Kathy Hall (李惠馨) is an experienced arts administrator, promoter, presenter, teacher and practitioner of Jingju (京剧Peking Opera) and Kunqu Opera (昆曲) in London. She is known for her work UK-wide with the former London Jing Kun Opera Association (2002-2014).
Kathy learnt Jingju opera singing for nine years in Hong Kong with the late Mr Bao Youdie 包幼蝶老师, a specialist in the Mei Lanfang 梅兰芳style. She also learnt Kunqu opera movements for five years with former Shanghai Kunqu Opera actor Ms Le Yiping 乐漪萍老师. Kathy was the Founding Chair and voluntary Chief Executive of the London Jing Kun Opera Association. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship and took intensive lessons with Kunqu Opera doyenne Wang Fengmei 王奉梅老师 in Hangzhou in 2005. In 2008, supported by an Arts Council England (London) grant, she studied with top Kunqu Opera actor, Liang Guyin 梁谷音老师 in Shanghai.
Kathy was Vice-principal and Head of Senior English of a secondary school, and Secretary-General of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council before settling in the UK in 1997. She has given numerous Peking opera and Kunqu opera lecture-demonstrations, workshops and performances UK-wide in museums, theatres, community halls and schools. She has also appeared in Malta, Northern Ireland and at the 2006 Venice Biennale China Special Programme Crisis. In 2010, she was awarded Honorary Member of The 48 Group Club “Ice-Breakers” for her contribution towards East-West understanding. She regularly translates opera libretto into English to enhance audience and learner understanding. She teaches Peking opera and Kunqu opera in London to all ages and ethnicities. In September 2019, Kathy’s Jingju and Kunqu Opera teaching in the UK was the subject of an award-winning video. The China People’s Daily ‘My China’-themed Global Short Video Contest saw over 430,000 entries from over 60 countries. The video titled ‘I Teach Chinese Opera in the UK_Links to Chinese Opera’ by a University of Sussex MA Film graduate, S Yi, was among the 15 Third Prize winners. Yi’s story focused on Kathy’s teaching work in general and in particular of a British young man to first performance level in the Dan role.
To view the LJKOA 2002-2014: A Photographic Retrospective, click here
To see an outline of all the activities London Jing Kun Opera Association carried out, you can download a PDF of the LJKOA 12-Year Retrospective Report 2002-2014.
For her detailed track record, please see: http://www.londonjingkunopera.co.uk/