Red Boat Troupe by Foshan Museum

In the early stages, the Cantonese opera teams were grouped into local teams and external teams. The local opera teams were consisted of the local opera performers. At that time, the opera teams had no fixed opera platforms. The local opera teams always went out for performances by boats in Pearl River Delta. The earliest opera boats were painted boats (Zidong Boat). Later sailboats were used, which were coated brown black, called “Black Boat”. In (1813), the local teams imitated the red boats of Jiangxi Yuntai governer, which were very prominent with red color on masts and the boat body. Thus the Cantonese referred to the local opera team as “Red Boat”, and the Cantonese opera performers were called Red Boat Performers.

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