ETC LED luminaires help revive Cantonese opera in Hong Kong

Date Posted: 6/30/2015

ETC LEDs in Cantonese Opera

For years, the Hong Kong government has emphasized the need to support local arts and cultural heritage. As part of that effort, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCD) is building a new performing arts complex, the Xiqu Centre, which is expected to be completed in 2017.  The complex will house the Tea House Theatre, a 200-seat venue for Chinese opera - with an emphasis on Cantonese opera - that will help increase public interest in the art form. To prepare for the opening of the Xiqu Centre, the WKCD and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts are working together on a program of experimental shows being staged at the Academy, where they can test the staging, seating and equipment. ETC LED luminaires feature prominently in the program, being used to shed a new light on the classic operas. 

ETC LEDs in Cantonese Opera

Lighting designer Billy Chan integrates Western stage-lighting philosophies and techniques into the Cantonese opera performances, successfully melding the modern and the traditional to engage audiences. His secret to success is selecting the right tool.

Chan has used ETC's Selador® Desire® LED series many times, and found that thanks to its strong output and superior color capabilities, the 60-emitter D60 luminaire is perfect for this production. "The x7 color mixing is very good indeed," he says. "The color quality really helps reflect what I want to achieve in the performance, and it fades smoothly. The D60 is powerful enough to make the color stand out, even at the highest intensity." 

ETC LEDs in Cantonese Opera

Chan also pays close attention to the light illuminating the faces on stage, because Chinese opera performers' makeup is so heavy. "We want to make these experimental productions look more dramatic and modern, but I still need to provide bright-enough face lighting to maintain the emotions and color of the story," explains Chan. To achieve that, he uses the D60 luminaires.

Chan also uses ETC Source Four® LED luminaires outfitted with gobos to light panels at the back of the stage. "The result is excellent," he describes. "The fixtures help to easily change the color of the background." 

The entire lighting system is controlled by a Gio® console .

ETC LEDs in Cantonese Opera

All photos courtesy of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCD)