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Chinatown Opera Theater in North America$
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Nancy Yunhwa Rao

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040566

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040566.001.0001

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Powder and Rouge

Powder and Rouge

Theaters in British Columbia

(p.133) Chapter 6 Powder and Rouge
Chinatown Opera Theater in North America

Nancy Yunhwa Rao

University of Illinois Press

This chapter shifts our focus to the thriving community of Cantonese opera theaters in Canada, from as early as the late nineteenth century. Despite anti-Chinese initiatives growing toward the end of the century, Chinese opera performers were admitted into Canada with regularity, and Chinese theaters continued to find success. Beginning with the troupes, popular performers and theaters of the 1910s, the chapter traces the trajectories of their performing circuit and theaters into the 1920s. In particular, the 1921 opening of Le Wannian theater in Vancouver marked the beginning of a new era, whose performers, such as Guan Yinglian, had an enormous impact on the community. Finally, the Victoria/Vancouver-based Lun On company led Cantonese opera troupe to return to United States, which in turn commenced the golden era of Cantonese opera in North America. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the significance of Triangle Route between Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle.

Keywords:   Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Chinese Exclusion, face painting, British Columbia, Pacific Northwest, Zhang Shuqin, Huang Xiaofeng, actor’s alliance, steamship, Canadian Pacific Railway, Lun On

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