China / Society

Opera singing mayor surprises residents

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou ( Updated: 2012-11-27 16:31

Mayor Chen Jianhua gave residents a happy surprise when he sang Yueju, or Cantonese opera, in the Guangdong provincial capital on Monday night.

The mayor of Guangzhou won applause from the audience after he finished singing a Yueju song, Ode to Guangzhou Metro, in the Guangzhou Friendship Theater during a Yueju concert celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Guangzhou Association of Promoting Yueju.

Chen's singing partner Ni Huiying, a famous local Yueju actress, said Chen performed well in his Yueju stage debut.

"He sang every word correctly and in a sweet and mellow voice," Ni said.

Chen said he had practiced singing Yueju for weeks in his spare time.

"In addition to expressing my heartfelt thanks to the builders of the Guangzhou metro, I hope my performance can help promote Yueju," Chen told media.

"I will continue to sing Yueju when it is needed," he added.

Yueju is more than 170 years old. The arias are sung in the distinctive local dialect and the accompanying music is typical of the area. In addition to Guangdong, Yueju is staged in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in parts of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Yueju is also popular in Southeast Asia and North America. The Cantonese, the earliest Chinese who ventured outside the country, took Yueju with them wherever they went.

Vice-mayor Cao Jianliao and former mayor of Guangzhou, Li Ziliu, also sang Yueju songs to help promote Yueju and solicit donations during the show.

Hot Topics