Musica Viva Romeo et Juliette Pre-performance Talk and Performance

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Musica Viva

Cantonese Opera

Musica Viva, a not-for-profit educational and arts organization, was founded in the autumn of 2008. The group has been receiving financial support from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council since July 2009. Musica Viva aims to promote various forms of performing arts with special emphasis on music and opera production. It provides training and opportunities for creativity and professional development for young artists. It advocates a performance style that places value on a refined sense of aesthetics, rich artistic content and concise but in-depth interpretation. Director-General Lo King-man, former Director of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, is a renowned operaproducer who has been responsible for over a hundred opera performances in Asia, Europe and America.

Since its inception, Musica Viva has produced many important western operas, including Madame Butterfly, Daughter of the Regiment, The Elixir of Love, Lucia of Lammermoorand Rigoletto, all presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It created the original opera with music and text written by Hong Kong composer and writers, The Legend of Zhang BaoZai, which represented the HKSAR on the Shanghai World Expo cultural programme. It also produced for the Arts Experience Scheme for senior secondary students Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Story of Carmen, The Story of La Traviata and La Boheme. In addition, Musica Viva has also presented a number of art song recitals, concerts in commemoration of great composers, seminars and related activities.

Programme Content

Romeo et Juliette is a masterpiece by the famous French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893). It is a frequently performed and popular work on the repertoires of major opera houses around the world. Director Lo King-man has rearranged the most beautiful pages of this opera into a touching sequence of scenes. Interspersed between these scenes, the author of the original drama, the great English writer William Shakespeare (1564-1616), appears as the narrator, observing the action and telling the audience this moving tragic love story in person.

In the ancient city of Verona, there live two rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues, which are both rich and powerful. They have been deadly enemies for generations and often engage in violent fighting.

Count Capulet welcomes guests to the masqued ball being held in his palace. His daughter Juliette sings a joyful waltz song. Romeo, son of the wealthy Montague, has come to the ball in disguise. He and Juliette meet for the first time and they fall in love.

After the ball, Romeo climbs into Juliette’s garden. He invokes the sun, which he compares to the beauty of Juliette. She appears on her balcony and the two lovers exchange their vows of love.

The secret wedding of the two young lovers takes place in Friar Laurence’s cell. Laurence hopes that their marriage will bring about reconciliation between the two houses.

In the street outside Capulet’s palace, Romeo’s page Stephano sings a song which provokes the anger of the Capulets’ servants. This leads to a fierce fight between the two families in which Juliet’s cousin Tybalt kills Romeo’s friend Mercutio, and Tybalt is in turn killed by Romeo, who is banished by the Duke of Verona.

Romeo spends the night in Juliette’s chamber and departs for exile at dawn. Count Capulet exerts pressure on Juliet to accept an arranged marriage to a nobleman. Friar Laurence gives Juliette a drug which will cause her to sleep so as to appear as if dead. Juliette drinks the potion and falls unconscious.

Believing Juliette dead, Romeo takes poison and then breaks into her tomb. Juliette awakes when the deadly poison begin to take effect on Romeo. Juliette stabs herself to be united with her lover in death.

Each performance consists of thirteen musical mumber:

  1. Capulet’s Ball
  2. Juliet’s waltz song
  3. Love at first sight
  4. Romeo’s invocation
  5. Balcony scene
  6. Friar Laurence
  7. Marriage vows
  8. Street fight
  9. Romeo’s banishment
  10. Juliet’s chamber
  11. The sleep potion
  12. Juliet’s tomb
  13. In death united

Production Team

Producer and Director: Lo King-man
Performers: Vocalists, Musica Viva Chorus and Chamber Ensemble
Conductor: Nelson Wong
Chorus master: Bastien Tai

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Programme Details

Programme Schedule 23-24.4.2015 (Thu-Fri) 11am & 3pm
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Ticket $40 (Students, Teachers)
Quota 415/performance
Duration 1 hr 15 mins
Language French (with Chinese and English surtitles and Cantonese Narration)
 
Pre-performance Talk
Date Feb-Mar 2015
(actual date and time to be arranged with participating schools)
Content
  • Nature and characteristics of western opera
  • Demonstrations on the art of operatic singing
  • Techniques and creative process of opera production
Duration 1 hour
Language Cantonese or English
Remark
  • For purchase of 150 tickets or more, a pre-performance talk will be conducted in school premises.
    For fewer than 150 participants from a single school, students and teachers are invited to attend talks held at LCSD venues
  • Participants would receive education materials
 
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Enquiries

2591 1717 (Enrolment / LCSD)

Download Application Form (Chinese version only)