To further foster the preservation, education and heritage of Cantonese opera, a permanent Cantonese Opera Education and Information Centre has been established on the third floor of Ko Shan Theatre New Wing. RLP was invited to undertake the interior design for the Centre, after completed the architectural design of the award-winning Ko Shan Theatre New Wing.
The design concept is to represent the traditional operatic art through modern technology, creating interest by engaging visitors in an interactive way through flexible use of the multi-purpose space. The Centre’s interior is mainly built with bamboo, which echoes the temporary theatres for Cantonese opera in the old days. The bamboo walls are visually associated with the window lattices of the New Wing foyer, displaying modern Chinese architectural characteristics in a tranquil environment.
To fashion it into a self-contained, high-tech repository combining tradition and technology, the Centre with area of 210 sq. m. is divided into six separate zones: the History Zone traces Cantonese opera’s origins and development; the Artists Zone features 80 opera stars of outstanding stature; the Playscript, Vocal and Music Zone showcases original scripts in digitised format with explanatory notes as well as introduction on vocal styles and musical instruments; the Makeup Zone illustrates the characteristics and techniques of Cantonese opera makeup and costumes; the Stage Set Zone presents stylised performances from Prime Minister of Six States, a “ritual play” that precedes the first show of any performance season, explaining the meanings behind its traditional staging; and finally, the Audio-visual Zone presents a vast archive of exclusive materials on Cantonese opera, complete with a search engine for visitors to utilise in their one-stop viewing experience.