WAN Fai Yin, Christina
2022 Honorary Fellow
A renowned actress taking on huadan (lead female) roles, Ms. Wan Fai Yin began her training in Cantonese opera in the 1960s. She studied voice and stylised movement under the guidance of Wong Yuet-sang, then learnt movements and gestures on stage and staged-fighting routines from Ng Sik-yi, Ng Kung-hap, Tam San-san, Yam Tai-fun and Ma Yuqi. Ms. Wan studied martial arts of the Northern School under the instruction of Lau Shun.
Noted for her mellifluent voice, Ms. Wan embarked on her artistic journey as a lead actress in 1968. She formed her own troupe, the Golden Phoenix Cantonese Opera Troupe, in 1987. Over the years, she has performed across the globe, working with preeminent Cantonese opera performers such as Mak Bing-wing, Sun Ma Sze Tsang, Tang Bik-wan, Ho Fei-fan, Lam Ka-sing, Law Kar-ying and Yuen Siu-fai.
In 2005, Ms. Wan presented a gala event, Wan Fai Yin – Forty Years of Acting, to commemorate her illustrious career, receiving both popular and critical acclaim. Drawing on her rich acting experience, Ms. Wan directed her first Cantonese opera in 2009. She has performed or directed more than 20 new works over her distinguished career, which has spanned six decades. Her recent notable works include Empress Xiaozhuang, A Handful of Snow, Poetics of the Postal Pavilion, and Her Majesty Wu Zetian, the latter performed for the Chinese Opera Festival in 2015.
Ms. Wan has been a staunch advocate of Cantonese opera, and is passionate about nurturing young talent. She was invited by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to be the Artistic Advisor to the District Cantonese Opera Parade 2012/13. She served as a Vice Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, and is currently a member of the Cantonese Opera Advisory Committee. She has since 2013 been the Artistic Director of the Cantonese Opera Young Talent Showcase that is part of the Yau Ma Tei Theatre Venue Partnership Scheme. In 2012, Ms. Wan was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Hong Kong SAR government as well as being named the Artist of the Year for Xiqu by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, in recognition of her contribution to Cantonese opera.
An ardent supporter of the Academy’s School of Chinese Opera, Ms. Wan has served on the School’s advisory committee since 2018, offering invaluable advice for the School’s academic and artistic development as an experienced industry practitioner. She also actively promotes the School’s programmes. As a Visiting Artist to the School of Chinese Opera, she is always willing to share her knowledge and experience with students and faculty members alike. The students benefit not only from her artistic direction, but also from her professional presence.