To commemorate the centenary of China's 1911 Revolution, the world premiere of the opera "Dr Sun Yat-sen" will be staged in Hong Kong in October.
This new work has been created by a talented young team comprising new-generation Chinese composer Huang Ruo and award-winning local playwright Candace Chong. Speaking of the length of time it had taken to finish their first-ever opera, Chong said that she has spent the last two years polishing the final libretto. The first act of the opera was previewed to much acclaim at New York City Opera's VOX showcase at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in May. The full version of the opera is now keenly awaited. Both Huang and Chong are hopeful of a successful response when the opera premieres in Hong Kong.
In three acts, the opera covers Dr Sun's friendships and love affairs, including historical characters such as Charlie Soong, one of his best friends, and Soong's daughter Soong Chingling.
Portrayed as more than just a firm friend, Charlie Soong also raises funds for Sun's revolutionary activities. But the friendship that lasts a quarter of a century turns rocky when Sun falls in love with Soong's second daughter, Chingling. Sun not only loses an important supporter of his revolutionary activities, but also a best friend who has weathered many storms with him in the past.
In the following years, Sun and Chingling's efforts to overthrow the Government do not meet with success. But their vision never wavers. Then, while deeply involved in insurgent activities, bad news arrives - Charlie Soong is ill and dying. Although Sun cannot make it to his former friend's deathbed and seek final reconciliation, a gift from Charlie, though belated in coming, shows he did not take the grudge to his grave. Once again, their destinies come together as one.
Candace Chong begins the love story with Soong Chingling's trousseau - a wedding gown. Veteran actress Lisa Lu, playing the part of Ms Ariyoshi, speaks fervently of the intriguing and complicated plot of this revolutionary tale of love and friendship.
A strong production team includes producer Warren Mok, National Class One Director Chen Xinyi, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, conductor Yan Huichang and a cast of renowned Chinese singers. Tenors Warren Mok and Ding Yi act as Sun Yat-sen; sopranos Yao Hong and Nancy Yuen as Soong Chingling; and basses Gong Dongjian and Peng Kangliang appear as Charlie Soong, together with other top singers such as Liang Ning and Yang Guang.
The three-act opera "Dr Sun Yat-sen" (to be performed in Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles), is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in association with Opera Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. The opera will be staged at 7.45pm from October 13 to 15 (Thursday to Saturday) and at 3pm on October 16 (Sunday) at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets ranging in price from $130 to $880 are now available at all 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 and minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). For group booking discounts, please refer to the programme leaflet.
For details on the programme and the cast and opera, please call 2268 7321 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/000002d4.html. 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/Wednesday, September 7, 2011