Organization Profile (EN)

Organization Profile (EN)

Established in 1981, the Chinese Theatre Circle (CTC) has been promoting the art of Chinese Opera, dance and music in Singapore and beyond. It has staged more than 2,000 performances in Singapore and 23 countries and territories including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Romania, Scotland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey and the USA. Its signature opera “A Costly Impulse” was recorded “live” in Beijing in 1993 and subsequently broadcast nationwide to a viewership of 700 million people.

In March 1995, it became the first non-profit professional performing Chinese Opera company in Singapore and was subsequently awarded the Excellence for Singapore Award in 1997 for its efforts in promoting Chinese Opera in Asia and in the world.

CTC is noted for its pioneering efforts in creating awareness of Chinese Opera. In 1984 CTC initiated the “Bringing Chinese Opera To The People” series by performing at community centres.

CTC made its debut in schools and junior colleges in 1995 through its Arts Education Programmes. In June 1998, CTC started the first Chinese Opera Teahouse in Chinatown in Singapore to create greater opportunities for the appreciation of Chinese Opera. Chinese Opera Programmes are also conducted at this

Tea house for tourists and students. In March 2000 CTC presented a full length Chinese Opera “Madam White Snake” with dialogue and singing in English, thus pioneering the development of a unique Singapore brand of Chinese Opera. CTC attained greater heights with its presentation of “Madam White Snake” in Mandarin in April 2001 followed by its presentation of “Chinese Opera in Malay” in August 2001.

In August 2000 CTC created another record when it pioneered a Performance Tour Round the World starting in Brazil, then Germany and traversing across France, Belgium and USA before ending in Shanghai, China.

CTC’s pioneering and creative effort glows further with its mammoth production of another Chinese Opera in English “Tragedy Of An Emperor” written by Mr Leslie Wong, resident playwright of CTC, for the Chinese Cultural Festival in March 2002. The opera tells the story of Emperor Guang Xu in the Qing dynasty, the second last Emperor in China. Mr Leslie Wong subsequently fine-tuned the opera and renamed it “Intrigues In The Qing Imperial Court” which made its debut in the Guangzhou International Cantonese Opera Festival at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China (PRC) in October 2004,and the Festival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland in August 2005.

CTC set up another milestone in November 2002 when it presented a Cantonese Opera “The First Woman Emperor Wu Ze Tian” written by CTC’s playwright Mr Norman Cheung for the 4th Shanghai International Arts Festival 2002, one of the most prestigious arts festivals in the world. CTC is the first Chinese Opera company outside China to be invited to perform in this national event of China (PRC).

About Us

CTC’s Artistic Director, Mrs Joanna Wong Quee Heng was appointed Justice of Peace by the President of the Republic of Singapore in October 1998. She has also received prestigious awards such as Public Service Star (BBM) in 1974 and the Cultural Medallion in 1981. Miss Lou Mee Wah, CTC’s Co-Artistic Director & Lead Actor, was awarded the National Youth Award in 1980 and the Cultural Medallion in 1997. CTC’s Lead Actress Miss See Too Hoi Siang won “The Outstanding Young Person In Singapore Award” in 2000. She went on to win “The Outstanding Young Person In The World Award” for cultural achievement in 2001 making her the first Chinese Opera artist to win such prestigious international title.

In August 2004 CTC was selected by the World Culture Open, a non-profit organisation in USA, as one of the twelve finalists to vie for the World Culture Open Award which was considered as “the Olympics for Culture”. CTC was the only arts company from the East Asia and Southeast Asia region selected from nominations received from 120 countries worldwide. In this connection CTC presented an excerpt from a traditional Cantonese Opera “The Patriotic Princess” and an extract from the aforesaid “Intrigues In The Qing Imperial Court” in English in Lincoln Centre, New York, on 10 September before going to Korea where the same programme was presented in Ilsan Lake Park, Gyeonggi on 14 September.

In 2005, CTC initiated an audience development scheme by working in collaborating with The Esplanade Company in presenting a “Chinese Opera Series” featuring famous Cantonese Opera excerpts every quarterly at the Recital Studio with every performance preceded by a pre-performance talk. The series was so successful that it was carried out into the year 2006.

CTC has with effect from 16 June 1999 been registered as a charity under the Charities Act, 1994