2007 Honorary Fellow
Yip Shiu-tuck, famous Hong Kong-born scriptwriter, developed his interest in Cantonese opera since childhood. Yip acquired a solid foundation in Cantonese opera composition under the guidance of Mr Wang Yu-sang, a well-known composer, in his early days.
Yip became famous when he reorganised Flower Dyes the Champion, a famous opera by Mr Sik Kok-sin in 1956 and created Golden Well Dream in Red Chamber for Mr Ho Fei-fan in 1960. He was then appointed to reorganise the phonograph record edition of three masterworks of the great scriptwriter Tong Dik-sang – The Princess Chang Ping, The Purple Hairpin Story and The Red Plum Reborn Story. Yip also participated in compiling various popular scripts and created new operas for Cantonese opera troupes. Yip became a professional Cantonese opera scriptwriter in the 1970’s. He also wrote lyrics for TV dramas such as Laughter and Tears of Affinity, The Three Kingdoms Period and The Ten Assassins.
In the 1980’s, as visiting anchorman of The Opera World on RTHK Radio 5, Yip introduced the essence of Cantonese opera through programmes such as The Art of Tong Dik-sang and Artistic Echo of Tong Dik-sang. Yip understood well that the script is the soul of an opera. For this reason, Yip authored scripts with great varieties, aiming to enhance the respective uniqueness of actors and actresses and to provide them with an opportunity to show their own excellent abilities. To date, Yip has written more than 70 scripts, which include Return of Zhu Bian, Date at Chamber, Cheng Sing Kung, Farwell to Longzhou, The Tragedy of the Poetry King, The Dream of The Red Chamber, Muk Guai Ying Conquers Hongzhou, The Chiu Orphan and 15 Chains of Coin. These operas are all beloved by audiences and are performed by many troupes worldwide.
Yip’s works have been appreciated for their smooth melodies and elegant lyrics. In 1995, The Luoshui Dream Date was awarded The Most Widespread Performance Prize from Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Limited. Another Yip’s work, Li Houzhu Goes to Surrender was the award winner for this prize for six years in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005. Yip has recently accepted the invitation from Hong Kong Arts Development Council to launch a course in Cantonese opera scriptwriting this September. It is believed that Yip’s valuable experience in scriptwriting would bring great benefits to the younger generation, and would enable the spirit of Cantonese opera to pass on from generation to generation.