The inaugural Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition kicks off today with the first round of semifinals as 24 young aspirants try to sing their way to one of the richest prizes in opera.
Hong Kong soprano Louise Kwong recently completed a run of two performances as the lead in Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème at the Opera di Roma, marking her debut with one of Italy’s leading companies.
The star of Opera Hong Kong’s recent Carmen might just be the set.
Based on her performance at the 29 April Grand Finals Concert, Wu Hongni was declared one of the five winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
The Teatro Dom Pedro V is a gem. Built in 1860, it both looks like and is a traditional theatre, with gold-fluted columns, plaster molding and orchestra pit. It is, for better or worse (and in many ways better), small with fewer than 300 seats. One can hardly think of a more idyllic place in which to perform opera, yet Solomusica’s production of an opera buffa double bill over Easter weekend was the first there in several years.
Not all operas or performances are about the singers. The star of the Welsh National Opera’s performance of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Hong Kong Arts Festival was its orchestra and conductor Lothar Koenigs who did Claude Debussy’s seamless score proud.
It’s not often, if ever, that Hong Kong holds two opera world premieres in a single week; 2018 is off to a good start.