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Taiwanese opera as Bible teaching?

We’ve had Taiwanese opera classes at the Pearl Family Garden center for two to three years now. In the beginning, we only had group performances and the ladies performed sitting down. This year, we had individual performances. The singers moved around on stage, learnt elaborate gestures and put on traditional costumes.

These classes are made possible by the grants given by Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Liu Nanfang, the founder of a Taiwanese opera troupe, applies for the grant on our behalf. She writes Christian songs set to traditional opera tunes.

For two hours every Thursday afternoon, about ten women gather to learn from Ms Huang. She is a professional Taiwanese opera instructor and she corrects every little detail of their pronunciation and acting. Through this process, the women overcome their pride and stubbornness. They also learn to listen and not assume that they know what to do. These positive changes make it easier for them to absorb biblical teaching.

So far, we’ve performed at the Pearl Family Garden, in local churches and even once, in public. It’s fun to do things together and build community. Though we were not the ones who trained them to sing, Tera and I were so proud of the ladies, like parents watching their kids perform during a school concert.

– Sin Ee, Pearl Family Garden

(Wanhua District, Taipei City, Northern Taiwan)

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