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Verona-based Chinese Soprano He Hui returns to perform a Night of Popular Italian Opera Arias in the Mediterranean Arts Festival; Lu Jia conducts HKPO

6 September 2007

Hong Kong, 6 September 2007– First-prize winner of the 42nd Verdi’s Voice International Competition in Parma and first runner-up of the Placido Domingo Operalia International Competition in Los Angeles, He Hui wowed Hong Kong audiences in her debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in the lead role of Madama Butterfly last September. “She sounded as though she could have continued all night, and the audience’s reception indicated that they would have listened”, wrote South China Morning Post. “Singing in Tebaldi’s tradition, He Hui gave an outstanding interpretation of the role and introduced new life to an opera that has become all too familiar for concert-goers”, commented the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

In the Mediterranean Arts Festival programme, Cathay Pacific Discovery Series: He Hui Returns, the Hong Kong Philharmonic has invited the soprano back to perform two evenings of the world’s most heart-rending Italian operatic arias, such as O, Mio Babbino Caro, Vissi d’arte and Liu’s song from Turandot. He Hui’s singing will be complemented by such beautiful orchestral pieces as the Intermezzo by Mascagni and the exotic dance rhythms of The Three-Cornered Hat by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. On the podium will be Italy-based Chinese conductor Lu Jia, one of the most sought after conductors in the opera world today. Music Director of Italy’s historic Arena di Verona, Shanghai-born Lu Jia won the hearts of 20,000 Hong Kong audiences conducting Symphony Under The Stars last December.

The Mediterranean region, a major cradle of human civilisations, has always been exotic and mysterious to the rest of the world. The people of Hong Kong will now have an opportunity to explore the cream of the performing arts in the region, discovering for themselves the enchanting world of Mediterranean music, dance, sound and colour. The Mediterranean Arts Festival, organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will run from October 19 to November 18, featuring leading artists from Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and North Africa. At HKPO’s concerts, the audience will be transported to the sunny Mediterranean Sea by the music of seven Italian composers and one Spanish composer, performed by two Chinese musicians who have conquered Italy’s musical world, on stage with the versatile Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

Cathay Pacific Discovery Series: He Hui Returns, title sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways, will be held on 26 and 27 October 2007 (Friday and Saturday) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. For more information, please go to the HKPO website www.hkpo.com or the Mediterranean Arts Festival website www.medifestival.gov.hk. Tickets are available from 7 September.

Programme Details
A Mediterranean Arts Festival programme -
Cathay Pacific Discovery Series:
He Hui returns

26&27 | 10| 2007
Friday and Saturday
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
8:00 PM
$380, $280, $180, $120
Available at URBTIX outlets
URBTIX website: www.urbtix.hk
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030
HKPO Website: www.hkpo.com

Artists

Lu Jia conductor
He Hui soprano

Programme

ROSSINI L’italiana in Algeri: overture
PUCCINI Gianni Schicchi:
  O mio babbino caro
  Tosca: Vissi d’arte
  Manon Lescaut:
  Sola, perduta, abbandonata
MASCAGNI Cavalleria rusticana: intermezzo
CATALANI La Wally: Ebben? ne andro lontano
VERDI La forza del destino:
  Pace, pace, mio dio
  La forza del destino: overture
CILEA Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l’umile ancella
PUCCINI Turandot: Tu che di gel sei cinta
FALLA Three-cornered hat
   

Cathay Pacific Discovery Series: He Hui Returns is title sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways.

- END -


ABOUT THE HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Hailed as “one of Asia's top orchestras”, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is one of the leading orchestras in the region, led by the internationally renowned Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart. Enriching Hong Kong’s cultural life for over a century, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents in the last three decades, attracting world-class artists to perform on the same stage. In April 2006, The Swire Group Charitable Trust became the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Principal Patron, committing HK$36 million over three years to enable Maestro de Waart’s artistic vision for the Orchestra to be realized. HKPO annually touches the lives of nearly 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances, including a series of outreach activities such as the free outdoor concert Symphony under the Stars which attracted nearly 20,000 people this season. Please visit www.hkpo.com for more information about the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.