Guangzhou to kick off important events on Cantonese Opera calendar

The 8th Cantonese Opera Festival will be held in Guangzhou between November 17th and 25th, featuring stage performances, galas, movie screening, seminars, lectures, salons, a parade, a somersault contest and more.

Two Cantonese Opera artists perform at the press conference of the 8th Cantonese Opera Festival on November 11th, 2020. (Photo:

Over 3,000 Cantonese Opera performers and amateurs from China, US, Canada and New Zealand will gather in Guangzhou to present 21 Cantonese Opera shows and 21 Cantonese opera and song galas. All oversea participants will have finished their 14-day quarantine and tested negative for COVID-19 before they walk onto the stage.

You will be able to meet them and enjoy these great performances at the following venues: Guangzhou Opera House, Beilei Theater, Guangdong Cantonese Opera Art Center, Jiangnan Theater, Nanfang Theater, Panyu Shawan Culture Center, Huangpu Shihua Theater, Rainbow Theater and Cantonese Opera Art Museum.

(Photo provided to

(Photo provided to

The opening ceremony of the festival will take place at Guangzhou Opera House on the evening of November 17th, highlighting a modern Cantonese Opera presented by Guangzhou Cantonese Opera Troupe. There will also be performances of Peking Opera, Kunqu Opera, Yue Opera and many other forms of traditional Chinese operas.

During the festival, 20 Cantonese Opera themed movies will be screened at the Wing Hon Theatre in Beijing Road, Ping’an Theater in Shangxiajiu Road, and Hung Sin-nui Arts Center in Zhujiang New Town.

(Photo: Yangcheng Evening News)

A Cantonese Opera parade will be held at Yongqing Fang in Liwan District on November 13th, to celebrate the birth of Huaguang Emperor, a Taoist saint who is honored as the patriarch of Cantonese Opera and has been worshiped by Cantonese Opera performers for about one thousand years. Legend has it that Huaguang was born on the 28th day of the ninth month on the lunar calender, so celebration will be held on that day to celebrate his birth every year.

The parade has been held in Guangzhou since 2015, and this year’s event features a pageant of Huaguang’s statue, somersault and other martial art performances, as well as Cantonese Opera shows. The event is also open to the public for free.

(Photo: Yangcheng Evening News)

Another highlight of the festival will be the somersault contest to be held on the evening of November 16th at Beilei Theater on Renmin Bei Road, Yuexiu District. Martial art performers will compete in several events including backward somersault, multiple somersaults, and combination somersaults.

Aiming to share Cantonese Opera culture with more people, the Cantonese Opera Festival offers some hefty discounts on ticket prices, with cheapest tickets being 30 RMB, and all galas will be open to the public for free. Tickets are available on

For those who don’t want to leave the comfort of your couch, you can also watch most of the the amazing shows online via, Touchtv and Guangzhou Daily.

TheĀ scheduleĀ of the 8th Cantonese Opera Festival. (Photo provided to

Held once every four years since 1990, the Cantonese Opera Festival has become the largest and most influential of its kind in China.

Cantonese Opera is one of the major Chinese opera categories. It is a traditional Chinese art form that originating in southern China’s Canton, and involves music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics and acting. Today it is not only very popular in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong and Macao, but also performed in Southeast Asia, Oceania, America and, in fact, any country where Cantonese people live.

In 2009, Cantonese Opera was officially inscribed onto UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Author | Monica

Editor | Jerry

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