5 Places to Enjoy Cantonese Opera in Guangzhou

By Billy Jiang, December 5, 2023

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Cantonese Opera, recognized by UNESCO as a masterpiece of intangible cultural heritage, holds a special place in the hearts of the people in the Lingnan region, particularly in Guangzhou. 

To truly experience this traditional art form, here are five recommended venues where you can immerse yourself in the rich world of Cantonese Opera.

Cantonese Opera Art Museum - Understanding the Roots


Cantonese Opera Art Museum. Image via Cantonese Opera Art Museum

For a comprehensive understanding of Cantonese Opera, the Cantonese Opera Art Museum is the go-to destination. 

Nestled in the Liwan District, this museum seamlessly blends modern landscaping techniques with classical Chinese garden design. 


Cantonese Opera Art Museum. Image via Cantonese Opera Art Museum

It showcases the essence of Cantonese Opera's development through traditional exhibits and a highlight – digital displays. 

These interactive exhibits use images, videos, and interactive content to vividly portray the charm of Cantonese Opera.

Key Features:

  • Exhibits: The museum boasts a rich collection of traditional exhibits, including costumes, masks, and musical instruments, providing visitors with a tangible connection to the history of Cantonese Opera.

  • Digital Displays: Cutting-edge digital displays enhance the experience, combining visuals, videos, and interactive elements to transport visitors into the captivating world of Cantonese Opera.

  • Guided Tours: Knowledgeable guides offer insights into the evolution of Cantonese Opera, providing a deeper appreciation for the art form.

Cantonese Opera Art Museum, No.127, Enning Road, Liwan

Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute - The Epitome of Professionalism


Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute. Image via Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute

For an authentic live Cantonese Opera experience, the Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute stands out as the epitome of professionalism in the Chinese mainland. 


Cantonese Opera stage performance. Image via Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute

Not only does it feature monthly performances of classic Cantonese Opera, but it also presents contemporary adaptations of folk stories, infusing a modern twist into this traditional art.


Cantonese Opera stage performance. Image via Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute

Key Features:

  • Monthly Performances: The institute hosts regular performances showcasing classic Cantonese Opera productions, allowing visitors to witness the art form in its most authentic setting.

  • Contemporary Adaptations: Innovative performances based on folk stories incorporate modern storytelling techniques, appealing to a broader audience while preserving the essence of Cantonese Opera.

  • Online Access: The institute's WeChat official account (ID: gdyjy-wx) provides a convenient platform for enthusiasts to stay updated on upcoming shows, purchase tickets, and engage with the Cantonese Opera community.

Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute, No.703 Dongfeng East Road, Yuexiu

Liwan Lake Park - A Theatrical Retreat


Cantonese Opera performance at Liwan Lake Park. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

Escape to the enchanting Liwan Lake Park, where the Litchi Bay Grand Stage hosts free Cantonese Opera performances every day from 2.15pm to 4.45pm. 

Audiences can choose to sit on benches, rocks, or even on the ground, fully immersed in the opera. 


Cantonese Opera performance at Liwan Lake Park. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

Amidst unique garden architecture, spectators can enjoy tea, relax, and savor the authentic Guangzhou lifestyle. 

Key Features:

  • Daily Performances: The Litchi Bay Grand Stage provides daily Cantonese Opera performances, making it a reliable destination for enthusiasts seeking regular cultural experiences.

  • Scenic Setting: Set against the backdrop of Liwan Lake Park's picturesque landscapes, the performances offer a unique blend of natural beauty and traditional artistry.

Liwan Lake Park, No.155 Longjin West Road, Liwan

Rong Hua Lou Restaurant - Tea and Theater Blend


Rong Hua Lou Restaurant. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

With a history spanning over 140 years, Rong Hua Lou Restaurant in Liwan District preserves its original exterior for a classic tea-drinking and opera-watching experience. 

Combining gastronomy with aromatic tea, visitors can relish the unique Cantonese charm while enjoying the daily spectacle. 


Savoring dim sum and tea while enjoying Cantonese Opera in a modern setting. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

This tea house, doubling as a theater, is a perfect spot for an unconventional morning tea experience.

Key Features:

  • Historical Significance: Ronghua Building's rich history adds an extra layer of authenticity to the Cantonese Opera experience, allowing visitors to step back in time while savoring the present.

  • Tea Culture: Embrace the tradition of tea-drinking (savoring dim sum) while being serenaded by Cantonese Opera, creating a multisensory experience that reflects the cultural richness of Guangzhou.

  • Daily Performances: The daily schedule of performances ensures that visitors can seamlessly integrate this cultural activity into their day.

Rong Hua Lou Restaurant, No.712 Longjin East Road, Longjin Street, Liwan

Modern Cinemas - A Cinematic Twist

Experience Cantonese Opera in a contemporary light by attending screenings of Cantonese Opera films in modern cinemas. 


"白蛇传·情" (The Fairy Tale of the White Snake)

Films like "白蛇传·情" (The Fairy Tale of the White Snake) adapt classic Cantonese Opera performances, merging traditional costumes and dialogues with modern cinematography and special effects. 

This cinematic approach offers a fresh perspective, making Cantonese Opera more accessible to modern and younger audiences. 

Check your local cinema's app for monthly showings under "戏曲" or "粤剧."

Key Features:

  • Cinematic Adaptations: Contemporary Cantonese Opera films bring the art form to a wider audience, combining the richness of traditional performances with the visual allure of modern cinematography.

  • Accessibility: Cinemas provide a comfortable and accessible environment for individuals who may not have the opportunity to attend live performances.

  • Diverse Offerings: Explore a range of Cantonese Opera films, from classic adaptations to modernized versions, catering to a diverse audience with varying preferences.

Book cinema tickets via your favorite venues and apps

Embark on a journey through the vibrant world of Cantonese Opera in Guangzhou, where tradition meets modernity, creating a cultural tapestry that captivates the senses.

[Cover image via Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute]

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