Love Commencing from a Simple Act of Kindness

Lovers’ Mirror of South Song Dynasty

Wan Fei-Yin & Anthony Cheung

This song comes from the opera Lovers’ Mirror of South Song Dynasty. It describes the scene in which a young couple meets and falls in love in a dilapidated temple where they are seeking refuge from the torrential rain. The young maiden is separated from her family as they flee from danger caused by some riots, but a brave young man steps forward to protect her. As they are both drenched, he starts a fire and suggests she take off her clothes to dry behind a drape that he improvises to give her some privacy. The maiden is very moved by his good manners and kindness. They fall in love there and then.
Wong Chiu-Kwan |
  王超群, M.H.

In the mid-1960s, Wong Chiu-Kwan learned the art of acting from Master Tam San-San, who excelled in playing the role of the female lead in Cantonese opera. She studied “cheung hong” from Master Lau Wing-Chuen. In the 1980s she performed throughout South East Asia, and became a leading female artist in Cantonese opera after she returned to Hong Kong in the nineties. She is famous for playing female military roles, especially as the general on bound feet. Over the years she has partnered with many leading male artists, including Man Chi- Sui, Yuen Siu-Fai, Lo Ka-Ying, Ng Chin-Fung, Lung Kwun-Tin, Lee Lung, among others in forming various Cantonese Opera Troupes.

Apart from being famous for her mastery of the art of performing on bound feet, she is also recognized for her contributions in promoting Cantonese opera education and community work. In 2010 she was honoured as The Artist of the Year (Opera) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and awarded a certificate by the Home Affairs Bureau; in 2018 she was appointed as the Artistic Director of the Cantonese Opera Rookies’ Performance Series hosted by the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong.

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