opera (Yue Opera) can be dated back to the southern
Song dynasty (AD 1179-1276), but many well-known operas
performed today are from the Yuan dynasty (AD 1280-1368).
For example, operas like "The Purple Hairpin"
and "Rejuvenation of the Red Plum Flower"
originally come from Yuen dynasty opera librettos. Cantonese
opera was originally sung in a Tang dialect similar
to present day Cantonese or FuJianinese.
During the Yuen dynasty, many innovations
were developed. The multi-act opera, or ZaJu, in which
acts are based on various rhyme schemes, was introduced
during this period. Furthermore, the tradition of having
specialized roles, or Hong Kong, such as Darn (female),
Saung (male), and Chou (jester), came into being.
The 1920s saw radical changes in Cantonese
opera, as the use of Cantonese was re-established and
the tradition of having males sing the lead female role
was ended. All-male and all-female troups merged, and
the Four Superstars and the Four Great Male Vocals became
famous. These changes heralded the reinvention and renewal
of the entire art form.
Han King Museum
of Six Banyan Trees
Filial Piety Temple
Yatsen's Memorial Hall