During its past 13 years of operation, although the School of Chinese Opera (formerly the Office of Chinese Traditional Theatre) has undergone rapid development, it has been constant in supplying a steady stream of novices to the Cantonese opera industry. Many graduates from both the performance and music streams have been employed by local professional Cantonese opera companies and government-aided Cantonese opera troupes. Some graduates have also formed their own troupes and production companies, have performed with various professional Cantonese opera performers, and have been gaining popularity among local audiences.
In addition, the Young Academy Cantonese Opera Troupe, which was set up in October 2011, aims to provide training for young talents through performances and promotional activities so as to help preserve and rejuvenate this traditional art form. Enrolling Chinese Opera students will also support the performance and music accompaniment of the troupe’s productions, thereby gaining performance and production experience.
It is expected that after the opening of the Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District and other similar venues, the graduates of the School of Chinese Opera will have a wealth of performance and employment opportunities in the community.
Moreover, topics in Cantonese opera have been introduced to the New Secondary School Curriculum since 2009. The demand for instructors and demonstrators of Cantonese opera has thus increased in secondary and even primary schools. Some of our graduates have been providing courses, seminars and extra-curricular activities to a number of local primary and secondary schools. It is believed that graduates of the BFA will be capable of teaching Cantonese opera performance to a greater variety of students. On the one hand, our graduates will benefit from wider job opportunities, and on the other, by introducing the traditional art form to new audiences, the graduates will build up their community networks.
Graduates from the BFA programme can serve Hong Kong as actors, musicians, composers, ensemble leaders, stage-setting designers, costume and make-up artists, script adaptors, opera body, artist and venue administrators, school teachers, research assistants, tertiary level instructors, curators of operatic materials, opera critics, reporters, columnists, promoters, proposal writers, as well as civil servants such as curriculum development officers, educational quality assurance officers, executive and administrative officers, and programme officers of Radio and Television Hong Kong.