Chinese Street Opera in Singapore

Chinese Street Opera in Singapore

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Since Singapore declared independence from Malaysia in 1965, Chinese street opera has played a significant role in defining Singaporean identity. In carefully tracing the history of amateur and professional performances in Singapore, Tong Soon Lee reflects on their role in fostering cultural nationalism and entrepreneurship. He explains that the government welcomes Chinese street opera performance because they combine tradition and modernism and promote a national culture that brings together Singapore\u2019s four main ethnic groups--Eurasian, Malay, Chinese, and South Asian. In performing Chinese street opera, amateur troupes preserve their rich heritage by underscoring the Confucian mind-set that a learned person engages in the arts for moral and unselfish purposes. Educated performers also control behavior, emotions, and values. They are creative and innovative, and their use of new technologies indicates a modern, entrepreneurial spirit. Their performances bring together diverse ethnic groups to watch and to perform, Lee argues, while also encouraging a national attitude focused on both remembering the past and preparing for the future in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 26mm | 521.63g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252032462
  • 9780252032462
  • 1,058,791

Review quote

"A valuable contribution to the study of traditional performing arts in Singapore and is a useful resource not only for ethnomusicological studies but also for non-music students alike."--The World of Music "A fascinating effort to rethink the question of art as cultural capital in a nationalist narrative."--The Journal of Theatre Research International "Interesting and informative ... this work presents a valuable case study in the historical fluctuation of cultural categories that challenges the notion of inherent artistic value."--Journal of Folklore Researchshow more

About Tong Soon Lee

Tong Soon Lee is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Emory University. His research and teaching focus on Southeast and East Asian more