Opera travels well. Its stories are the stories of our collective humanity—love, loss, revenge, strife, rebellion, rejuvenation, absurdity, tragedy—and its archetypes not only define cultures but also connect them. In many respects, we can no longer speak in essentializing ways about Western opera or Chinese opera, but rather must address the world of opera and global operatic voices.

Norwegian soprano Margrethe Fredheim has won the inaugural Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition (2018) with performances of “Come scoglio” from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, “Song to the Moon” from Dvorak’s Rusalka and “Einsam in trüben Tagen” from Wagner’s Lohengrin.

Balancing on a narrow boat in the middle of Aberdeen Harbour—the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in the background—were two dancers from the Hong Kong Ballet in a perfect pose, the red of their shoes and shorts popping against the red of the boat’s lanterns. In the background Hong Kong Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre was giving his feedback on the shot; photographer Dean Alexander was trying to capture the moment.