Embracing the stage

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2008, 12:00am

Songwriter Anthony Lun is spreading his wings by starring in a musical

Singer-songwriter Anthony Lun Wing-leung says his passion for music is still burning after more than 20 years in the industry.

Now he has turned his talent to something close to his heart. He will be starring in the stage musical A Love Story About Sam & Sally, produced by the Actors' Family.

'I've always wanted to challenge myself in this area [musicals],' says Lun, adding he has always been a big fan of western musicals, even though he's more well-known as a composer and producer for Canto-pop divas such as Sandy Lam Yik-lin.

In fact, he had planned to stage a musical eight years ago with the late Canto-pop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong. The story was ready and half the songs complete when Mui fell ill. She died of cancer.

'Jackie Cheung Hok-yau said at Mui's funeral that her biggest wish was to be the leading lady in a stage production, and [it's a pity that] it's not possible now,' he says.

But Lun's dream lives on. After A Love Story About Sam & Sally, Lun will collaborate again with Actors' Family in another musical next month.

'It is another stepping stone. I hope to absorb as much stagecraft as possible, from the production side of things to rehearsals,' he says.

This is not the first time he has dabbled in the art. Over the past few years he and lyricist Calvin Poon Yuen-leung have written two musicals. Unfortunately their large budgets have scared away investors.

But fear not, he has not left the Canto-pop industry and will continue to write songs, even though those that dominate the industry these days don't meet his standards of good music.

'There's no magic in the melody anymore,' says Lun, who has worked as a composer and producer since 1986 when he returned to Hong Kong with a master's degree in music and playing three years in a live band in Detroit.

'Also the lyrics are no longer beautiful ... and that's very upsetting because music plays an important role in enhancing the cultural standard of the younger generation. Many lyrics nowadays evade that responsibility.'

Despite his disappointment, he is contented with his career. 'How many people can turn their hobby into bread and butter?' he asks, adding that he believes he has yet to write his masterpiece.

'The best is yet to come.'

A Love Story About Sam & Sally runs from April 4 to 9. Tickets are available from HK Ticketing. For programme inquiries, call 9080 9389.