Roles in Cantonese Opera (Yueju)
Known as hongdong, the roles of Cantonese opera are mainly categorized according to the gender, age, identity, character and proportion of participation.
Sang is the overall designation of all male roles. According to the age of the roles, traditionally, elder sang includes mousang (literally, martial man) and sousang (literally, man with beard), while younger male roles are called siusang (literally, young man). In recent years, the role system of Cantonese opera troupes has changed from “Ten Roles” to “System of Six Major Roles”, which means employing six major artists to take over the whole play. The System of six major roles has kept the mousang and sousang. On the other hand, divide the major male roles into manmousang as the leading male role and siusang as the second leading male role.
Daan is the overall designation of all female roles. It is common to call the younger female role as faadan (literally, flower female). In the System of Six Roles, the female roles are categorized according to the proportion of participation. The jingyan faadaan is the leading female role while the yibong faadaan is the second leading female role.
Zing is a male role, or known as faamin (literally, flower face). The artists draw a face mask or pattern to express their unique characters.
Cau Both genders can act as cau (literally, clown), which are the comic roles.