Tang Disheng (Tang Ti-sheng)
World prestigious composer
A portrait of Tang Disheng [Photo courtesy Nanfang Plus]
Tang Disheng, born Tang Kangnian (Tang Kang-nien), was a renowned Cantonese opera playwright, scriptwriter, and film director. He was born on June 18, 1917 in Heilongjiang and his ancestral home is in today's Tangjiawan Town of Zhuhai's Xiangzhou District.
After graduating from the Guangdong Sun Yat-sen Memorial Middle School (today's Sun Yat-sen Memorial Secondary School in Zhongshan City), Tang reportedly attended the Shanghai Fine Arts School and Shanghai Baptist College. With the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), Tang fled south to Hong Kong in 1937. There, he joined the Kok Sin Sing Opera Troupe and began his career as a playwright in 1938.
Being reputed as the "Shakespeare of Cantonese opera," Tang created over 400 Cantonese opera works in his short 43-year life, including Princess Changping, Story of the Violet Hairpin, and the Romance of the Red Pear Flower.
Tang passed away on Sep 15, 1959 in Hong Kong. Over the past five decades, his works are still staged in Hong Kong, Macao, South China, and even overseas.
Cantonese opera, the ancient local opera arts, has been popular among townships in Tangjiawan where it now houses various kinds of folk opera clubs, staging excellent performances for locals.
A 400-sqm (620,000-sq-ft) memorial hall of Tang Disheng was opened on April 28, 2006 under the guidance of local governments and investments of social individuals. Located on Tangren Street in Tangjiawan, the hall displays hundreds of pictures recording Tang's working, living, and stage performance.