41st Hong Kong Arts Festival 2013 officially closes with Viva Verdi concert by San Carlo Theatre, Naples 95% of tickets sold

March 25th, 2013

41st Hong Kong Arts Festival 2013 officially closes
with Viva Verdi concert by San Carlo Theatre, Naples
95% of tickets sold

 

(Hong Kong, 25 March 2013) The 41st Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF)’s official closing ceremony took place tonight and our Guest of Honour The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Secretary for Administration, proposed a toast at the ceremony to mark the conclusion of this major annual international event.  The Viva Verdi concert performance by the San Carlo Theatre, Naples, was presented as the Festival Finale.

The 41st HKAF presented 147 ticketed performances and another 202 PLUS events in 90 locations, with participation from over 1,500 artists from 49 soloists and ensembles. A total of 13 new works/world premieres were presented, including the local operatic commission Heart of Coral, 17 Asian premieres, among which was the monumental Einstein on the Beach by Robert Wilson, Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs.

As of 22 March, the average attendance for ticketed performances reached 95%, at over 115,800 tickets. Total audience number exceeded 132,000, including 16,256 Young Friends Scheme participants. The total number of tickets available at the box office was 121,800. Of the 147 performances, 106 were attended by over 90%, including 85 capacity houses.

As a non-profit organization, the Hong Kong Arts Festival receives about 30% of its annual income from the HKSAR Government through LCSD funding. The remaining 70% of the Festival’s annual income comes from box office revenue as well as sponsorships and donations from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, corporations, individuals and charitable foundations. In 2013, the Festival was strongly support by 20 sponsors and organizations, 8 Patron’s Club members, as well as 484 individual and institutional donors.

 

Festival productions and commissions

Three Festival productions and commissions were featured at the 41st HKAF: Heart of Coral and Blast from the New Stage Series; and Smear. Bilingual scripts for these productions were published and available at the premiers. Other Festival commissions also included Working Process by Er Gao from the Asia Pacific Dance Platform; and all works in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series.

 

Festival PLUS

202 Festival PLUS events included masterclasses, lecture demonstrations, talks, workshops, meet-the-artist sessions. Some notable examples included Opera Treasures of Yau Ma Tei  which  featured a series of cultural walks, talks and workshops discovering the connection between Cantonese Opera and Yau Ma Tei; About Dance which introduced works by choreographers presented in the Festival; eight Verdi opera films in high definition and surround sound in the Tutto Verdi Film Series; workshops and talks under All About Verdi’s Operas; Global Theatre which brought audiences and Festival artists together in discussions of the creative impetus behind performances seen on stage; and two Champagne Luncheons with Leading International Arts CEO  where the world’s distinguished leaders in the arts shared their insights on arts management. There were close to 15,000 participants in this year’s Festival Plus programmes and events.

 

Reaching out to young people

The Festival’s Young Friends Scheme remained popular amongst students this year with more than 8,100 members recruited from 157 secondary schools and 34 tertiary institutions. A total of 16,256 Young Friends Scheme participants attended 75 performances, rehearsals and educational specials, while another 19,716 attended 40 school tour showcases.

Discount student tickets were in demand with more than 8,500 made available, fully supported by the Student Ticket Scheme.

With support of corporate sponsors, the Festival organised a wide range of outreach programmes via the Artists-in-Residence Project, school-based projects, as well as arts appreciation performances and workshops targeted at very young students. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust continued to sponsor special matinees, enabling over 3,000 students who seldom have the resources or opportunity to go to a formal performance, to attend two performances of Dance Gala by the American Ballet Theatre. They were drawn from 79 community organisations and schools.

 

Advance Bookings via mobiles

The 41st HKAF saw the launch of its all new mobile booking services during the Advance Booking Period where patrons made their bookings via HKAF mobile apps or mobile website.

 

Highlights of the 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival

Highlights of the line-up of the 42nd HKAF already announced include: Savonlinna Opera Festival’s production of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner; Budapest Festival Orchestra under the baton of Ivan Fischer; Maria Joao Pires with Scottish Chamber Orchestra; performances by the Staatsballett Berlin; Beijing opera production Heroes 108III; a Hong Kong and Shanghai co-production of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People; as well as a performance by John O’Conor. More programme highlights will be announced in August and Advance Booking of the 42nd HKAF will start in October.

 

About the Hong Kong Arts Festival

Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major annual international celebration of the performing arts and a premier cultural event held in February and March each year, serving an audience of close to 150,000. Performances take place in over a dozen venues throughout Hong Kong, supplemented by Festival PLUS events with special access given to Young Friends. The Festival presents the world’s top artists as well as stars of tomorrow and gives equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, chamber opera and contemporary dance; some Festival productions have toured to other Asian cities after their Hong Kong premiere. For more information about the Hong Kong Arts Festival, please visit: www.hk.artsfestival.org.

 

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