Origins of Cantonese Opera
Opera (also known as "Guangdong Drama") is the main
drama class in the Guangdong area. It orginated from the Jiajing
( 嘉靖 ) period of the Ming Dynasty ( 明朝 ). There were performances
in the Ming and the Qing Dynasty ( 明、清朝 ). At the beginning,
the singing language used was the official one of opera bamboo-sheds(戲棚官話).
Gradually it was sung in Cantonese . Cantonese Opera was prevalent
in Guangxi ( 廣西 ), Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese Opera has
included other Chinese drama like Yick Yeung Pitch ( 弋陽腔 )
and Kwan Pitch ( 崑腔 ) etc.
the end of Qing Dynasty, the Guangzhau ( 廣州 ) dialect was
used in Cantonese Opera because the cultured people wanted
to make use of Cantonese Opera as propaganda for voicing revolution
. In order to make Guangzhau people understand more easily,
lots of Cantonese was used. In the early stage, performances
were mostly arranged in the opera bamboo-sheds where God statues
and altars ( 神壇 ) were placed for worship. Hong Kong opera
bamboo-sheds mostly have Ritual Performances ( 神功戲 ) to celebrate
birthdays of deities ( 神 ) and Buddha. These performances
allow devotees to worship and thank them.
Fathers Primary School, Hong Kong 2004