When you visit Hong Kong, consider taking in a show at the Xiqu Centre. Xiqu means Chinese Opera and that’s exactly what they offer. This newly opened performing arts hub houses a Grand Theatre seating just over 1000. Also, there is a more intimate Tea House theatre accommodating up to 200 guests. Read on to find out why you will undoubtably enjoy a performance in the Tea House Theatre.
The first reason you should go is to experience Chinese opera. It is an art form with a rich history, a history interwoven with Chinese culture. The singing, spectacular costumes and on-stage acrobatics are fantastic. However, with storylines based on Chinese myths and fables, operas performed in Cantonese or Mandarin have previously left international audiences in the dark.
A second reason to visit is this is seemingly the only place in Hong Kong that has made it’s opera more accessible to international audiences. In a stroke of genius, previously impenetrable Opera has become more widely accessible because it is subtitled in English. Billed as ‘A contemporary gateway to Chinese Opera’ the subtitled performance welcomes a much wider audience. International customers can now appreciate the narrative and more fully enjoy the Opera experience.
Enjoy Dim Sum at the Xiqu Centre’s Tea HouseThe third and final reason to visit Xiqu’s Tea House is the dim sum. The Tea House performance lasts for 90 minutes. The icing on the cake, or in this case the dim sum in the basket, is that you will enjoy tea and dim sum in the interval. You don’t even need to leave your seat. We think this is a thoroughly authentic Hong Kong experience
The dim what?; we hear you ask. If you’re not familiar with dim sum it’s delicious. Steaming morsels are served in small woven baskets. These may include delights such as vegetarian spring rolls, pork filled buns or shrimp dumplings. The word dim sum translates from Cantonese as ‘touch heart’ or ‘heart’s delight’. That’s exactly what dim sum is, delicious hugs of hearty food.
The Xiqu Centre building is designed by Revery Architecture and Ronald Lu & Parnters. It’s a design inspired by Chinese lanterns. The building’s entrance evokes the opening of curtains on a stage.
So many of Hong Kong theatres and stages closed down over the years. Let’s hope that the Xiqu Centre marks a revival in this treasured art form. From us it’s certainly a huge thumbs up for the Tea House Cantonese Opera performance.
You will find the Xiqu Centre in the recently established West Kowloon Cultural District. It’s an ambitious development. According to a quote on their website it is slated to become: “one of the world’s largest cultural quarters, blending art, education and public space.”
Our Verdict of the Xiqu Centre
Consider an evening at the Tea House. It works as a great ad-on to one of our day trip tours. Spend the day touring Lantau with us or join us on one of our Walking Tours. Next, head on out for a evening of culture and culinary treats. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We’d love to help you make the best of your time in Hong Kong.