Stella TONG, Year 1 student of Risk Management and Business Intelligence Program (RMBI), was awarded Second Prize in 5th National Students Art Exhibition Award – Drama Category with her excellent Peking Opera performance.
The National Students Art Exhibition Award is a prestigious award presented by Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China to recognize students who are enthusiastic in pursuing traditional arts and culture for the betterment of China. Students with extraordinary performance in various art fields are invited to attend a triennial performance showcase.
This year, the showcase took place in Shanghai in April. Stella was invited to perform an excerpt from “Soo Chiu Mui” (《蘇小妹》), which is a magnum opus created by the master of her Opera teacher. Therefore, it was a meaningful performance for her. She shared that “When I first dressed up in the costume and put on make-up, my teacher was shocked and said I looked very much like her teacher! I was so astonished and so happy at that moment and felt like it is a kind of mission for me to inherit and spread the art of her genre.”
Peking opera is a form of Chinese opera which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. Stella first enrolled in a Peking Opera elective course when she was in primary school. Two years later, she was lucky to be selected as an official apprentice of a retired professional Peking Opera actress and started the regular opera training. Stella sees Peking Opera as a lifestyle, “Its exquisiteness always infiltrates into one’s soul. I’ve become more sensitive and sentimental after I fell in love with Peking Opera. This art requires great disciplines, now it is not only shown in my performance but also influencing my life. I can also find infinite possibilities in myself through the opera. All these keep me pursuing training in Peking Opera.”
Stella would like to express her deepest gratitude to her Opera teachers, HKUST and IPO in providing support to develop her interest. She looks forward to joining larger-scale contests like Peace Cup or National Amateur Contest of Peking Opera in future. Stella encourages everyone who is interested in Peking Opera to watch various repertoires of different genres so as to pick the style interests he/she most, “The more you explore, the more likely you’re going to find a suitable style for you! Enjoy and learn!”