2006 Honorary Fellow
Chan Ho-kau is an outstanding artist on the Cantonese Opera stage. Nurtured by her father Chan Kai-hung, she started to appreciate Cantonese Opera in her early childhood. Chan first studied at Langfong Cantonese Opera School and studied acting with Tsang Wensin. She later studied Peking opera movements with Fen Ju-hua, giving her a solid foundation in this art form.
Chan Ho-kau rose to fame in the 1960s as the widely acknowledged ‘queen’ of supporting hua dan performer. Her status was confirmed when she joined the Hing Sun Sing Opera Troupe as the leading hua dan. Her partner there was Lam Kar-sing. She has co-starred with many big names and is considered a character actress.
Chan specialised in performing qing yi (married woman), hua shan (lively girl) and daoma dan (woman warrior) roles with ease and charisma, and is one of the leading female roles in Cantonese Opera. As a tribute to this renowned star, the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2002 presented a series of her best-known roles, which highlight her skill as the hua dan in Cantonese Opera.
She actively participates in charity performances and devotes herself to the Cantonese Opera profession. Since the introduction of the Academy’s Chinese Traditional Theatre programme, Chan has shown continuous support to the programme and expressed valuable opinions to students’ performances. In 2005, collaborating with other famous Cantonese Opera artists, she led the students of the Chinese Traditional Theatre programme to perform in a full-length Cantonese Opera The Cosmic Mirror, which received very good response from the audience. With her solid training, enthusiasm in the performance and education of Cantonese opera, she is highly acclaimed by her colleagues and the audience.