Cantonese opera is one of the grandest of the traditional musical theatres in China. This book investigates the creative process involved in the performance of these operas, in which as many as fifty or sixty singers/actors/dancers and a dozen or more instrumentalists take part. Based on fieldwork in Hong Kong and upon transcription and analysis of the music from live performances, this book investigates this extraordinary performance, focusing on social function, the script, the language and the individual singer's creative input. Bell Yung suggests a model of creative process that involves a set of rules according to which singers operate, improvise and interact. He also considers other theoretical issues, most importantly the relationship between text and music and the question of the variance or invariance of melodies.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press