17 Sep ‑ 18 Dec 2016 (every Sun, Sat),
10 Oct 2016 (Mon) noon ‑ 5:30pm (5 hours 30 minutes)

The saying “ten years of work for every minute on stage” applies to Chinese opera performers. A good show requires continuous hard work over a long period of time. In 2016 Irene Flanhardt paid several visits to the backstage which was temporarily built for four operas held in Tai O. She took photos of the Chinese operas for the Gods which were operated by three troupes.

At backstage, male and female leads as well as other performers were busy in their cubicles preparing for the show with the help of their assistants. The long and narrow corridor was full of people minding their own business. What a fascinating place full of life and energy! One day the temperature rose to 35 degrees Celsius. Performers, whilst perspiring profusely, were dressed as usual in their costumes which came with several layers. They put on heavy make-up, headgear, accessories and hair-pieces using glue. Some sat in a corner reserving their strength; some stood up mumbling a few lines and lyrics and some held prop-weapons before going on stage. These opera troupes ran two shows a day which was tough. The hard work was rewarding as it was full-house on every occasion and spectators enjoyed the shows. Many thanks to the opera performers especially male leads Joyce Koi Ming Fai, Lung Goon Tin, female leads Cheng Wing Mui, Chan Wing Yee and Ng Mei Ying for allowing the photo shoot. This exhibition pays tribute to them for their significant contribution to this traditional form of art.

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