Musica Viva Maria Stuarda Pre-performance Talk and Performance

(For school purchase only)

Trailer of the programme


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Musica Viva

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, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Turandot, Il Trovatore and Carmen 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 produced performances of full-staged opera excerpts for the School Culture Day Scheme. It also produced for the Arts Experience Scheme for senior secondary students, including Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Story of Carmen, 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

The production will be presented under the title ‘Maria Stuarda’ (Mary Stuart), a tragic opera in two acts, with music by Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848), set to a libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Andrea Maffei's translation of Friedrich Schiller's 1800 play Maria Stuart.

The performance is meticulously crafted by the art group’s director Professor Lo King-man, who handpicked the most spectacular numbers and rearranged them into a series of dramatic singing scenes. The scenes are linked together with brief narratives spoken by an actor in the guise of the original author, Friedrich Schiller, who personally walks the audience through this story about the power struggle at the English imperial court. Mary I is imprisoned in England – nominally for the murder of her husband, but actually due to her adamant assertion as the rightful heir to the English throne. She is the prime suspect for plotting to assassinate Elizabeth I, the Queen of England. Elizabeth is the cousin of Mary. She is hesitant about executing Mary. Pleading for pardon, Mary writes a letter to Elizabeth and sends it through the Earl of Leicester.

This is a delicate situation because the Earl of Leicester is in love with Mary while Elizabeth sees him as a potential partner for marriage proposal. He nevertheless helps to arrange a meeting (which did not happen in history, but is an important turning point in Schiller’s original play). The meeting ends in an acrimonious quarrel, caused by Mary's unwillingness to submit entirely to Elizabeth's wishes. The situation becomes much more complicated.

Convinced by her Chancellor, Lord Cecil, that to safeguard the stability of the English throne, Elizabeth must sign Mary’s death warrant. She does so, claiming that it is a decision based on the expectations of her subjects. Mary’s death sentence is confirmed by Cecil, and Leicester is ordered to witness the execution. Mary goes to the block, accepting her fate to die as a victim of power struggle between the two monarchs.

Production Team  

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


Programme Details

Programme Schedule 26-27.4.2018 (Thu-Fri) 11am & 3pm
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Ticket $45 (Students, Teachers)
Quota 435/performance
Duration Approx. 1 hour 10 minutes
Language Italian (with Chinese and English surtitles)

Pre-performance Talk

Date Mar-Apr 2018
(actual date and time to be arranged with participating schools)
  • 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
  • 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 (LCSD)


Download Application Form  (Chinese version only)