HONG KONG –The 49th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) officially opened on Saturday (27th February) with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra performing Music about China. The Festival’s opening ceremony was held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre with Mr Victor Cha, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival; Mr Philip N L Chen, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr Caspar Tsui Ying-wai, Secretary for Home Affairs; Mr Vincent Liu Ming-kwong, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services; and Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, officiating.
The Festival Opening concert by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) featured five commissioned works, in which two were world premieres. The Music about China series, marking 15 years of collaboration between HKAF and HKCO, has premiered a considerable number of works by composers from Greater China and beyond, promoting and propagating the heritage of Chinese music. In addition to the in-venue performance at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, the Festival Opening concert was also available to watch for free online via live streaming, kick-starting an unprecedented hybrid edition of the Festival.
This year’s Festival offers over 30 performance programmes. Seventeen of these programmes as well as more than 250 PLUS events can be enjoyed free of charge upon registration on the HKAF website. Ticketed performances include international productions The Plague (English version) and The Journey, both delivered live online; and other all new online local productions as well as in-venue performances, allowing global audiences to attend the festival virtually.
(from left) Mr Tam Wing-pong, HKAF Programme Committee Member, Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of HKAF and Mr Sun Kim-long, actor of Cantonese Opera Noah’s Ark
The theme of the 49th HKAF, “Separate Together”, acknowledges the universal experience of isolation and distancing over the past year. Productions such as The Plague, Noah’s Ark and The Journey are artistic responses to these contemporary global conditions. “Separate Together” also describes how the arts brings people together in a collective experience—beyond the individual response to great art—to be moved, excited and uplifted across time, space and cultures, highlighting our shared humanity.
The 49th Hong Kong Arts Festival runs from 27th February to 4th April 2021. Tickets and full programme lineup available here