2006 Hong Kong Arts Festival Sets 34-Year High Sales Record

March 15th, 2006

Semper Opera Dresden and Opera Nuremberg's sold-out performance of Don Giovanni brought the 2006 Hong Kong Arts Festival to its official finale on 12 March, with the overall box office setting a 34-year record high! 

The total sales of the 2006 Hong Kong Arts Festival grossed over HK$31.6m (US$4.1m), exceeding last year's sales by HK$3.1m (US$0.4m). Over 103,000 tickets were sold, accounting for an average attendance of 92.6 per cent. Of the 108 performances presented, 83 performances had more than a 90 per cent attendance, with 71 performances – 66 per cent of all performances - sold out.

The 34th Arts Festival offered 46 performing arts programmes with 108 performances (including three additional performances due to popular demand) plus five exhibitions over five weeks. An array of exceptional artists from 13 countries, regions and cities around the globe participated in the Festival, including approximately 1,000 overseas and over 300 local performers and crew members from 30 overseas and 10 local performing groups. 

The sold out programmes were: Semper Opera Dresden & Opera Nuremberg - Don Giovanni; Birmingham Royal Ballet – Beauty and the Beast; Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan - Cursive: A Trilogy; Rosas; National Theatre of Britain - The History Boys; U-Theatre and The Shaolin Temple Wushu Training Centre - A Touch of Zen; The Unexpected Man; Ending the World; Salif Keita; Ensemble Wien-Berlin with Mozarteum Quartet Salzburg; Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra - Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony; Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Mengla Huang; ExxonMobil Vision: Lio Kuok Wai Piano Recital; ExxonMobil Vision: Pong Nan in Concert: The Individualism Experience and Circus Ronaldo – La Cucina dell'Arte.

As a result of strong demand the Festival put on one extra show for each of the following three programmes: A Touch of Zen, The Unexpected Man and Red Priest.

There were five Festival commissions/productions: Actors’ Family - The Legend of the White Snake; Ending the World; ExxonMobil Vision: Pong Nan in Concert: The Individualism Experience; The Unexpected Man; ExxonMobil Vision: Cantonese Opera - New Stars.

The Festival's Young Friends Scheme continues to generate great interest among students. This year 7,494 students from 172 secondary schools and 22 tertiary institutions attended 80 performances and rehearsals. This amounted to an additional audience attendance of 12,178.

In addition to the Festival programmes, the Festival Plus programmes are an increasingly important component. A total of 40 talks, lecture demonstrations, workshops, masterclasses, exhibitions and meet-the-artist sessions were presented as part of the Festival Plus programme. 

The total operating budget for the 2006 Arts Festival is approximately HK$62m (US$8m). The Festival’s sponsors continue to offer generous support.  In addition to major funding support from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, there were nine new sponsors bringing the total number to 46, and more than 300 individual and institutional donors. HK$13.4m (US$1.7m) was raised through sponsorship, donations and advertising and the Student Ticket Scheme has made 10,000 tickets available to students.
 
The Festival also announced some of the highlights of the coming 2007 Arts Festival which will run from 23 February to 25 March 2007. They include: Welsh National Opera; Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Simonov; Legendary ballerina Sylvie Guillem in a new dance production by Akram Khan; Bamberg Symphony Orchestra with Principal Conductor Jonathan Nott; Zehetmair Quartet; Chucho Valdes Quintet and Oscar-winning Tim Robbins directing George Orwell’s 1984 performed by The Actors’ Gang.  Programme details will be released in August this year, and advance bookings will open in October.

A major international arts event and a premier arts event in the Asia-Pacific region, the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival is committed to presenting an annual festival of the highest artistic standards, featuring artists from around the world together with leading artists from the Mainland and Hong Kong.

For more information please contact the Festival's Executive Director, Mr Douglas Gautier, or the Marketing Manager, Ms Katy Cheng on (852) 2824 3555.


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