The 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival opens today
Featuring over 1,400 artists in 119 performances with over 80% tickets already sold

(Hong Kong, 19 February 2016) The 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) officially opens today with the multi-genre  extravaganza La Verità (The Truth) by Compagnia Finzi Pasca from Switzerland. The opening ceremony of the 44th HKAF will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and officiated by The Hon C Y Leung, The Chief Executive of the HKSAR; Mr Victor Cha, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival; Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Ms Angela Lee, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs; Ms Michelle Li Mei-sheung, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services; and Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

From today till 20 March, over 1,400 acclaimed artists from around the world will perform in 119 performances, including 15 new works/world premieres and 12 Asian premieres. Over 80% of all available tickets have been sold as of today.

“What comes after” is an overarching theme for this year’s HKAF. Choice and its consequences drive the plot in many narrative works, and “what comes after” provides a context for the creative choices of participating artists, whose  performances go to the heart of cherished works and to renewal of artistic heritage and its infinite possibilities.

This year’s largest performing group comes from Italy’s Teatro Regio Torino. Together with members from Orchestra and Chorus Teatro Regio Torino, the dazzling company of over 250 artists performs Verdi’s epic Simon Boccanegra, three concerts of symphonic and choral masterpieces, as well as an educational concert for HKAF Young Friends.

In addition to presenting renowned overseas artists, the HKAF continues to accomplish its mission of enriching the city’s cultural life through commissioning new works and showcasing local creative talents. The three new HKAF productions include the Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series Danz Up, New Stage Series Chinese Lesson, and Tang Shu-Wing Theatre Studio’s Macbeth. Additionally, in its 5th season, the HK Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series features 11 new dance works created by young talented local choreographers.

The 44th HKAF also continues to reach out to a broad spectrum of the Hong Kong community through its 300 outreach events comprising events for Young Friends, other education activities with schools and community groups, and PLUS activities for the general public.  

Tickets to HKAF performances can be purchased at URBTIX outlets (online booking: www.urbtix.hk or telephone booking: 2111 5999). Tickets to performances at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts are also available at HK Ticketing outlets (online booking: www.hkticketing.com or telephone booking: 31 288 288)

About the Hong Kong Arts Festival (www.hk.artsfestival.org)

Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival (“HKAF”) is a major annual international celebration of the performing arts and one of the region’s premier cultural events. Held in February and March each year, HKAF presents over 1,400 artists in more than a dozen venues throughout Hong Kong, supplemented by about 250 Festival PLUS and arts education events. HKAF presents the world’s top artists as well as stars of tomorrow and gives equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. HKAF also commissions and produces works in theatre, chamber opera and contemporary dance; some HKAF productions have toured to other Asian cities after their Hong Kong premiere. HKAF is a non-profit organization. The estimated budget for the 2016 Festival is around HK$110 million. About 30% of its annual income comes from government funding, about 37% from the box office, and close to 32% from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals, and charitable foundations.

Media Enquiries

Alexia Chow (Chinese Opera, Theatre and Dance)               
Tel: 2828 4933        Email: alexia.chow@hkaf.org

Wendy Chung (Opera and Classical Music)                          
Tel: 2828 4931        Email: wendy.chung@hkaf.org

Bonny Loo (World/Jazz Music, Theatre)                               
Tel: 2828 4932        Email: bonny.loo@hkaf.org

Press release and photos can be downloaded here:http://www.hk.artsfestival.org/press-room/