Musica Viva
The Legend of Zhang Baozai Pre-performance Talk and Performance

Trailer of the programme (For school purchase only)

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Musica Viva

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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 opera producer 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 di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Turandot and Trovatore, 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, including Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Story of Carmen, The Story of La Traviata, La Bohème and Roméo et Juliette. 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

Produced and directed by renowned Hong Kong opera director Lo King-man, with music by Lo Hau-man, lyrics by Chris Shum and scenario script by Mandu Cheung, The Legend of Zhang Baozai artistically presents Hong Kong’s history in the form of an opera through the life of Zhang Baozai from his youth through his twilight years. Invited by the HKSAR government to perform at Expo 2010 Shanghai China, the production was the only opera staged at the Expo. It was later staged in Hong Kong during the same year and achieved unprecedented success. Lo Hau-man and Chris Shum won the Best Serious Composition at the “2011 CASH Golden Sail Music Awards”.

The Legend of Zhang Baozai mainly depicts the story of Zhang Baozai before he surrendered to the Qing government. It was created based on the official documentation History of the Pirates Who Infested the China Sea from 1807 to 1810 and imagination of worldly affairs and human emotions. The opera does not place an emphasis on pirates and heroes, nor does it crown any glory on the Qing government. Instead, it returns to the basics and simulates the feelings and thoughts of Zhang Baozai as a person at a particular point of time. The story took place during the period when Hong Kong was transitioning from a laid back fishing village to a prosperous metropolitan. As such,The Legend of Zhang Baozai is not only a story about the legendary Zhang but also a narrative of the back stories of Hong Kong’s heritage and custom. The seven-scene opera with 100% original music and dance is packed with Chinese traditions passed down locally. These include the lantern festival of the 15th day of Chinese New Year, puppetry of Cantonese opera, Cheung Chau’s Bun Festival (Tai Ping Ching Chiu), fire dragon dance of Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. The opera is performed in Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles.

Production Team

Producer and Director: Lo King-man
Performers: Vocalists, Musica Viva Chorus and Chamber Ensemble


Programme Details

Programme Schedule 27-28.4.2017 (Thu-Fri) 11am & 3pm
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Ticket $45 (Students, Teachers)
Quota 435/performance
Duration 1 hour 15 minutes
Language Putonghua (with Chinese and English surtitles)

Pre-performance Talk
Date Mar - Apr 2017 (actual date and time to be arranged with participating schools)
  • Relationship between Zhang Baozai and Hong Kong
  • Brief introduction of the history of Hong Kong
  • Brief introduction on the development of western opera
  • Introduction of the story and characters of the opera
Duration 1 hour
Language Cantonese or English
  • 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


2591 1717 (Enrolment / LCSD)


Download Application Form (Chinese version only)