With perfectly painted faces, highly stylised singing, and movements full of symbolism, Cantonese opera is an ancient Chinese performance art form which has been recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage.
Every year, in order to promote this unique art form and increase the next generation’s interest in Cantonese opera, the government holds a number of free performances for the public, in various venues.
This is a great opportunity for visitors to see Cantonese opera performed how it was hundreds of years ago, on an intricately designed hand-made bamboo theatre, constructed specifically for the opera.
An excellent bonus is that you don’t even need to understand Cantonese to enjoy the show, as they make use of surtitles—transcribed lyrics which are digitally displayed at the top of the stage in English—making the event accessible for overseas tourists. Note: Only the show on April 30th has English surtitles.
There are two shows, at 10:30 am and 2 pm, and each show lasts about an hour and a half.
How to get tickets
Because free tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis, the best way to get tickets in advance is to email the organiser at firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating the requested performance date and time, number of tickets, name and contact number. The e-tickets will be issued through email by the office. Each person can get a maximum of four free tickets.
Venue info and access
The bamboo theatre is constructed at the Tin Hau Temple Plaza in Tuen Mun, which is about a ten-minute walk from Tuen Mun MTR Station. From the station, go out Exit B, turn left, cross the bridge over the river, and immediately turn left to walk through the Pui To Road (South) Garden, which leads to Tin Hau Road. Follow this road until you reach the Tin Hau Temple; the temple itself is tiny, but you’re sure to see the bright and colourful bamboo stage.