The 49th Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2021
Announces Programme Information
Ticket Bookings and Online Registrations start 2 February 2021
(Hong Kong, 14 January 2021)
The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) is pleased to announce details of the forthcoming 49th HKAF in February and March 2021, featuring a combination of online and in-venue programmes, including an array of PLUS, outreach and education events. The 49th HKAF officially opens with a concert by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra on 27 February 2021 at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and closes with a celebration of dance by the Igor Moiseyev Ballet on 26 March 2021 on the HKAF website.
Detailed information on programme can be found on the HKAF website. The Programme and Booking Guide will be available later this month. Ticket bookings and online registrations will be available at 10:00am on 2 February 2021. [Please refer to factsheet for statistics]
“In its 49th edition, the Hong Kong Arts Festival will continue to present outstanding performances for Hong Kong,” says Mr Victor Cha, Chairman of the HKAF. “Local talents, rising stars and world-class international artists will come together to provide an array of performances. The Festival includes time-honoured classics, world premieres and specially commissioned works. We are most grateful to our artists for their resourcefulness and understanding in helping us to adapt to exceptional circumstances this year. We truly value our partnership with each and every one of them.
“On behalf of the Festival team, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all those who have contributed to making it possible. We’re very fortunate to have the continued support of our loyal donors and sponsors. In particular, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has been steadfast in its partnership and support. I would also like to thank the Hong Kong Government for its long-term funding. We’re immensely grateful to all who stand by the Hong Kong Arts Festival and continue to support our work.”
Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the HKAF, highlights the Festival’s tagline this year – Separate Together. “On a literal level, this acknowledges what we have all been going through in this period of isolation,” says Ms Ho. “Something that is also referenced in a number of productions: from The Plague to Noah’s Ark, and to the amazing body of work by Leoš Janáček. Of course, it also refers to all the different artists brought together in this Festival. On a deeper level though, Separate Together also describes one of the most magical and meaningful aspects of great art—how each of us responds to a performance in our own unique way, bringing to that response our personal histories, education, values and concerns. And yet, when it all comes together in a great performance, the art can bring us all together, to be moved, excited and uplifted, all in the same moment, across time and space, and cultures, highlighting our shared humanity. I hope very much that we will experience this together in the coming Festival, whether in person or virtually.”
PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 49TH HKAF
The 49th HKAF will be a hybrid of in-venue performances and online programmes. Some online programmes will be pre-recorded, offering the flexibility of being viewable within a window of availability; others will be shown live, either performed in-venue where circumstances permit, or broadcast online from various locations.
Highlights of the upcoming Festival include
- The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra showcases in the Festival Opening performance a spectrum of imaginative music with a world premiere, a work featuring American blues, and the use of unconventional musical instruments
- Moscow’s legendary dance company the Igor Moiseyev Ballet presents a video programme, especially curated for the HKAF Finale, featuring nine of its best-loved dances
- The tenth anniversary of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series, celebrating the achievements of the past decade in a series of provocative new works, revamped audience favourites, and thoughtfully curated commemorative media
- An exclusive screening of Matthew Bourne’s double Olivier Award-winning stage production The Red Shoes for the first time in Hong Kong and three other signature pieces by this acclaimed choreographer
- A bare-stage preview of a HKAF-commissioned musical, Yat-sen (tentative title) under the Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series, for HKAF’s 50th anniversary in 2022, exploring the early life of the Father of Modern China
- The National Theatre Brno, where most of Leoš Janáček’s renowned operas were first staged, is home to the biennial Janáček Brno Festival—the first from the Czech Republic to win Best Festival at the prestigious International Opera Awards, in 2019. Audiences will be treated to an unforgettable Janáček experience through a comprehensive selection of his work, curated for digital presentation: the operas Jenůfa and The Cunning Little Vixen, the song cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared, and three concerts delivered by Jan Bartoš, the Arnold Schoenberg Choir and the Pavel Haas Quartet.
- The spectacular Cantonese opera Noah’s Ark retells the Biblical story of the Great Flood with a modern twist, revived and produced by the HKAF
- The double-bill musical theatre and chamber opera, Journey to the West Rewind and Women Like Us, part of the Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series, presents two bold takes on classic formats and bold subversions of the “happily-ever-after” trope
- Chinese pianist Niu Niu performs an all-Chopin programme and Beethoven’s monumental Fifth Symphony, as arranged by Liszt, in two concerts
- Two chilling adaptations of Albert Camus’s The Plague, the existentialist literary classic, which has an eerie resonance with the current global crisis—a stage production in Cantonese by local director Chan Tai-yin, and an online performance in English, directed by the Beijing avant-garde theatre-maker Wang Chong from Beijing, played by six actors in six continents
- The Journey, an extraordinary immersive and interactive live online production by world-renowned illusionist Scott Silven, a HKAF co-commissioned programme.
Please visit the HKAF website for more programmes and the latest updates.
In this exceptional year, PLUS continues to bring audiences’ experiences beyond the stage to “More than Great Performances”. Highlights of 2021 include: Into the Czech Lands, a series of Czech music and an exhibition exploring the historical environment that produced the music of Dvořák, Janáček, Smetana and Martinů; documentary shorts Telling Images of Xiqu on Porcelain; special events in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series; and a series of PLUS films that trace the early development and career milestones of celebrated violinist Hilary Hahn, and dance-makers: Jiří Kylián and Sergei Polunin.
In addition to the above events, there are behind-the-scenes videos, artist dialogues, pre- and post-performance talks, to enhance engagement between artists and audiences.
Young Friends of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, which has reached over 782,000 students since inception, will continue to “LEARN, EXPLORE, CREATE” with Young Friends. In 2020-2021, Young Friends activities are offered both in person and via online platforms, to allow flexibility and meet the diverse needs of different schools and students.
Ticket bookings and online registrations start at 10:00am on 2 February 2021. For in-venue performances, patrons can book their tickets via URBTIX. For online performances and PLUS events#, registrations can be made on the Festival website www.hk.artsfestival.org.
#Tickets of PLUS films in cinemas will be available at respective cinemas.
The 49th HKAF is most grateful to its many sponsors, the main ones being: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, ICBC (Asia), The Cha Foundation, HKR International, and Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund; Official Premium Car Partner DCH Motor Leasing, Official Airline Finnair; Official Film Studio Recording Partner Shaw Studios; Official Live Streaming Technology Partner TFI, and Major Hotel Partner Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. [Sponsor Acknowledgement page]
ABOUT THE HONG KONG ARTS FESTIVAL
Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the cultural life of the city. In February and March every year, the Festival presents leading local and international artists from all genres of the performing arts, giving equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, music, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, many of which have had successful subsequent runs in Hong Kong and overseas. Every year the Festival also presents over 250 “PLUS” and educational activities that offer diverse arts experiences to the community as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school students. In addition, through the “No Limits” project co-presented with The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Festival strives to create an inclusive space for people with different abilities to share the joy of the arts together.
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