Do Opera [Hokkien]
Traditional arts and heritage has often been packaged as “dying” or “disappearing”. Such positioning creates urgency for tourist consumption but also suggest traditional cultural legacies moving toward oblivion in the march to modernity.
Such discourses disregard the resilience of traditional cultures and the possibility of a modernity that is appropriated and even shaped by traditional cultural legacies.
Do Opera is an interesting example of the ability of traditional cultures to rejuvenate itself and with the youth as agents of cultural revival.
Do Opera founded
Do Opera [Hokkien] was established on 10 October 2009. It is an interest group at Bukit Batok Community Club in Singapore, with the mission of promoting and preserving the beauty of Chinese Opera Performing Art.
Do Opera was founded by two amateur opera actresses, Ms Art Ang and Ms Jenny See. The group’s Chinese name 延戏 means to continue the opera. The group’s English name Do Opera is inspired by the Chinese characters 做戏, that means to perform opera.
Training and performance
Aligned with its mission, the members of Do Opera have strived to continuously improve themselves so as to put up quality performances to reach out more audience and cultivate more opera practitioners.
They have been to the opera institutes in Beijing, China, in 2012 and Taiwan in 2014 for an exchange program to learn from the professionals.
During these performances, the English educated professionals with full time day jobs are transformed into legendary characters from Yang Warriors, Lady White Snake, Eight Immortals and other great Chinese classics.
Till now, Do Opera has put up more than 50 performances at places such as community clubs, libraries, homes and senior activity centers. She also participated in events such as Mid-Autumn Celebration at Garden by the Bay and BVH Carnival at Hougang Mall.
Agents of cultural revival
Any art form needs cultural agents to transmit from one generation to another. In the case of Chinese opera, Do Opera is one of the agents and driven by young and passionate youths.
Let’s hope opportunities open for them to bloom in their art form and to contributes the flowering of local cultutral landscape.