Second Chinese Opera Festival to showcase diverse operatic genres
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the annual Chinese Opera Festival returns in June, promising Chinese opera lovers a feast of sumptuous theatrical fare.
At the press conference held today (April 7) at the Hong Kong Culture Centre, Mandy Tong, Chief Manager (Cultural Presentations) and Teresa Lee, Senior Manager (Theatre and Chinese Opera) of LCSD, introduced the festival's main features. This year the festival includes nine distinct programmes in a compelling mix of the traditional and the innovative. Counter bookings will start tomorrow (April 8) for all performances.
The opening programme is a new version of the Cantonese opera "The Last Emperor of Southern Tang". Veteran stage director Fredric Mao was at the press function today to share his plans and views on putting modern theatrical elements into traditional Cantonese opera. The main cast includes Cantonese opera virtuosi Lung Koon-tin, Nam Fung and Yau Sing-po.
Also present today was local Cantonese opera legend Law Kar-ying, who will join Shi Yihong, a famous performer of "dan" roles in Peking opera, in the Peking opera and Cantonese opera version of "King Chu Bids Farewell to His Concubine". This innovative production carries on the fine tradition of engaging the northern and southern operatic arts in productive dialogue. Celebrated artists from the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe, including Shang Changrong, Chen Shaoyun, Sun Zhengyang and Xiao Runnian, will also perform traditional classics.
Furthermore, Tang Yuen-ha, artistic director of Jingkun Theatre, introduced her award-winning productions, which last year won critical and popular acclaim, also with Peking opera maestro Pei Yanling.
Last but not least, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Kunqu opera onto UNESCO's list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity", the festival will present two diverse programmes to illustrate the genre's development over the years. The festival also includes Qi opera and Gaojia opera, which are rarely staged in Hong Kong but have rich ethnic charm. The Guangdong Chiu Chow Opera Theatre Number One Troupe will perform selected works of the Chiu Chow opera. The festival will close with performances by virtuosi from the Shanghai Pingtan Troupe.
In order to promote better understanding of the different theatrical genres of Chinese opera, there will be arts appreciation activities such as symposiums, talks, workshops, exhibitions, film shows and backstage tours.
All tickets for the Chinese Opera Festival 2011, to be held from June 3 to July 24, are available for sale at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients). Please refer to the programme booklet for group booking discount schemes.
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp. For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit www.urbtix.hk.
Ends/Thursday, April 7, 2011
A press conference for the Chinese Opera Festival 2011 was held today (April 7) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Pictured at the press function are the director of "The Last Emperor of Southern Tang", Fredric Mao (fourth left); Cantonese opera virtuosi Lung Koon-tin (third right) and Nam Fung (second right); actress and actor of Peking opera and Cantonese opera versions of "King Chu Bids Farewell to His Concubine", Shi Yihong (second left) and Law Kar-ying (first left); artistic director of Jingkun Theatre, Tang Yuen-ha (third left); Chief Manager (Cultural Presentations), Mandy Tong (fourth right), and Senior Manager (Theatre and Chinese Opera) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Teresa Lee (first right).