Songstresses and nan yin

In the world of Cantonese music, individual songstresses and nan yin (southern music) singers often performed in special venues called ge tan (singing stage), housed typically in tea house restaurants. This performance convention occupied an important place outside of the opera troupes circuit. Popular in the 1930s, ‘singing stage’ recovered and flourished quickly after the Japanese Occupation. They were home to the development of star songstresses and the popularization of their special brand of singing techniques.

In this section, we have selected the classic works of three renowned performers of this tradition - Siu Ming-sing, Tsui Lau-sin and Pak Kui-wing.

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