It’s hard to imagine now, but in the 1900s, Cantonese opera troupes used to regularly travel to B.C. to entertain the many Chinese labourers who had come here to work the coal mines. Remote Cumberland, B.C., was home two 400-seat opera houses and one of the biggest Chinatowns in North America, and it’s here that Paul Yee has set his remarkable historical play, Jade in the Coal. When it debuts tonight (November 25) to December 4 at the UBC Frederic Wood Theatre in a coproduction from Pangaea Arts & Theatre at UBC, the show will feature a six-piece Cantonese opera ensemble and performances by Canadian artists alongside the Guangdong Cantonese Opera Academy First Troupe. From a story that resurrects the ghosts of a mine explosion to the ethereal music by composer Jin Zhang, Jade promises to transport you to an era and place that time has forgotten.
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