Madam Lee
Lee Swee Har


Lee Swee Har (Singapore)

Madam Lee Swee Har, 70, has been a keen student of Cantonese opera since young. Her father took her to the Ning Yeung clan association where she had opportunities to practice and perform at various functions. In the 1960s, Madam Lee was invited to broadcast a dialect storytelling programme over Rediffusion, together with her teacher, the famous Cantonese storyteller Lee Dai Sor. Since 1994 she started to teach singing in Mandarin and Cantonese at various community clubs and at the clan association. Her interests have since broadened to include culinary classes, first as a student, and now as a teacher, running the first-ever Cantonese cuisine cookery class at Kampong Kembangan Community Club, teaching in that very dialect. Madam Lee’s repertoire of traditional Chinese stories includes the timeless tale of the archer Ho Yi and the heavenly maiden Chang-Er, who now lives in the moon.

Chan Wai Han


Chan Wai Han (Singapore)

Chan Wai Han, 56, honed her story-telling skills when putting her children to bed. After 14 years as a home-maker, she resumed her career in writing and editing. Her interest in stories dated from the 1960s when the only entertainment was provided by the legendary Cantonese storyteller Lee Dai Sor; his vivid tales of swordsmen, scholars, ghosts and fairies from the rich Chinese tradition enthralled young and old alike through the airwaves of Rediffusion. Given the opportunity to interview Lee Dai Sor in the course of her work, she completed a biography of the master storyteller in 1984. Two years ago, at a relative’s golden anniversary, she was introduced to Madam Lee Swee Har, a disciple of the late Lee. This has turned into a partnership with Madam Lee weaving her magic in Cantonese while she interprets into English.

Catch Swee Har and Wai Han in A Tribute to Lee Dai Sor.