Singapore

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Chinese (Teochew) Street Opera - The Art of Lao Sai Tao Yuan

When I wanted to do a series of photos of Singapore, I wanted something uniquely Singaporean and something with a bit of history, and of course it has to be something to do with people, with the locals.  So I picked Lao Sai Tao Yuan - Singapore's oldest Chinese Street Opera troupe, with a 150+ year history. Originating from the 1860s, they used to be a household name and was immensely popular in Singapore and neighbouring Malaysia until the 1960s. With their classical make-up, loud music and high pitched singing all set in a colourful wooden stage box, they are now seen less frequently - mostly during temple festivals only nowadays. Actors and actresses are mostly veterans who still have a lot of energy and passion for their craft. I always enjoy photographing Lao Sai Tao Yuan because the people speak in exactly the same dialect as my grandmother. 

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