Chinese Opera at the Chingay

Last week, with the help of URA and Marina Bay, we had a really cool adventure! We were invited to not just take a behind the scenes look at a Cantonese Opera Troupe preparing for the Chingay, but to also get our faces drawn!

Frankly, I have never done anything like this before, and I was looking forward to this Once-in-a-Lifetime experience! As you can see, I was definitely in a Wayang Mood!

wayang driver

This look  really scared a few drivers, as I was driving home! Smile

On a more serious note, let’s take a closer look at the experts, who were preparing for the parade.

chinese opera makeup

cantonese opera

As you can tell from the photos, where all the artists gathered, the Community Centre was like a War room! Just to give you some insight into the Parade, participants in this year’s Opera Troupe are not full time professionals, but instead, they are Opera Enthusiasts! As anticipated, this too was a Big Day for them!

The excitement could definitely be felt in the Air, as we entered the room. From their faces, we could see that everyone loves “Dolling” up as their favourite artist!  If you are wondering, they are actually playing out the story about the Yang Family.

Chinese opera

That’s Nicole with the oldest Artist involved in the Parade! She is 75yo and ever willing to be part of the whole parade!

Chinese Opera costumes are very elaborate and each outfit can cost up to $2000. Made in China or Hong Kong, this cost excludes the head gear which can cost an additional $1000. Definitely not a cheap outfit to own!


opera troupe

It was great seeing all the people get “dolled up” and my curious children wanted to be part of that experience as well! Yes…They all got their faces painted too! Check out their adventure in the following pictures:

Traditional Opera

Enjoying the moment

Wayang wayang

Nicole painted

chinese painted faces

As you can see, the kids all responded differently to getting their faces painted. The girls naturally loved Makeup, but even though Nathan volunteered for the face painting, he really was not comfortable with the makeup! Smile

White faces

opera faces

children painted faces

And then Daddy and his friends also got into the act. Here’s a picture of Daddy with fellow Marina AmBAYssador Sze Ping.

Chinese faces

family painted faces

Each Makeup takes about 15 minutes to half an hour to do, and traditionally, it was the Opera Artist who drew their own faces. But as we were new to the craft, we just had to sit down and let the the skilful hands of the makeup Artists do her magic!  This was a definite Once in a Lifetime experience! Smile

In fact, after this, the kids became more open to Chinese Opera, and they were not afraid of seeing people in painted faces anymore! Smile

We really had a fun time, and if you want your kids exposed to this year’s Chingay, you can find out more about the event and ticketing at the Official Chingay website. Check out the details here!

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