Opera Hong Kong (OHK) is proud to present Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, The Magic Flute, which will take place at Hong Kong City Hall on 25 and 26 August 2018 featuring exceptional Hong Kong operatic talent. This production will be set in a Chinese cultural context including Cantonese dialogue and costumes. It features soloists and orchestra on stage, thereby creating a highly accessible operatic experience for Hong Kong audiences.
A fairy tale of the forces of good versus evil, The Magic Flute sees the Queen of the Night persuade Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from the high priest Sarastro who is holding her captive. Instead, Tamino learns the ideals of Sarastro’s community and, together with Pamina undergoes severe trials of initiation in order to join the community, which ultimately triumphs against the Queen and her cohorts, who, in a plot twist, are revealed to be the true villains of the story. Tamino’s companion Papageno, who accompanies him, fails the trials but wins the hand of Papagena, his ideal female companion.
Director Shen Liang, Resident Stage Director for the National Centre for The Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing will make us consider these rigid ideals of good and evil and each character’s motives in an interpretation aimed at a modern-day audience. Liang has directed several critically-acclaimed productions including Carmen, La Traviata, Rigoletto, La Bohème, Aïda, Rickshaw Boy and The Chinese Orphan.
Dejan Savic, General & Music Director of the Serbian National Theatre, who made his Asian debut at the Busan Cultural Centre with a production of Tosca in 2014, will direct the soloists and ensemble in this production of The Magic Flute.
This production features a talented cast, many of whom are artists being trained in the Jockey Club Opera Hong Kong Young Artist Development Program, a three-year, tailor-made course providing intensive training to nurture Hong Kong opera singing talent. Bridging the gap between school and professional performances, the programme develops the singing and acting skills of the participants to international standards. Principal singers in this production include tenor Chen Yong who sings the part of Tamino, the young prince who sets out to rescue the brave princess Pamina, who will be played by sopranos Colette Lam and Phoebe Tam on alternate nights. Papageno, Tamino’s companion, will be sung by baritone Sammy Chien.
The cast of The Magic Flute also performed in Opera Hong Kong’s completely sold-out and critically-acclaimed production of Bizet’s Carmen, which took place in May this year. South China Morning Post hailed the production’s ‘irresistible music and gutsy performances (…) from world class singers, who brought out opera’s raw, dark and primal side’.
The Magic Flute represents the culmination of Mozart’s creative genius and versatility. Written in 1791, the final year of his life, the opera is renowned for its extremely challenging vocal requirements. Both arias sung by the Queen of the Night are some of the most famous and challenging in the standard operatic repertoire, featuring some of the highest notes required to be sung by a Soprano in any opera. In this semi-staged production, the soloists in costumes will perform alongside the orchestra on stage. This minimalist stage setting allows the audience to see the integration of all the musical parts of the production and provides a highly accessible platform for first-time and frequent opera-goers alike.
Producer and OHK Artistic Director, Warren Mok, said, “It’s a great pleasure to present the best of Hong Kong’s talent in this challenging work. The main roles are taken by the young talents of the Jockey Club Opera Hong Kong Young Artist Development Programme. We believe it is very important to nurture these young artists by giving them a performance platform to enrich their experience. This will also help to develop the operatic art form and new audiences in Hong Kong.
Tickets are available from 13 July. Please visit operahongkong.org/magicflute for more details.
Mozart’s Magic Flute – A semi-staged opera in two acts
Performed in German with Chinese and English Surtitles. Dialogue in Cantonese.
Date: 25 & 26 August 2018
Venue: Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
Ticket Price: $380, $280, $180, $100