Jade in the Coal
A little-known piece of Canadian theatre history is that, in the early 1900s, Cantonese opera troupes routinely travelled to Canada from China to relieve the hardships of Chinese labourers working in the coal mines. The mining town of Cumberland, BC boasted two 400-seat opera houses and was home to one of North America’s largest Chinatowns.
Against this backdrop, award-winning author Paul Yee sets his thrilling play – Jade in the Coal – the result of a cross-cultural and artistic collaboration between Canada and China two years in the making. Presented by Theatre at UBC, it features original music by Jin Zhang performed live by a six-piece Cantonese opera ensemble and performances by Canadian artists alongside the Guangdong Cantonese Opera Academy First Troupe – the world’s finest Cantonese Opera troupe.