Cantonese opera, the traditional Chinese art form with origins in the 13th century, combines music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics and acting. Among affluent young shoppers in Hong Kong, however, interest in Cantonese opera had faded. The solution from Times Square Limited, a high-end, 17-level mall in one of Hong Kong’s most dynamic retail districts, has led to it taking first place in the “CSR Event” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
Recruiting new talent and getting funding from the Hong Kong government to support Cantonese opera has been difficult. To rekindle interest, Times Square decided to bring Cantonese opera to the mall in a highly visible way: as “artetainment,” which would be seen by shoppers who could interact and engage with exhibits.
The exhibits and performances were seen by 3.3 million people; it would have taken 275 shows at HK Coliseum, Hong Kong’s largest performance theater, to equal that audience. Nearly all the local Cantonese opera masters attended the event, along with two rarely seen local opera queens.
More than 20 local non-opera celebrities supported the event by recording videos. Ninety-five percent of local publications and magazines covered the event, all of which helped build interest among the younger audience, who shared photos and posts across social media. Twelve thousand participants used the exhibit’s photo booth and shared images via their mobile phones.
Congratulations to Times Square Limited for producing a wildly successful event to boost an important art form.
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