Cantonese Opera as a Mirror of Society

Virgil K.Y. Ho

in Understanding Canton

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780199282715
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603037 | DOI:

Series: Studies on Contemporary China

 Cantonese Opera as a Mirror of Society

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The commercial success of Cantonese opera was attributed to the industry’s eagerness and ability to ‘modernize’ the stage. These changes did not necessarily represent a total distancing from its operatic traditions, but tradition and change were ambiguously and awkwardly mixed. This period also witnessed the rise of many legendary opera stars, an unprecedented socio-cultural phenomenon that reflected the increasing importance of the masses in influencing the course of social change in the city, independent of the so-called ‘high culture’.

Keywords: Westernization; commercialization; sensationalization; mass audience; taste; opera; morality

Chapter.  26755 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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