Dilemma of Cantonese Opera in vanishing tea houses

By Li Ping | chinadaily.com.cn | 2017-03-14 14:45

Dilemma of Cantonese Opera in vanishing tea houses

An opera performer finishes adjusting her hairpiece before a performance. [Photo/VCG]

According to local media reports, there were over 60 tea houses in Guangzhou during its peak time in the 1980-90s. But nowadays, the Tongle Restaurant is the only one of its kind.

"When senior performers retire, Yueju Opera tea houses may vanish. So I came today to learn about the show (before it's too late)," an unnamed 24-year-old visitor told Guangzhou Daily after a show.

The gradual vanishing of such tea houses is a result of market choice, according to the Guangzhou-based newspaper, New Express.

"In the past, these tea houses could bring profits to business owners due to its attractiveness to the general public. But now the main audiences are senior citizens, " a local business man surnamed Chen told the New Express.

As the opera is losing its charm for young people, many tea houses have opted to cancelling the shows, Chen said.

As in many other forms of traditional opera, the future of Yueju Opera faces problems that include a loss of public appeal, budget pressures and talent shortages.

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