Fans of traditional Chinese opera, popularized in the West by recent films from China, can get a backstage view on the new "Painted Faces" tour in Singapore.
The tour, lasting 3 1/2 to 4 hours, begins with a visit to a shop where opera costumes and equipment are made. The next stop is a teahouse in Chinatown for a tea sampling, followed by a visit to a school that teaches the distinctive, ritualized body movements of the opera. The evening ends with a backstage visit to the Chinese Theatre Circle to watch actors apply their elaborate makeup before a 45-minute outdoor performance at Clarke Quay on the Singapore River.
The cost is about $22 adults, $11 children. Reservations are required. Contact Holiday Tours & Travel, tel. 011-65-738-2622.