97.5% tickets sold in 2007 Hong Kong Arts Festival All Time Record

March 26th, 2007

Tango Buenos Aires's sold-out performance brought the 2007 Hong Kong Arts Festival to its official finale on 25 March, with ticket sales setting a 35-year record high!

Over 105,900 tickets were sold, accounting for an average paid attendance of over 97.5%. All of the 98 performances presented (including five additional shows) achieved over 70% attendance; 84 performances had more than a 90% attendance and 75 performances, or 76.5% of all performances, were sold out.

Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, said, "The 97.5% attendance is phenomenal — certainly a major achievement for a large-scale international arts festival."

The 35th Arts Festival offered over 150 events and performances featuring 34 performing groups plus two exhibitions over four weeks. An array of exceptional artists from 17 countries, regions and cities around the globe participated in the Festival, including approximately 875 overseas and 556 local performers and supporting staff from 23 overseas and 11 local performing groups.

As a result of strong demand the Festival put on one extra show for each of the following five programmes: Kun Opera – The Peach Blossom Fan (1699), The Actors' Gang – 1984, Soweto Gospel Choir, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra ─ Mahler's Symphony No 7 and Shu Ning Presentation Unit ─ And Then There's You.

The 2007 Hong Kong Arts Festival presented five Asian premieres and nine world premieres. There were eight Festival commissions: Cantonese Opera – Stealing the Imperial Horse; ExxonMobil Vision: Chan Fai-young – 12 Faces of Woman; On and On Theatre Workshop – Tian Gong Kai Wu: A Practical Guide to Imaginary Inventions; Shu Ning Presentation Unit – And Then There's You; Jun Kung and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta – Fly by Ng Cheuk-yin; ExxonMobil Vision: Zhu Lin and Colleen Lee Cello and Piano Duo – Exile by Melissa Hui; My Life as a Dancer – the evolution; and ExxonMobil Vision: All Theatre Company – YuYu MiMi - A Love Story. In addition, there was one Festival co-commission and co-production – Lost Village and one Festival co-production – Tango Buenos Aires.

The Festival's Young Friends Scheme continues to generate great interest among students. This year 5,875 students from 117 secondary schools and 27 tertiary institutions attended 45 performances and rehearsals. This amounted to an additional audience attendance of 11,750 (in addition to the 105,900 box office tickets). This year a brand new Multi-Arts Residency and Performance Project, supported by the Home Affairs Bureau, was launched with a total of 30 arts education programmes organised for five participating schools led by three local artist groups: On & On Theatre Workshop, Shu Ning Presentation Unit and The Hong Kong Musical Theatre Federation. Seven performances and one exhibition by the participating students were presented with 2,605 tickets sold to the general public.

In addition to performances, the Festival Plus events are an important component of the Festival. A total of 32 talks, lecture demonstrations, workshops, masterclasses, symposiums, exhibitions and meet-the-artist sessions were presented as part of the Festival Plus this year.

The Festival also announced some of the highlights of the 2008 Arts Festival which will run from 14 February to 18 March 2008. They include: Peter Brook's direction of four short plays by Samuel Beckett – Fragments, Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal's Full Moon, Ibsen's classic The Master Builder by China's foremost theatre director Lin Zhaohua, Salsa and Latin jazz legend Eddie Palmieri, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Principal Conductor Designate Vladimir Jurowski, and pianist Andras Schiff. Programme details will be released in August this year, and advance bookings will open in October.

A major international arts festival and a premier arts event in the Asia-Pacific region, the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival is committed to presenting works 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 Marketing Manager, Ms Katy Cheng on (852) 2824 3555.

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