THE perfect warm-up for the 1994 Hong Kong Arts Festival's glamour event is about to come from the Academy for Performing Arts (APA): Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. It's much earthier than his final opera, The Magic Flute, which has been chosen for the festival. But this tale of love, lust and intrigue also features some of Mozart's finest music and the principals should do justice to it. They belong to that gifted international group taking the academy's advanced opera course and leading them at the APA Drama Theatre will be two of the best. Conducting his sixth Marriage of Figaro will be distinguished Briton Peter Robinson. Directing will be Stuart Maunder, former resident director of the Australian Opera. Performance dates are November 28 and 30, and December 2 and 5. The opera will be sung in Italian, with Chinese and English subtitles. THEY may not make it to La Scala, but the cast of Ken Ludwig's Lend Me A Tenor, playing from tomorrow till November 27 at the Hilton Playhouse, should hit some very funny notes. Nyree Dawn Porter, never to be forgotten for her portrayal of Irene in the BBC adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, leads the action in this hit comedy about an understudy who gets his big break - and plenty more besides - when disaster strikes the star of the production of Verdi's Otello. Originally presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lend Me A Tenor was nominated for seven Tony Awards and the Laurence Olivier Best Comedy of the Year in 1989, and won several major critics' awards in London. Co-starring at the Hilton will be veteran actor Alfred Marks, with support from six other British talents. The director is Ian Talbot. FOR the month's most imaginative musical event, head for Hong Kong Park on Thursday evening when RTHK's Friends of Radio Four Society will be presenting their first Promenade in the Park. Outdoor concerts featuring chamber and choral groups may not be new, but using players and singers as a sort of Pied Piper is certainly different. The journey will begin at 7.30pm at the Museum of Tea Ware, venue for the Ad Hoctette Wind Ensemble. Then it will be over to the Forsgate Conservatory for a selection sung by The Runcibles (7.50pm), back to the tea ware museum for the APA Chinese Instrumental Ensemble (8.10pm) and finally the Garden Plaza for the Hong Kong Brass Band (8.30pm). There will be acoustic sounds only. ''No microphones, no public address system,'' promise the Friends. ''Just music in this oasis in the centre of the city.'' ARE you ready for that reptile criminal Jungle Jim the Snakeman and Julie, the circus strong woman who repels emotions? They will be joined by plenty of other memorable characters when Sydney's Shopfront Theatre for Young People presents its double bill I Am and Ginja and The Sea of Colours at the Sheung Wan Civic Centre on Friday at 8pm. Founded 16 years ago, this remarkable company has grown into a powerhouse for young Australian talent and its productions have triumphed both at home and abroad. Artistic director Michael McLaughlin has chosen a cast of 10, aged 13-25, for Shopfront's Hong Kong debut and theatre-goers of all ages should find their innovative style fascinating. I Am explores the meaning of identity, while Ginja is a comic adventure about a moon spirit who doesn't take kindly to being thrown from Earth. GERRY Flanagan scored a double hit when Fools, Fools, Fools! his red-nose clown show for the Chung Ying Theatre Company, went on to tour Canada with last year's Festival Hong Kong. Now the British director and clown is back with a new adventure for Chung Ying: Don't Let Go! to be performed in Cantonese at the Arts Centre's Shouson Theatre this Friday and Saturday and then from November 23-27. Masks created in England by Michael Chase will be the special feature of this show which was developed in a series of workshops and focuses on a cocky young fellow who discovers that life in the big city can be hazardous. PETER Hurford OBE has the distinction of being the only organist ever to receive Gramophone magazine's Best Instrumental Recording award. The celebrated Briton is also one of the world's most recorded instrumentalists, founded the popular International Organ Festival, produced a bestseller with his book Making Music on the Organ and - joyous news to fans - will be performing at the CulturalCentre Concert Hall on November 21. The magnificent Rieger organ will present no mysteries to Hurford who played it during the centre's inaugural festivities in 1989. For this recital, he has chosen a rich array including works by Couperin, Franck and Bach. BACK to the outdoors - and the Urban Council's Symphony Under The Stars '93 to be held at the Happy Valley Sports Ground on November 27 at 6.30pm. This unabashed promotion of classical music will feature the Hong Kong Philharmonic under the baton of Yip Wing-sie, and comedy star Michael Hui as host. It will be a crowd-pleaser from start to finish, with highlights including Offenbach's Can-Can and Holst's Mars, plus operatic favourites by tenor Warren Mok and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue performed by pianist Peter Breiner. The family fun will start at2pm with a series of fringe programmes. Like Promenade in the Park, it's all free of charge.