38th Hong Kong Arts Festival 2010 officially closes 96% of tickets sold Hong Kong Arts Festival goes to Shanghai World Expo 2010

March 29th, 2010

Monday, 29 March 2010

Running from Thursday 25 February until Sunday 28 March 2010, the 38th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) closed with special offerings from the Mariinsky Theatre.  The world renowned theatre presented ballet, opera and orchestral programmes, led by Artistic and General Director Valery Gergiev.

The Festival presented 113 ticketed performances featuring top international, regional, national and local talent to a total audience of over 120,000, which included Young Friends Scheme participants.  1,271 artists from 42 performing groups gathered for the month-long festival, featuring 12 world premieres and 12 Asian premieres.  The Festival saw 82 capacity houses, with attendance at another 13 performances well over 90%.  By popular demand 12 additional performances* were scheduled.  With over 102,000 tickets available at the box office, 96% was sold.

Mr Charles Lee, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, said, “This year's Festival drew warm praise from many quarters. I have received very positive comments about the quality of programmes and the range of the work offered, including forays into new venues. The Festival is a highlight in the Hong Kong cultural calendar and I am pleased that we are making a contribution to the life of the city in this way. We are grateful for the generous support which has made this Festival possible, and we are greatly encouraged by the excellent response.”

Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, said, “This has been a dynamic, multifaceted festival, informed by several underpinning elements: love featured in important ways as a theme, fabulous examples of physical theatre, and unprecedented forces coming together for several very special projects. Going forward, the Festival has an important role to play in Hong Kong's arts and creative sectors, enhancing both our quality of life and our competitive advantage.  In future, I look forward to seeing Festival performances in our new venues in the West Kowloon Cultural District.”

Four Festival commissions were featured at the 38th HKAF: The Liaisons, The Truth About Lying, Flee by Night (co-commissioned with Zuni Icosahedron) and Tri_K from the Asia Pacific Dance Platform.  New works at the Festival also included Lao She’s Short Stories directed by Lin Zhaohua.

The Festival’s Young Friends Scheme has proven to be very popular amongst students this year with 7,905 members from 147 secondary schools and 31 tertiary institutions attending 62 events. Discount student tickets were in demand with over 7,500 made available, partly supported by the Student Ticket Scheme.

The Hong Kong Arts Festival PLUS continues to enrich Festival-goers this year with a total of 60 masterclasses, lecture demonstrations, talks, workshops, meet-the-artist sessions, a symposium in collaboration with Finland Festivals and a dazzling exhibition on Cantonese Opera to celebrate its recognition by UNESCO as a form of intangible cultural heritage.

In the fourth year of the initiative, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust sponsored another special matinee for young people. Over 1,600 young people and students from 53 organisations and schools, who did not have the resources or opportunity to go to a formal performance, were treated to a performance of the Mariinsky Ballet’s Don Quixote.

In the second year of an exclusive three-year partnership, Credit Suisse and the HKAF built on the “Credit Suisse Emerging Artists Series”, to showcase Canadian soprano Simone Osborne, the Finnish Meta4 Quartet and keyboardist Sebastian Wienand (partnering with Rene Jacobs and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra).

ExxonMobil Vision - Samson Young's The Third Pixel has been rescheduled to 28-29 August 2010 and will take place at the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity; details to be announced closer to the event.  The HKAF will also bring Cantonese Opera Treasures and The Liaisons to the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Highlights of the 39th HKAF have been announced.  The Festival will run from 17 February to 27 March 2011, with three programmes from Leipzig.  These are Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Opera’s production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and the Thomanerchor Leipzig.  Romanticism is one of the key themes in the upcoming Festival, with the New York City Ballet bringing works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and Ute Lemper with the original Piazzolla Quintet performing Lost Tango.  At least two new commissions will be presented: Wang Yuanyuan’s Jingpingmei (with the Beijing Contemporary Dance Theatre) and Wu Hsing-kuo’s Water Margin (a Hong Kong/Shanghai/Taipei theatre collaboration).

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 and leading artists from mainland China and Hong Kong.

For more information please contact the Festival’s Marketing Director, Ms Katy Cheng at (852) 2824 3555.

* 12 supplementary performances were offered for the following programmes: Red Leap Theatre’s The Arrival, Naamyam – Songs of Love and Lament, Li Chuanyun Solo Violin Recital @IFC55, The Liaisons, Animal Farm, Cafe de los Maestros, Meta4 Quartet, and The Truth About Lying.


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