The Perak Nam Hoi Association, which represents members of the various Chinese Opera associations in the state, recently hosted the 20th World Cantonese Opera Lovers Festival. Over 200 members comprising professional actors and musicians from ten countries from around the world were in Ipoh for four days in November for the festival.
The event, held at RTM’s auditorium at Taman Cempaka, was a polished and rich affair and was truly an experience for those present. The highlight of the festival was the gathering of the visitors who shared their performances with fellow actors and musicians from around the world.
State Exco for Tourism YB Nolee Ashikin Radzi who had approved RM25,000 for the running of the event was scheduled to officiate at the event but was unable to be present. Nevertheless, Perak Nam Hoi Association Chairman Mr Low Wai Chee thanked Nolee and the state government for their generous support. Notably present at the event was Mr Tan Re Quan, Deputy Secretary of Nanhai Bureau of Civil, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs of Foshan, China and Mr Banhuy, the Chairman of The Federation Of World Chinese Opera Association based in France.
Low in his address said that although interest in Chinese opera was becoming more popular, the young generation were not coming forward. Hopefully, by staging this event here it would encourage more young members to learn this art. A glimpse of the participants indeed revealed that the majority present were senior citizens, giving credence to Low’s speech.
The World Cantonese Opera Lovers Festival for 2014 will be held in Paris, France. The traditional art of Cantonese opera was added to UNESCO’s representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanities in 2009.
Besides Malaysia, the associations present included six from China, three from Australia and one each from France, Holland, Denmark, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.