In the late 19 th -century, our current director’s great-grandfather Yang Bingjin brought his opera troupe Lao Sai Yong Hong from Teochew down south to Singapore, one of the first Teochew opera troupes to arrive in Southeast Asia.
Her grandmother Yang Qingying (1925- 2013) followed her mother into this profession, living and performing in all over Malaya, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia before finally settling in Penang. She was renowned in her day for her xiaosheng (young man) roles.
Her mother Toh Ai Hwa grew up immersed in opera, joining at the age of twelve Lao Yong Siew Choon, a Teochew puppet opera troupe. When the troupe master retired in 1989, she inherited the troupe from him, renaming it Kim Giak Low Choon, a name which endures to this day.
The present director of Kim Giak Low Choon, Ling Goh, is the fourth generation of this family to perform Teochew opera. She is also the founder and director of the Teochew Puppet and Opera House in Penang.
The legacy of this family lives on in Ling Goh’s two nieces and nephew.