Macau Today

Away from the gaming tables: Macau to host top events – from Grand Prix racing to Swan Lake ballet

Big names and world-class performances beckon visitors to the city towards the end of 2016, with everything from jazz, K-pop and classical music, to motor sports and cultural attractions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 11:48am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 4:50pm

There is plenty to look forward to as Macau ramps up with events towards the year’s end.

It’s time to enjoy all that Macau has to offer with a showcase of cultural attractions. The 30th Macau International Music Festival offers an excellent place to get started. It runs across October and delivers a diverse line-up that embraces a wide range of musical styles.

Hot on the list is the Berlin Philharmonic String Quintet, playing on October 3 at Dom Pedro V Theatre. With an unusual formation, the quintet comprises two violins, a viola, a cello and a double bass, and will take the audience from classical (Mozart), to romantic (Dvorák and Tchaikovsky) all the way to modern music (Respighi and Piazzolla).

Excitement is also growing with other acts generating buzz. From Central Asia, the Mongolian State Morin Khuur Ensemble is bringing “Voice from the Mongolian Steppe”, presenting the unique sound of the country’s urtiin duu (long song), morin khuur (horsehead fiddle), and khoomei (throat singing). Held on October 8 (Saturday) at Mount Fortress, it will certainly be one not to miss.

From classical and folk music, the festival’s other highlights include top-notch jazz. US legend Roy Hargrove has been hailed as a major jazz trumpeter of the modern era, blending in elements of hard bop, blues, hip hop, and R&B into his diverse repertoire. The icon has won Grammy Awards for Best Latin Jazz Album and for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, and it will be hard to justify missing him if you are a jazz fan. Go check him out on October 21 at Mount Fortress.

Other attractions are a performance of percussive “Minimalism” by the Colin Currie Group on October 7 at the Macao Cultural Centre and a “Bravo Macao! II” showcase of young Macanese talent on September 30 at the Dom Pedro V Theatre.

Elsewhere, it’s time for racing again on the thrilling Guia Circuit, where the likes of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher made the Macau Grand Prix a household name. The 63rd Macau Grand Prix will be held from November 17 to 20.

If you are more inclined towards human-powered sporting action, the Macau Marathon is on December 4.

On September 3 and 4, Korean sensations BIGBANG are rocking it up at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Macao, with G-Dragon, Daesung, Seungri, and Taeyang bringing star power to the show. Also, STOMP is on from September 23 to October 9 at The Venetian Theatre, while at the Parisian Theatre is “Thriller Live!”, a show dedicated to the genius of Michael Jackson, from September 30 to November 13.

For dance and ballet enthusiasts, the arrival of the St Petersburg Ballet is one to mark down on the calendar. The group is bringing Swan Lake to the Venetian Theatre for two nights on December 2 and 3, and it’s sure to be a spectacle. The 60-member company, led by prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova, is bringing all its experience to tell the story of how Prince Siegfried falls in love with Swan Princess Odette. It sold out globally, so remember to book early.

Over at Studio City, international pop jazz icon Kenny G is live on September 18, and on the other side of the scale, hip-hop artist Flo Rida will be at Pacha Macau on September 10. At the Macao Cultural Centre, Elvis Costello will be playing live on September 9, and the after party will be at the City of Dreams’ Club Cubic on the same night with Barong Family, featuring sets from Yellow Claw, Cesqeaux, Chace, Mike Cervello and Moksi.

To round it all off, the city’s heritage events reflect its unique cultural mix. Top of the pick is the 19th Lusofonia Festival from October 21 to 23 at the Taipa Houses-Museum. The festival brings food, drink, and handmade crafts from Portuguese-speaking countries around the world.