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‘Ambassadors’ take visitors on Dom Pedro V Theatre tour

2020-06-29 03:31     Comment:0

A tour entitled “Journey through Dom Pedro V Theatre” organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) took place at the Dom Pedro V Theatre on Saturday and yesterday. The tour was co-sponsored by the Macau Dom Pedro V Theatre Owners Association and Lisbon-based Orient Foundation (FO), according to a leaflet about the two-day event published by the bureau. 

The bureau launched its so-called “cultural ambassador” programme last year with a string of training courses for residents interested in knowing more about traditional Chinese and local culture. 

According to the leaflet, the programme not only aims to strengthen local people’s knowledge of their hometown but also to reinforce their pride and sense of belonging to the motherland. 

The programme also focuses on the mission of the “cultural ambassadors” of “leading others to the light of culture” and sharing their knowledge with the participants through different kinds of activities such as guided tours, workshops and lectures as well as performances. 

“The power of cultural dissemination and heritage allows participants to feel the charm of local and Chinese culture,” according to the leaflet. 

The Dom Pedro V Theatre Journey was the first event of the cultural ambassador programme, which was held in three sessions at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the theatre in Largo de Santo Agostinho on Saturday and yesterday. The Macau Post Daily participated in the 3 p.m. session on Saturday. 

The theatre was built in 1860 to commemorate Portuguese monarch Pedro V. The king, nicknamed “The Hopeful”, was king of Portugal between 1853 and 1861. He died of typhoid fever or cholera when he was just 24 years old. His wife, a German princess, died of diphtheria in 1859, aged 22.

In 2005, UNESCO listed the theatre as a part of the Historic Centre of Macau World Cultural Heritage architectural ensemble, one of the cultural ambassadors told visitors to the property. The cultural ambassadors wore historical Oriental and Occidental costumes. 

They led visitors to enter a virtual “time tunnel” in a theatrical style while walking into the idyllic theatre, the first Western-style theatre in China. One of the cultural ambassadors played the role of Russian painter George Vitalievich Smirnoff, who lived in Macau between 1944 and 1947, while another played the role of Madama Butterfly, the main character of the famous opera by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, which had its premiere in the Far East at the theatre. The eight visitors – including this reporter – listened to the cultural ambassadors’ presentation and watched a performance by a local Portuguese folk dance troupe in the 276-seat theatre.

All the visitors and cultural ambassadors wore facemasks during the one-hour session. 

A string of more activities by the bureau will be held from next month to October. Residents are welcome to sign up. For details visit www.icm.gov.mo/pec or the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/icmacao. For enquiries, call 28366866 during office hours. 


Two cultural ambassadors playing the roles of a story teller (left) and Russian painter George Vitalievich Smirnoff talk about local scenery with the help of some of Smirnoff’s paintings. 


A cultural ambassador playing the role of Madama Butterfly talks about how Italian opera costumes have inspired the fashion industry. Photos: Camy Tam

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