With this month already chockfull of cultural events, 2012 looks set to be hectic for the arts.
Cantonese opera fans can look forward to the week-long Showcase of Law Kar-ying's Art, at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre starting on Wednesday. The veteran actor-singer will team up with a host of stars including Nam Fung, Wan Fai-yin, Yuen Siu-fai, Yau Sing-po and Liza Wang Ming-chun, to perform six works from the classical and contemporary repertoires.
American-born violinist Gil Shaham is also at the Cultural Centre on Wednesday to perform Barber's Violin Concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He will give an all-Bach recital on January 8.
On Friday to January 8, Lo King-man offers Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, featuring an international cast including Lee Sang-eun, Anne-Carolyn Bird, Todd Wilander and John Daniecki, and local talents Alex Tam Tin-lok and Carol Lin. The Hong Kong Virtuosi provides live music under conductor Lio Kuok-man. The opera will be performed in Italian with Chinese and English surtitles.
Loo Sze-wang, one of very few sheng soloists in town, will give two recitals this month at the Nan Lian Garden (Saturday) and Hong Kong City Hall (January 20), playing compositions with both traditional and modern flavours.
The Hong Kong International Chamber Festival returns for the third year on January 11 with a six-concert programme, headlining musicians including composer-conductor Tan Dun, cellist Gary Hoffman, the Shanghai Quartet and violinist Jimmy Lin Cho-liang, the festival's artistic director. There will also be free talks and masterclasses throughout the week.
January 19-24 sees a Cantonese opera extravaganza at the future site of the Xiqu Centre, part of the West Kowloon Cultural District. It includes five stage productions and an exhibition on the traditional art form. A collaboration with the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, the event is part of the arts hub's first cultural programme.
Children aren't left out in this cultural frenzy: the Hong Kong Ballet is offering an 'educational adaptation of the ultimate classical ballet' in Ballet Classics for Children: Swan Lake on January 14 and 15.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Arts Festival will kick off earlier this year on January 28, while the trimmed-down City Festival, organised by the Fringe Club, will present Ya Gotta Swing - a 'big band and hip hop night' - on January 13 and 14.
Here's to a happy and busy new year!