With a talent and personality as cosmopolitan as her birthplace of Hong Kong — entertainer Frances Yip truly justifies the description of “international star”.
Frances has performed in more than 30 countries on five continents, and travels more than 60,000 miles each year.
She is equally at home singing Chinese opera at a nightclub in Singapore, or popular English ballads at London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel.
Her performance venues have been as diverse as the Friendship Theatre in Guangzhou, China; to a casino cabaret in Swaziland in Africa; on board the famed luxury liner, QE2; a Polynesian cultural centre in Tahiti; and the renowned Caesars Palace Hotel, Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world.
In an active recording career, Frances has released more than 80 albums, mainly of songs in English, Cantonese or Mandarin, and she has also had hits in Thai, Japanese and Polynesian.
Frances has also appeared on television in a dozen different countries, including a Chinese New Year’s Eve spectacular broadcast live from Beijing, to an audience estimated at more than 400 million.
She has appeared in three full-length feature films made by independent producers in Hong Kong.
Frances achieved worldwide recognition when she was selected by the Hong Kong Government to be a co-presenter at the British Farewell Ceremony to mark the transfer of sovereignty in Hong Kong.
The event on June 30th 1997 was watched by a television audience estimated at 120 million, in more than 80 countries around the globe.
Another milestone in Frances’ career came in Hong Kong in November 1998 when she performed at two sell-out concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum, backed by the 92-piece Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
The critics were unanimous in their praise: “Vibrant and exciting” “Sheer professionalism” “A majestic vocal talent” and “Indeed — simply the best.”
In 2000-2001, Frances fulfilled an ambition by appearing in one of the leading roles in “Jubilee” — a Cantonese stage musical which ran for a record-breaking season in Hong Kong.
In 2002, Frances held two cross cultural concerts with renowned American jazz singer Patti Austin in the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. The Mayor, Willie L Brown Jr., attended the concert and declared May 28th 2002 as “Frances Yip Day” in San Francisco “to acknowledge her achievements in and contributions to both Eastern and Western music.”
In January 2004, Frances returned to perform with the Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra at five sold out concerts at the Cultural Centre Concert Hall in Hong Kong.
She also became the first Hong Kong artiste to perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at a fundraising concert held at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, Canada in October 2004 for the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation, a Chinese charitable organisation that offers multi-level care to the needy.
Later the same month, Frances performed at three concerts at the 18th Macau International Music Festival, backed by the 85-strong Macau Chinese Orchestra. When tickets for the performances were issued, they were sold out within an hour.
In 2005, Frances triumphed again when she performed with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the cultural ambassadors of Hong Kong, first in four concerts with the full orchestra, and later in December, with an ensemble at the official Gala hosted by the Hong Kong Government for the visiting Ministers of the World Trade Organisation.
In May 2006, Frances added to her successes in Macau and Hong Kong with a sell out concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, performing with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.
In September 2006, she teamed up with Elisa Chan, Maria Cordero and Anita Sarawak from Malaysia and launched the first “4 Asian Divas” concert at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands Resort, Malaysia to great response.
In the following 12 months, they held a total of nine sell-out concerts in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, creating a new musical phenomenon in the region.
On Valentines Day 2009, Frances returned triumphantly to Singapore with a sell-out concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, performing with a 50 member strong symphonic orchestra from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
In October of the same year, at the invitation of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada, she was featured with Hong Kong singer/songwriter Anthony Lun in a concert to mark the opening of the Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto. They performed with an orchestra made up of past students of the Conservatory, as part of a two-week season with concerts given by artistes from many parts of the world in different musical genres.
On her return to Hong Kong, she teamed up once again with Elisa Chan and Maria Cordero in two concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum. The theme of the concert was “3 women in love” and featured many popular songs. The chemistry between the three enthralled the capacity audiences of 12,000 each night.
The three ladies took the concert on the road to North America and appeared at casinos at Lake Tahoe, San Diego and Niagara Falls, Canada in August 2011.
Frances also appeared with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Tamasat University Philharmonic Orchestra in Bangkok in the same year.
The highlight of 2011 would be the “Screen Gems” concert in which Frances sang many of her popular theme songs from movies and television series over the last forty years. This was launched in Singapore in December and has since been staged in Kuala Lumpur as well.
In 2012, Frances released two CD’s of varying styles and content.
“Grace and Glory Psalm 84” is a collection of Christian songs, while “The Music and the Voice” is a collaboration with leading Hong Kong composer, arranger and producer Chris Babida.
In 2014 and 2015 Frances embarked on a series of concerts to celebrate her 45th anniversary as a singer/entertainer. This tour took her to Australasia, North America and Southeast Asia, the highlight being three sold out performances at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong.
A DVD and CD of this concert has been released by Emperor Entertainment Group in Hong Kong.
A wide selection of Frances’ recordings, from the 1970’s to the present day is available on iTunes.
On record, television, or movies, or live in concert or cabaret, Frances Yip has a talent “discovered” by many thousands of fans in two dozen countries around the world — a talent which aptly sums her up as “Asia’s leading lady of song”.