Collection: Chinese Opera

Chinese opera is an ancestral art combining music, dance, acting and acrobatics. The stories told find their roots in legends that are several thousands of years old and full of rich symbolism. Out of the 300 types of Chinese opera, 10 were brought to Singapore by early Chinese immigrants. These operas were one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the early days of Singapore, but the 1980s brought on a sharp decline of interest. This is due to the language barrier. Indeed, because their performances of traditional opera are either in Hokkien or Teochew dialects, as opposed to the official language, meaning that the younger generations of Singaporeans, despite speaking Mandarin and usually either Hokkien or Teochew, are unable to fully understand the songs. Furthermore, performances usually take place in remote industrial areas or in temples, places seldom frequented by younger generations of Singaporeans. These operas also compete with other more modern popular forms of entertainment. As a result, there are few remaining groups in Singapore.
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