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CANDACE CHONG

written language” that is not used for formal writing. But for the Cantonese people, it is more than worth the trouble. Their nine-tone language is rich and lyrical. This provides endless opportunities for puns, which are as basic to the humor of down-to-earth Cantonese culture as belief in ghosts. While the language can be spoken with great formality, it is also full of salty vocabulary and often defies political correctness. Candace Chong is a master at using the colorful possibilities of Cantonese to capture her Hong Kong audiences, who see themselves in her work.

In 2010, Chong wrote her first libretto, for Sun Yat-sen, an opera about the founding father of the Chinese Republic. (Photo by Ken Howard/Santa Fe Opera)

Ask Candace Chong who her greatest influences are and she’ll point to Henrik Ibsen and Arthur Miller. You can feel Ibsen in the way she unfolds her studies of humanity on the stage, peeling back the layers of her characters to show their contradictions. Every single play she writes seems to kick off with an unexpected energy, the dialogue laced with humor as she masterfully disarms her audience, and keeps them questioning. This questioning spirit, which leads her to conduct exhaustive interviews in her research for plays, lies at the heart of her success. “Some

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Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

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