Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe
Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe is the flagship of Sam Kiang Huay Kwan in which its core endeavor is to continue the legacy and flourishing the art of performing traditional Zhejiang Yue Opera. The troupe has been actively engaging in local and overseas activities and performances, organizing professional opera performing courses conducted by Zhang Li, Artistic Director from COI, attracting opera enthusiasts and at the same time reflects the association’s mission of being the pillar of support for new immigrants and fostering young people’s interest and appreciation ability toward traditional opera arts, so as to prolong the friendship with native fellows and enable the broad and profound traditional opera art of China to be passed down from generation to generation.
Besides organizing and participating in local Yue opera performances, Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe is also invited by Rediffusion of Singapore to regularly participate in air broadcasting every month to spread the knowledge and performing arts of Yue opera. The troupe was also sponsored by the Singapore International Foundation to participate in the “Global Yue Opera Fans Carnival” held annually in Shaoxing, China; awarded the title of Overseas Executive Council Unit and employed as the post of Station Master of Singapore Station of “Yue Opera Friendship Association of China”. In Year 2017, the troupe was invited to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to perform two nights on “Showcase of Yue and Huangmei Opera”, which pitched Yue and Huangmei opera to the international traditional opera arena. In 8 Jun 2019, the first Singapore-China folk cultural exchange activity, “Sing A Play Together”, was kicked off at the theater of Singapore Drama Center. Sam Kiang Huay Kwan specially invited Singapore’s famous senior opera director Zhang Li to direct, Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe collaborated with China national first-class performer Zhou Yan and Hangzhou Hongmei Yue Opera Troupe performed a large-scale mythical Yue Opera “The Carp Fairy”. During the pandemic period（2020-2021）, the cloud performance of the ” The 1st Zhejiang Yue Opera Genres Arts Show” (2020) and the live performance of the classic Yue Opera “Xianglin Sao” (2021) were launched. The Singapore audiences were overwhelmed with admiration once again by the artistic charm of Yue opera. In October 2022, we will launch the ” The 2nd Zhejiang Yue Opera Genres Arts Show” and plan to collaborate with top Chinese screenwriters and composers to create our own original drama.
“Zhejiang Yue Opera Genres Arts Show” is a featured flagship program under Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe. It is held every two years, allowing every member, especially the young rookies, to perform on the stage to present their stage performing skill and genre singing art that they have learned for the past two years. Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe spares no effort in cultivating young rookies. Through this project, the troupe has attracted many young people and students to join the team, which is an important platform to promote the development of Yue Opera art in Singapore.
In 2020, “The 1st Zhejiang Yue Opera Genres Arts Show” was very honorable to be awarded the NAC PDG Grant. The troupe members, under the teacher’s supervision, have improved tremendously. The actors performed with exquisite singing verve and affectionate stage performance, fully demonstrated the unique charm and rich connotation of Yue Opera art and brought in a touch of bright light for Singapore amid the COVID-19 outbreak, thus not only allowing the fans to enjoy the beautiful rhyme of Yue opera, but also getting solace in the soul and have abundant spiritual food to fight against the pandemic. After the program video was first broadcast, it was watched by nearly 7,000 people, and was broadcast to the United States, Canada, and Australia. At the same time, Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe also made good use of the NAC PDG Grant to cultivate video production talents and young emcee talents.
In 2022, we will continue to roll out “The 2nd Zhejiang Yue Opera Genres Arts Show” and elaboratively selected a few popular classic Yue operas to show-play. In the plays, a lot of difficult figure posture performing skills and genre singing techniques will be integrated, allowing more newcomers to exhibit their elegancy on the grand stage in 2022. In addition, on the scripts and music, we will carry out a second time creation, transforming traditional script into a youth version that is suitable for Singapore teenagers. We will also redesign and produce music to make it more in line with the rhythm of contemporary art. In the opera play, most of the main characters will be performed by young performers from Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe, including Huadan (花旦), Xiaosheng (小生), Laodan (老旦), Laosheng (老生), Caidan (彩旦) and other character modeling (行当) as well as ten different genres singings in Yue Opera. We will also be using a totally new way to interpret the old but popular storyline. The performers will show the delicate inner world of the characters, by virtue of their strong, accurate and truthful performances, making the whole performance harmonious and interesting, and highly ornamental. We believe it will once again win the hearts of the new and old audience present in the show.
The vision of Sam Kiang Chinese Opera Troupe is to forge the troupe into a professional traditional opera troupe, and to make contributions towards promoting Chinese traditional opera arts. The main activities and achievements of the troupe are organizing seminars on traditional opera performing arts and stage performance, actively promote local and overseas opera performances, cultural exchange and co-performance with top drama troupes in the World. The troupe has won many times on the Individual and Team Orchid Award (Year 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020) in the “Global Yue Opera Fanciers Carnival” and the Outstanding Performer Award in Year 2018 Singapore Traditional Opera Orchid Award.
The development of the troupe has received tremendous strong support from the management of Sam Kiang Huay Kwan and National Arts Council (NAC). The troupe has obtained excellent results in recent years, quickly gaining reputation and status in the traditional opera world, attracting large number of young people and professional audiences to join the troupe, raises and promotes the performing standard of the Singapore Yue Opera. The troupe, with rigorous training and high-graded performing arts, established itself in Singapore and heading towards international arena.