The 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival 2011 - Unveils 200 Performing Arts And
(1888PressRelease) An ensemble of the world's best performing arts and theater shows in Hong
(1888PressRelease) Today the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) announced details of the
forthcoming 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival 2011, to be staged in 15 different venues over 39
days - from 17 February through to 27 March 2011 -- with more than 200 performing arts and
theater shows and related events featuring 38 ensembles or solo artists from overseas and 16
from Hong Kong.
"This is an even bigger festival than in previous years, with a significant increase in the total
number of tickets available to Arts Festival audiences and the number of performances to be
presented. There is also an increase in the duration of the Festival. The result is a richly packed
39 days, on occasion with as many as 18 performing arts and theater shows on the same day,
bringing the vibrancy and cultural richness of life in Hong Kong to yet a higher level." (Mr
Charles Lee, Chairman of HKAF)
At the media briefing today, Tisa Ho, Executive Director of Hong Kong Arts Festival,
highlighted the following:
* Headliners making their Hong Kong debut include Cecilia Bartoli, the New York City Ballet,
the Berliner Ensemble, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull;
* Leipzig's three major music institutions, Leipzig Opera, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and St
Thomas Boys Choir (Thomanerchor), appear together in Hong Kong for the first time within the
same week, bringing six performances;
* The "New Stage" series, a new initiative in local productions launched this year to further
extend the Arts Festival's commitment to supporting local talent;
* A historic third run of the Arts Festival's multiple award winning commission and production
Murder in San José; and
* Power Plant, a large scale project at the Kowloon Walled City Park, which takes the HKAF
outdoors and to a mass audience.
The budget for the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival is estimated to be $97 million, with a
subvention of $33.18 million from the Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services
Department, a donation of about $8.3 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
in support of three pillar performances, and projected revenues of $18.5 million in sponsorships
and donations, and $37 million in ticket sales.
This is a very strong year for music. Drawing on great classical music traditions, three major
cultural institutions from Leipzig, once home to both Johann Sebastian Bach and Richard
Wagner, are invited to the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival: the St Thomas Boys Choir
(Thomanerchor) for whom Bach wrote many great liturgical works as their cantor; the Leipzig
Gewandhaus Orchestra, the oldest civic concert orchestra in the world, and the Leipzig Opera,
resident of the third oldest opera house in Europe. The Orchestra performs two concerts, led by
Riccardo Chailly; accompany the Choir in performing Bach's masterpieces; and provide the
orchestral support for the Leipzig Opera's production of Wagner's monumental opera, Tristan
Britain's oldest professional symphony orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, performs music by Elgar,
Britten and Sibelius, under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Switzerland's Basel Chamber Orchestra,
with conductor Kristjan Järvi and mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager feature Wagner's
Wesendonk Lieder in a programme which also includes work by Sibelius, Jaggi and Grieg. The
Bach Collegium Japan performs Bach's St Matthew Passion and selected cantatas -- repertoire in
which they are acknowledged specialists; complemented by a harpsichord recital by Collegium
founder and conductor, Masaaki Suzuki. Also from Japan and with conductor Alexander Lazarev
and soprano Hiroko Kouda, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra performs works by Prokofiev,
Britten, Glière and others.
In addition, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edo de Waart, the Hong Kong
Sinfonietta under Yip Wing-sie and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra with Yan Huichang all
perform specially designed performing arts and theater show Festival programmes for the 39th
Hong Kong Arts Festival. Three contrasting keyboard artists are presented: piano virtuoso
Cyprien Katsaris, master harpsichord player Masaaki Suzuki, and flamboyant, star organist
Cameron Carpenter, adding to the great music to be enjoyed.
The ExxonMobil Vision series continues to nurture exciting local artists: Wong Wai-yin plays
Schumann, Rautavaara and transcriptions and arrangements of Verdi and others; and twin
brothers Chan Chi-chun and Chan Chi-yuk present a dizi concert featuring Northern and
Southern styles. The Credit Suisse Emerging Artists Series continues to introduce some of the
hottest new talent on the international scene: cellist Nicolas Alstaedt, oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk,
and the Elias String Quartet. And new to this year's Arts Festival, the Music Nomads series
explores the alternative Asian music scene with: Songs from the Grasslands by Hanggai and
Mamer & IZ; Requiem for Flowers by Chet Lam and Shin Wong; and A. S. The Percussionist -
Singing Hands by Arai Soichiro. Adding to the wealth of contemporary music, Bang On A Can
All-Stars will be in Hong Kong for a week long residency and a performance which may include
a piece created during the week.
The world's top performers to be presented in the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival include:
bestselling mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli in two concerts of contrasting programmes, Ute
Lemper performing works by the great Astor Piazzolla -- with members of his original Piazzolla
Quintet and the maestro's grandson; and Marianne Faithfull and Elvis Costello both performing
intimate sets -- Ms Faithfull with a small band for accompaniment and Mr Costello with just his
guitar and spectacles.
Two of the most highly regarded and groundbreaking ensembles in the world are at the arts
festival. Over five days and seven performances the New York City Ballet will present a
selection from works by Balanchine and Robbins, from Serenade to Dances at a Gathering, to
West Side Story Suite, and Concerto DSCH by Alexei Ratmansky. In honour of the great Pina
Bausch, the Tanztheater Wuppertal returns to Hong Kong to perform Carnations (Nelken),
acknowledged as one of the greatest achievements of the legendary choreographer, on a stage
covered with thousands of pink flowers.
In addition, two very different classic stories will be told in dance: The Golden Lotus, a tale of
wives, concubines and desire, in a new work of choreographer Wang Yuanyuan performed by
the Beijing Dance Theater; and Hobson's Choice, choreographed by David Bintley, which tells
the charming story of young love, set in a bootmaker's store, and danced by the scintillating
Birmingham Royal Ballet.
To add to the wealth of choices, five nights of enchantment are in store as dance-illusionists
Momix bring together their best work from the past 30 years in a sensational new show, MOMIX
reMIX. Both Hobson's Choice and MOMIX reMIX have been programmed especially for young
audiences and families -- one a classic story ballet, the other a fantastical piece of creative
The Asia Pacific Dance Platform (APDP) continues to showcase exciting
choreographers/dancers in the region, and this year features solos: Q & A by daniel k
(Singapore); My Shadow and Me by Justyne Li (HK); Waves by Sun-A Lee (Korea); Sepatuku
(My Shoes) by Suhaili Micheline (Malaysia); and Of Mud and Dust by Elaine Kwok (HK). The
APDP is now in its third year and includes workshops and discussions to be held around the
THEATER SHOWS and MUSIC THEATER
Theater shows and music theater offerings in the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival cover a wide
range of styles, sources and subject matter, from Robert Wilson's brilliant production of Brecht's
The Threepenny Opera performed by the Berliner Ensemble, the theater company set-up by
Bertolt Brecht himself, to Shakespeare's Macbeth. The latter is a psychologically probing theater
show by one of the most respected companies in the UK, Cheek by Jowl, directed by the
celebrated Declan Donnellan.
The Belarus Free Theatre, banned at home and distinguished by admirers like Harold Pinter,
presents two plays: A Flower For Pina Bausch and Being Harold Pinter. This is a visceral,
intense, hard-hitting theater. The beloved classic The Water Margin is retold in 108 Heroes, The
Water Margin. An acrobatic martial arts feast created by the Contemporary Legend Theater who
are renowned for fusing Eastern and Western theater styles. Directed by Taiwanese actor/director
Wu Hsing-kuo and written by Chang Ta-chuen, with music by Hong Kong's cantopop rock star
Wakin Chau, and a cast from the College of Chinese Opera, Shanghai Theatre Academy, this is a
unique three city collaboration.
Richard Wagner's theater show, Tristan und Isolde, his monument to romantic love, is a three-act
opera lasting over four hours, performed by the Leipzig Opera in a sensitive production by Willy
Decker, designed by Wolfgang Gussmann with Stefan Vinke and Jennifer Wilson in the
principle roles, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra contributing to the impressive
soundscape under the baton of Axel Kober.
In Chinese Opera, the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival pays tribute to Cantonese Opera doyenne
Fong Yim-fun, in a series of four programmes, in which Ms Nam Fung reprises Fong Yim-fun's
most iconic roles with three of Cantonese Opera's most distinguished leading men: Law Kar-
ying, Lung Koon-tin and Lee Lung. For fans of Beijing Opera, China's two top exponents of the
jing role join forces in Hong Kong to present The Painted Faces, starring Meng Guanglu from
the Tianjin Youth Peking Opera Troupe and Yang Chi from the Dalian Peking Opera Troupe.
Continuing with its programme of commissioning, producing and publishing new local theater
shows, the Arts Festival presents An Ordinary Man, playwriting and directorial debut of actor
Poon Chan-leung, starring Cheung Kam-ching and Louisa So. In the more experimental new
initiative of the New Stage series are: Piccadilly Revisited, with music by Ruth Chan and Suki
Mok and text by David Tse Ka-shing and Alice Lee, it is a multimedia exploration of the classic
silent film Piccadilly (1929) and its star Anna May Wong; Tree Rhapsody, composed by Tang
Lok-yin, a chamber opera about a boy, a dog and nature, performed with musicians of the
Tongyeong International Music Festival of Korea; Jiáo Qing, a play written by Yan Yu and
directed by Chan Ping-chiu investigates the reunion of lovers from Shanghai and Hong Kong;
and Recycling Times, a play directed by Ben Yuen, inspired by Czech novel Too Loud a
Solitude and stars Pichead Amornsomboon (Lam Chak-kwan).
Confirming its place in local theater, the multiple award winning Murder in San José written by
Chong Mui-ngam and directed by Lee Chun-chow, is back for a historic third run with the
original cast: Alice Lau, Tang Wai-kit and Kearen Pang.
The 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival continues in the exploration of new venues by adding the
brand new Amphitheatre at the HKAPA for classical chamber music and the Music Nomads
series. In addition, a major project is sited at the Kowloon Walled City Park, which will be
transformed into a magical wonderland of enchanting sounds and glowing lights in Power Plant,
taking the Festival outdoors, to be shared by the whole family.
PLUS, OUTREACH and YOUTH
The 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival continues to present PLUS performances and events to allow
a deeper engagement, and will include opportunities to meet Festival artists, participate in
backstage tours, workshops, masterclasses, a symposium and other activities.
The Arts Festival's Young Friends Scheme continues to nurture interest in performing arts and
theater shows among students, and half-price student tickets are offered at selected prices, thanks
to donations from supportive foundations and generous individuals who share the HKAF's
commitment to investing in future audiences and nurturing a love of the arts.
BOOKINGS and Hong Kong Arts Festival INFORMATION
The Programme & Booking Guide is available at all URBTIX outlets from 6 October 2010.
Audio and video clips giving a preview to selected programmes are available on
A brand new Hong Kong Arts Festival iPhone App is now available with programme details, as
well as giving quick access to video and audio clips of selected performing arts and theater
shows, photos, ticketing information and venue directions.
Advance Bookings for the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival will be accepted by post, fax or on the
HKAF website from 6 October to 26 November, 2010.*
Counter Bookings will start on 4 December 2010. Patrons can book their tickets at URBTIX
(Book online, by phone 2111 5999 or at URBTIX outlets).*
For further enquiries, please contact Ms Katy Cheng, Marketing Director, on 2824 3555 or
Ms Alexia Chow (Theater, Dance, Chinese Opera and Special Events)
Direct Line: 2828 4933, Email: alexia(dot)chow(at)hkaf(dot)org
Mr Ruskin Leung (Opera and Music)
Direct Line: 2828 4931, Email: ruskin(dot)leung(at)hkaf(dot)org
* Tickets to Power Plant will be available at all URBTIX outlets and on the URBTIX website
from 6 Dec 2010. Bookings will not be accepted during the Advance Booking period.