Connecting Music with Language

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

Monday, January 29, 2024
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Pacific Time)
Young Research Library, Presentation Rm

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Note: This event is free and open to the public.

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.

This lecture will introduce the historical and socio-cultural contexts of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong and south China. The speaker will focus on the music of Cantonese opera which is characterized by the close connection between linguistic tones of lyrics and melodic tones. The musical systems, including the fixed tunes and aria types with their scales, modes, meters, instrumentation, notation, and accompaniment will be introduced.

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.

This lecture is presented by UCLA Asia Pacific Center as part of the Hong Kong Studies Lecture Series and co-sponsored by the UCLA Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library and UCLA Center for Chinese Studies.

For questions about the event, please contact asia@international.ucla.edu

Download file: Cantonese-Opera-Connecting-Music-with-Language-bp-kj3.pdf

Sponsor(s): Asia Pacific Center, Center for Chinese Studies, Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library