What Makes A Perfect Wife? Women in Cantonese Opera
Why We Recommend it
Dr Cheung Ping-kuen, Chairman of the International Association of Theatre Critics Hong Kong, analyses the various types of wives and lovers in Cantonese opera and sheds light on what it means to be the “perfect Chinese wife”.
Cantonese opera plots mostly centre upon the joys and sorrows of love, and the personalities and psyche of the wife characters in these operas vary strongly: from the bitter woman outraged by the husband taking up a concubine in The Outburst of a Shrew, the rejected loyal wives in Forty Years of Cherished Love and Time to Go Home, to the fierce snake in human form who tries to save her marriage in The Legend of the White Snake.
The talk, conducted in Cantonese, will explore the characteristics of the vastly different wives portrayed in this traditional art form, and analyse what exactly makes these women ‘perfect’ for the male protagonists.