Categories / Xiqu


YUEN Siu-fai

Cantonese Opera performer, artistic director and playwright

Started as a prodigy on screen at the age of seven, received Xiqu training under many veterans before becoming the apprentice of renowned artist Mak Bing-wing

Also active in script-writing with works including The Repatriation of Cai Wenji, Lu Meng-zheng – Footprints in the snow and Revenge at Guang Chang Long which are highly acclaimed

Received the Annual Hong Kong Artist Award (1991); the BH Honorary Medal (1992); Award for Arts Achievement from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (2003);  Honorary Fellowship of the Education University of Hong Kong (2012); Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government (2014) for his contribution to the Cantonese operatic art; Award for Outstanding Contribution in Arts, Hong Kong Arts Development Awards (2015)

Current Vice President of Chinese Artist Association of Hong Kong, member of Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong, Museum Experts Advisor (Cantonese Opera) of Hong Kong Museum of History




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BACKSTAGE held its world premiere in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 in August 2014 by the famous maestro Yuen Siu-Fai and his troupe to promote Cantonese opera in Hong Kong to the enterprising artists and enthusiasts from the world. His troupe was invited to present BACKSTAGE in Netherlands, Belgium and Italy in 2015 following by 2016 China International Youth Arts Festival and Performing Arts Market in Seoul 2017.

BACKSTAGE is not an opera, but a modern drama telling a story of what happens at the backstage of a Cantonese opera troupe. A young reporter wanders backstage and is mesmerised by the dazzling costumes, unique makeup, stylised movements, intricate choreography of the fighting rehearsals as well as the beautiful instrumental and vocal techniques. From an audience’s point of view, she asks all sorts of questions in English to explore and achieve a better understanding of the brilliance of this traditional performing art. The production fulfilled Yuen’s wish to promote Hong Kong’s Cantonese opera to the enterprising artists and enthusiasts from different parts of the world.