Vancouver Cantonese Opera Presents “The Legend of the Purple Hairpin” and Unveils Plans for “The Awakening”

AOC member Vancouver Cantonese Opera is gearing up for a spectacular performance of “The Legend of the Purple Hairpin” on July 15th, 2023. This captivating Cantonese opera, written by the renowned playwright Tong Dik Sang, has garnered immense popularity in Hong Kong. They invite you to experience the mesmerizing artistry and cultural richness of this production.

VCO is generously offering a 15% discount code for artists via this link:

“The Legend of the Purple Hairpin”

“The Legend of the Purple Hairpin” is a captivating Cantonese opera that beautifully showcases the art form’s traditional elements and compelling storytelling. The performance promises to transport audiences to a world of romance, intrigue, and passion. Vancouver Cantonese Opera has carefully curated this production, bringing together talented performers, elaborate costumes, and enchanting melodies to create an unforgettable experience for opera enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

For more information about the opera, please visit the following link:

Introducing “The Awakening”

Vancouver Cantonese Opera is not only presenting “The Legend of the Purple Hairpin” but also has an exciting project in the works— “The Awakening.” This fusion opera, currently in its early stages, aims to shed light on the struggles and triumphs of Chinese Canadians during the Second World War.

Project Description:

“The Awakening” tells the story of Chinese Canadians’ patriotism and their desire to protect their country during the Second World War. Set in 1939 Vancouver, the opera explores the challenges faced by the Chinese community in their quest to join the Canadian army. Despite the Chinese Exclusion Act 1923, which prohibited Chinese Canadians from serving in the military, the community’s spirit and determination shone through.

The story centers around the pivotal role played by the Sing Kew Theatre, a Chinese community theater, in representing the hearts and minds of overseas Chinese. Through encounters with the principal female performer, Peony, and the troupe at the Sing Kew Theatre, a Canadian official comes to understand the unique spirit of Canadian Chinese individuals in their pursuit of truth and justice. Inspired by their resilience, he petitions the Canadian government to allow Chinese Canadians to participate in military service during World War II, in defense of the Allies.

The Significance of “The Awakening”:

In these challenging times marked by the pandemic and the rise of anti-Asian racism, “The Awakening” carries timely and urgent themes. Chinatowns worldwide face the threats of decline, gentrification, and increased anti-Asian sentiments. Chinese Canadian seniors, facing increased health risks, are experiencing isolation and the resulting rise in crime and homelessness.

“The Awakening” aims to address these issues by sharing the history of Chinese Canadians and Chinatown. The opera highlights the strength, compassion, and resilience that have long defined the community. By shedding light on the traditions of mutual support and empowered storytelling, Vancouver Cantonese Opera aims to honor the Chinese Canadian heritage and combat the effects of systemic racism and exclusion.

Support for “The Awakening”:

Vancouver Cantonese Opera has received a generous grant of $10,000 from the City of Vancouver for the preliminary stage of “The Awakening.” and are looking for funds for next stages.