26 February 2018
In the middle of March we are heading to Hong Kong to take part in the 46th HK Arts Festival which runs from 23 February to 24 March 2018.
We’ll be performing our production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, last performed during our Summer 2015 Season, at the festival, on Thursday 15 and Saturday 17 March. The main cast will be the same as for our 2015 performances, including Christopher Purves as Golaud, Jacques Imbrailo as Pelléas and Jurgita Adamonyté as Mélisande. This marks our first return since we took La bohème to the festival in 2007.
But the opera is not the only thing we are offering at the Festival, our Youth & Community department are taking a sample of our usual family-friendly participation events over too.
The main draw will be a Family Concert, O is for Opera!, on the Friday evening which will follow the winning formula of those we put on at St David’s Hall here in Cardiff and which we are taking to Southampton and Birmingham this spring. During the day an Opera Adventure Day will take place, with WNO flags and opera masks being handed out to children as they arrive, there will also be props and costumes on display, instrument demos for the kids, alongside face-painting and wigs demos, and there’s even a chance to have-a-go in a percussion workshop. Our popular VR experience, Magic Butterfly, is also flying overseas for a couple of early evening sessions.
For those who may be more interested in the stories behind an opera, the music, and the songs, we are holding three workshop sessions to take the audience on a ‘Whistle Stop Tour of Carmen’. There will also be opportunities to hear our Artistic Director, David Pountney, or our Director of Artistic Administration, Nicholas Winter, talk about Pelléas et Mélisande in pre-performance talks on the Thursday or Saturday. David will also be giving a talk under the Festival’s banner of ‘Distinguished Cultural Leader Series V’ on the Thursday; he will be talking about his passion for opera and the challenges facing the art form today.
On the Saturday we are offering foyer performances, along with more make up and wigs demos, including a special session looking specifically at stage make up aimed at children. There are more opportunities to meet members of the Orchestra and have a go at playing different instruments, and our Chorus take part in a concert performance. So the full Company will be represented to give a taste of what goes into putting on an opera, and with a backstage tour of Pelléas et Mélisande the insight is complete. All that’s left is to squeeze in a last VR trip before watching the final performance…
Visit the Hong Kong Arts Festival website for more information.