June 28, 2016

Leadership renewal

Some of the performers at Kong Chow's 176th anniversary show :
温海馀, 郑艳梅, 王碧云, 黎艳眉, 陆艳芬, 陈福鸿

Last Saturday I watched the Kong Chow Wui Koon 176th anniversary Cantonese opera show. It set me thinking about leadership renewal. Who will take over from Woo Wai Fong (head of Kong Chow's Cantonese opera group) and Joanna Wong (leader of Chinese Theatre Circle). Both of them are in their seventies.

To be an effective leader I think the person must have these qualities:

Have good skills in communication and organization and be able to gain respect and support from others in the groups. They should be competent artists themselves and have good knowledge of Cantonese opera as well as some knowledge of other types of Chinese opera.

Those of you who have an interest in Cantonese opera in Singapore would know that there are many local Cantonese opera groups or troupes. Most of them are small and are based in Community Clubs. I don't know how many members they have. Some of them are not active; they have not performed for two years or more.

CTC and Kong Chow are two established and more active groups, so their leadership renewal is more important as they continue their task of not only promoting Cantonese opera and training new talents but also keeping the local scene alive and bustling.

It is a very difficult task with dwindling audience and aging performers.