Hong Kong Arts Festival

Hong Kong Arts Festival 2019 highlights: Marin Alsop, Robert Lepage, a farewell to Taiwan’s Lin Hwai-min, a Wagner opera

One of the world’s top woman conductors brings her Brazilian orchestra to Hong Kong, Canadian theatre director gets autobiographical, there’s a Chinese Hamlet, a German Wagner and much more at city’s biggest annual arts event

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 August, 2018, 6:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 August, 2018, 6:45pm

One of the world’s top woman orchestral conductors, Taiwanese choreographer Lin Hwai-min and Canadian theatre director Robert Lepage will lead next year’s Hong Kong Arts Festival, whose theme is the different stages of an artist’s life.

A big retrospective of Lin’s work will mark the 45th anniversary of his troupe, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Excepts from critically acclaimed works such as Moon Water, Cursive, Rice and White Water (February 22 to 24) will be staged to pay tribute to an artist whose talent has been recognised internationally. It will also be a farewell programme, as Lin will be stepping down as Cloud Gate’s artistic director in 2019.

American Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, is at the peak of her career. She will conduct the latter in two wide-ranging programmes (February 21 and 22) that include Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras and Paganini’s Violin Concerto No 1 in D major, featuring soloist Ning Feng.

In his autobiographical 887 (February 28 to March 2), Lepage takes a walk down memory lane and revisits his boyhood in 1960s Quebec. Written, designed, directed and performed by the artist himself, the solo show is about remembering, forgetting and the hidden wounds of the past.

Other highlights of the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival include Beijing stage director Li Liuyi’s contemporary take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, (March 7 to 9), Leipzig Opera’s staging of Wagner’s Tannhäuser under conductor Ulf Schirmer (March 1 and 2), a recital by South Korean pianist Yekwon Sunwoo, who in 2017 was the first Korean winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (February 23), and three pieces by choreographer John Neumeier and the Hamburg Ballet (March 13 to 24).

Next year’s festival will run from February 21 to March 24. Advance booking will open on October 11.