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Opera: Dr. Sun Yat-sen



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In Commemoration of the Centenary of the 1911 Revolution
A new opera in 3 acts
World Premiere

Performed in Putonghua with Chinese and English Surtitles

Commissioned by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Opera Hong Kong

13-15 October 2011 (Thu to Sat) 7:45pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$880, 620, 420, 280*, 150*

16 October 2011 (Sun) 3pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$780, 500, 360, 240*, 130*  

* The sightline of certain seats may be restricted  

Due to personal reason, soprano He Hui is unable to participate in Dr. Sun Yat-sen (13 & 14 October performances).   Her role as Soong Chingling is now replaced by Yao Hong.  The performance dates for another soprano Nancy Yuen in the same role are rescheduled accordingly.  The role of Soong Chingling is now performed by:
Yao Hong (13 & 15 October performances)
Nancy Yuen (14 & 16 October performances)

Location Map
 
About the programme

 

Between Friendship and Love
A Revolution Touched the Heart

 

 

Charlie Soong, a missionary with patriotic motives, is giving a fund-raising party in aid of Sun Yat-sen’s organization Chinese Revolutionary Alliance for national revolution.  Soong and Sun met in their early days in Shanghai.  The same age and holding the same patriotic beliefs, the two become very close friends.  This friendship, that has lasted for a quarter of a century, breaks when Sun falls in love with Soong Chingling, Soong’s second daughter, who is 27 years younger than Sun.  Furious, Charlie Soong declares the end of his friendship with Sun Yat-sen, and does his utmost to stop the lovers from getting married.  Chingling, however, has made up her mind to marry Sun Yat-sen.  Charlie Soong disowns his daughter, and at the same time withdraws his financial assistance from the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance.  Sun Yat-sen not only loses an important supporter for his revolutionary activities, but also loses a good friend who has weathered many storms with him in the past.

 

In the following years, the efforts of Sun and Chingling to overthrow the Qing government have been thwarted many times, and Sun has been a constant target of assassins sent by the Qing court.  Chingling even has a miscarriage as a result of one of the attacks on the Presidential Residence.  Despite all this, their vision for the revolution never wavers. Just as they are deeply involved in insurgent activities, the news arrives that Charlie Soong is very ill and dying.  Chingling rushes to Shanghai alone to see her father.  Although Sun cannot reach his friend’s deathbed and seek final reconciliation, a gift from Charlie Soong, belatedly, shows he does not carry the grudge to his grave.  Once again, their destinies are united.

 
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Artistic Personnel

Music: Huang Ruo
Libretto: Candace Chong
Producer: Warren Mok
Director: Chen Xinyi
Set Design: Gao Guanjian
Costume Design:「源 Blanc de Chine 
Lighting Design: Gabriel Fung

A Production of Opera Hong Kong

 
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Performing groups/ Performers

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Conductor: Yan Huichang

 

Opera Hong Kong Chorus

Chorus Director: Jimmy Chan


Cast List

Sun Yat-sen: Warren Mok*+ / Ding Yi^#

Soong Chingling: Yao Hong*+ / Nancy Yuen^#
Lu Muzhen: Yuki Ip*+ / Joyce Wong^#

Charlie Soong: Gong Dongjian*+ / Peng Kangliang^#

Charlie Soong's Wife: Yang Guang*+ / Liu Shan^#

Umeya Shōkichi: Yuan Chenye*^+ / Albert Lim#

Shōkichi's Wife: Liang Ning*^+ / Carol Lin#

Ms Ariyoshi: Lisa Lu

 

*13/10 7:45pm

^14/10 7:45pm

+15/10 7:45pm

#16/10 3pm

 

The presenter reserves the right to replace artists at short notice in the event of the said performer(s)’ indispositionor other unforeseen circumstances.

 
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Opera Hong Kong

Opera Hong Kong was founded in 2003 and it is the first opera company in Hong Kong.  The company is committed to the mission of enhancing the appreciation of the art of opera in Hong Kong, nurturing and promoting local music talents.  Under the artistic direction of Warren Mok, the internationally acclaimed Hong Kong tenor, Opera Hong Kong has produced many concerts and operas including Samson et Dalila, La Traviata, Turandot, Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro, Roméo et Juliette, Aïda, Werther, Don Carlo, Die Zauberflöte, Manon and La Bohème. Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus were established in 2004 and 2008 respectively and they are becoming recognised forces in the local choral scene.

 
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Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Hailed as the Cultural Ambassador of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra was founded in 1977 and has given performances at major arts festivals and performing venues around the world.  The orchestra is in four sections: bowed-strings, plucked-strings, wind and percussion, its instruments incorporating both the traditional and the improved, new versions.  It is deeply rooted in the Chinese cultural heritage.  Its performance format and repertoire include both traditional Chinese music and contemporary full-scale works.  It also explores new frontiers in music through commissioning new works of various types and styles.  Over the years, it has commissioned over 2,000 original compositions and arrangements.  (For more information and video, please visit www.hkco.org.)

 

Huang Ruo 

 

Huang Ruo was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from The Juilliard School.  Huang’s writing spans from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theatre, and modern dance, to sound installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock and film.  As a member of the new generation of Chinese composers, he sets his goal and task not just to mix both Western and Eastern elements but also to create a seamless integration and a convincing organic unity drawing influences from various genres and cultures.  Awarded first prize by the prestigious Luxembourg International Composition Prize and the Henry Mancini Award at the 1995 International Film and Music Festival in Switzerland, Huang has been cited by the New Yorker as ‘one of the most intriguing of the new crop of Asian-American composers’.  The New York Times listed an all-evening Huang Ruo concert as the second on the list of ‘Top Ten Classical Moments of 2003’.  Huang was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States-China Relations in 2006.

  

  

Candace Chong 

Libretto

A current recipient of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Best Artist Award (Drama), Chong (with four Hong Kong Drama Awards ‘Best Plays’ between 2003 and 2010) has been a staple for local theatregoers.  Her works have been presented in Macao, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and the United States, with a 2005 English-language reading of her Alive in the Mortuary (2003).  Chong’s most recent play, Murder in San José, a 2009 Hong Kong Arts Festival commission, has been revived twice locally and presented at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre in April 2010.  Educated at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and London’s Royal Holloway College, Chong also spent a year in New York City on an Asian Cultural Council grant.  This season marks her debut as an opera librettist as well as her arrival on the American theatre scene as translator of the Chinese dialogue in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, which premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in June with plans to open on Broadway in fall 2011.  Her latest commission is Wild Boar for the 2012 Hong Kong Arts Festival.

  

  

Chen Xinyi    

Director

Chen Xinyi is a prolific director who has been actively engaged in the creation of theatrical drama for almost 60 years.  A National Class One Director, she has created more than 80 stage works; in addition to drama, opera and Peking opera, she has also been involved in musical drama, children’s play and regional traditional opera.  Her excellent productions have won her many prominent prizes, including 13 Wenhua Awards by China’s Ministry of Culture, Five-One-Excellent Works Award and Cao Yu Drama Literature Award.

  

  

Yan Huichang 

Conductor 

As Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and National Class One Conductor, Yan Huichang was awarded the Cultural Medallion (Music) in Singapore, the Overseas Award for Music at the 51st Literary and Art Works Awards by the Chinese Writers’ & Artists’ Association (Taiwan), and the Jurors’ Award for Conducting at the 6th China Gold Record Awards-Multi Arts Category.  In 2004, he was awarded a Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in recognition of his remarkable achievements in Chinese music as well as his efforts in promoting Chinese music.  In 2009, Yan was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  Led by Yan, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra has seen omni-direction growth in the last decade, and is a driving force behind the promotion of Chinese music culture in China as well as other parts of the world.

  

  

Warren Mok as Sun Yat-sen

Producer / Tenor 

World-renowned Hong Kong tenor Warren Mok has been making frequent guest appearances in many leading opera houses throughout the world.  His operatic repertoire exceeds 60 roles including Calaf in Turandot, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Radames in Aïda and many others.  In recent years, Mok is very active in the promotion of western opera and music in the Mainland and has established Opera Hong Kong.  He is currently the Artistic Director of the Macao International Music Festival and Opera Hong Kong.  Mok was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2011, World Outstanding Chinese Award in 2010, and both Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (Knight of the Star of Solidarity of Italy) by the Government of Italy and Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Art and Letter) by the Government of France in 2008.

  

  

Ding Yi as Sun Yat-sen

Tenor

 

Heralded as a major tenor at the Sydney Opera House, Ding Yi is a graduate from the Xian Conservatory of Music and Central Conservatory of Music.  His operatic repertoire includes such masterpieces as  La Traviata, Tosca, Rigoletto, Faust, Cavalleria Rusticana, Norma, Carmen and Il Tabarro.  He has performed with opera companies and renowned orchestras around the world, including Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.  Ding is a recipient of an Artist Award from the Government of Italy and an Artist Achievements Award from the Arts Council of Europe and the Government of Rome.

  

  

Yao Hong as Soong Chingling  

Soprano

Yao Hong, a famous soprano from the Mainland, is a National Class One Performer.  She has won First Prize at the 'Concord' International Opera Competition in Marseilles and two Wenhua Awards by the Ministry of Culture.  In 2001, she performed with the Three Tenors in Forbidden City.  In 2006 she successfully created the title role in new opera Du Shiniang and sang with José Carreras in the gala performance entitled 'Classical Xi’an'.  She performed the role Liù in Turandot in productions including a collaboration of Shanghai Opera House and Zurich Opera House, and also the production directed by Zhang Yimou in Paris and Munich.  Her resounding, sweet voice and her strong stage presence are impressive to the audience.

 

 

Nancy Yuen as Soong Chingling

Soprano

Nancy Yuen, a top graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, has made Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly her signature role, winning great critical acclaim since her debut with the Welsh National Opera.  She has since repeated the role with the English National Opera, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Singapore Lyric Opera, New Zealand International Arts Festival and at the Royal Albert Hall in 1998, 2000 and 2003.  Other operatic roles include Violetta in La Traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte.  She is currently the Head of Vocal Studies, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

 

 

Yuki Ip as Lu Muzhen

Soprano

Yuki Ip is an emerging artist in both concerts and operatic scenes.   In one of her country’s finest honours, Ip performed for the inaugural season of Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts with the world famous tenor José Carreras under the baton of Enrique Ricci.   She has taken principal roles in Madama Butterfly, Street Scene, Hänsel und Gretel, Carmen, Roméo et Juliette, Werther and La Bohème with Opera Hong Kong.  Her European debut was at the Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy.  Ip obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and a Master of Music Degree at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

 

 

Joyce Wong as Lu Muzhen

Soprano

Joyce Wong began her professional operatic debut in the fall of 2006 at Opera Hong Kong as Barbarina in the production of Le Nozze di Figaro.  She continued the season as Harry in Albert Herring at Intermezzo Young Artist Program.  Wong made her equity debut in Miss Saigon as Yvette (Gigi u/s) at The Media Theatre, and sang Suor Genevieva in Suor Angelica with Miami Lyric Opera and Pamina with Seoul International Opera Program.   She also appeared as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Sophie in Werther and Pousette in Manon.  Wong graduated from Westminster Choir College and Boston University.

 

 

Gong Dongjian as Charlie Soong

Bass

Gong Dongjian has played major roles with renowned opera houses and music festivals across Asia, Europe and North and South America.  He has performed in nearly 50 productions at the Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, Berlin Festival, Paris Autumn Festival, Munich Biennial Arts Festival and Edinburgh Festival.  In May 2008, he was invited by the Chinese Government as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus at the Vatican for Pope Benedict XVI.

 

 

Peng Kangliang as Charlie Soong

Bass

After his graduation from the Central Conservatory of Music, Peng went to Japan to continue his Master’s degree at the Tokyo University of the Arts, studying with Taikai Takahashi and later joining the Fujiwara Opera.  Peng has performed leading roles in more than 40 operas including La Bohème, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Les contes d’Hoffmann and Don Giovanni.  He is currently professor of voice at the Central Conservatory of Music, a member of the Chinese Musicians’ Association and principal bass singer of the Fujiwara Opera.

 

 

Yang Guang as Charlie Soong's Wife

Mezzo-soprano

Yang Guang studied at the Central Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School.  She won the 1997 BBC Singer of the World Competition held in Cardiff and first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in 2001.  Yang has performed with opera companies around the world, including Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra National de Lyon and Opera Hong Kong.  Her operatic repertoire includes Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Amneris in Aïda.  She was the mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem conducted by Carlo Rizzi.  Yang currently teaches at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

 

 

Liu Shan as Charlie Soong's Wife

Mezzo-soprano

Liu Shan, one of the most talented mezzo-sopranos at the China National Opera House, is a National Class One performer and a member of the Chinese Musicians’ Association.  She has won awards in the Third Offenbach Vocal Contest in France and First Prize in the Fifth Vocal Contest held by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada.  Liu has starred in more than 100 operas, including Carmen, Madama Butterfly and La Traviata.  She has given recitals in Canada, the United States and mainland China.

 

 

Yuan Chenye as Umeya Shokichi

Baritone

Baritone Yuan Chenye’s clear, supple voice and his ability to portray vastly different characters have earned him international acclaim.  He has played leading roles in Rigoletto, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Falstaff, La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Faust, Carmen and L’Elisir d’Amore.  He was a winner of the 1994 International Tchaikovsky Competition, and the recipient of First Prize in the 1994 Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition, and First Prize and Audience Choice Award in the 1998 Eleanor McCollum Competition.

 

 

Albert Lim as Umeya Shokichi

Baritone

After completing the Bachelor of Music at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Albert Lim attained his Postgraduate Diploma in Performance and Postgraduate Certificate in Performance with Distinction at the Royal Collage of Music. His appearances in operas includes La Traviata as Barone, Carmen as Dancairo, Le Villi as Gugliemo, the excerpts of La Bohème as Marcello, the excerpts of Les Pechers De Perles as Zurga and the excerpts of Le Nozze di Figaro as Figaro.  Lim has also performed regularly as a guest soloist in concerts with local choirs and orchestra. Lim was invited to sing Dancairo in Carmen under the renowned French conductor Michel Plasson with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

 

 

Liang Ning as Shokichi's Wife

Mezzo-soprano

One of the preeminent mezzo-sopranos on the international scene, Liang Ning has appeared in many of the world’s leading opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and Bavarian State Opera, among others.  Roles she has performed included Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and the world première of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor.  She has also collaborated with Giuseppe Sinopoli, Riccardo Muti and Sir Colin Davis.  Liang was a winner of many competitions including the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.

 

 

Carol Lin as Shokichi's Wife

Mezzo-soprano

Born in Hong Kong, Carol Lin has been active in various local opera productions since 2006.  She has performed important roles in operas including Carmen, Der Rosenkavalier, Werther, Madama Butterfly, La Fille du Régiment, Serse, Romèo et Juliette, among others.  In December 2008, Lin made her American debut as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Cutler Majestic Theatre of Boston.  As a soloist, she also performs frequently with major organizations from Hong Kong and overseas, such as Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Aspen Sinfonia and Learners’ Chorus, etc.  Graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Lin earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performances from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  She has been chosen to perform in front of the renowned soprano Renée Fleming and to participate Aspen Music Festival as a vocal fellow twice.

 

 

Lisa Lu as Ms Ariyoshi

Actress

Lisa Lu has worked in film, television and stage in the United States and in Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Her versatility of styles includes: modern drama, Chinese opera and Southern Kun Qu. Internationally known, this actress and producer has starred in many films, including Joy Luck Club, The Last Emperor and Empress Dowager. In 2008, Lu portrayed the Empress Dowager CiXi to critical acclaim in the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre production De Ling & Empress Dowager Ci Xi, for the Olympic Arts Festival in Beijing. She was featured in 100 Chinese Motion Picture Stars from 1905 to 1995 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of motion picture making worldwide, as well as the 90th anniversary of the birth of the Chinese motion picture industry.  In 2009, she performed in Roland Emmerich’s film 2012 and starred in Apart Together that opened the 2010 Berlin Film Festival. Last year, Lu was honoured by Phoenix TV along with 20 media organizations in China and Hong Kong as one of ten persons, ‘Who Bring Charm to the World.’

 

 

 
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Programme Length

Running time of each performance is about 2 hours and 45 minutes with an intermission of 20 minutes.

Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  Latecomers will only be admitted until the interval or a suitable break in the programme.

 
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Opera Talk

(Conducted in Cantonese)

A Genesis of Opera: A Marriage between the Composer and the Librettist
Speaker: Candace Chong
9 September 2011 (Fri) 7:30pm
Activity Room, Hong Kong Central Library (66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong)
Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis.

 
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Ticket and Concession

Tickets available from 18 July onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by credit card phone booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis.)

10% discount for Opera Hong Kong members, Opera Hong Kong Chorus members, Friends of Opera Hong Kong and Friends of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.    

Group Booking Discount: 10% discount for each purchase of 10-19 standard tickets; 15% discount for each purchase of 20 or more tickets.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

 
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Enquiries

Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321 (LCSD) ; 2234 0303 (OHK); 3185-1600 (HKCO)
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009
Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk

 

The content of this programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre
10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Enquiry: 2734 9009

 
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