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Hong Kong Arts Festival

Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) – Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos

22 February - 24 February

$150 – $1180


The award-winning Bavarian State Opera returns for the spectacular opening of the 2024 HKAF with the Hong Kong premiere of Ariadne auf Naxos. Richard Strauss crafted this groundbreaking opera-within-an-opera about fidelity to love and art as a crossover masterpiece, allowing audiences to revel in two contrasting spectacles at once.

The action takes place at the home of Vienna’s wealthiest man. Preparations are underway for a performance of a new opera seria, Ariadne auf Naxos, by an aspiring young composer. Immediately after the opera, an Italian commedia dell’arte troupe will perform the comic intermezzo Zerbinetta and her Lovers, to be followed by a fireworks display in the garden. However, at the very last minute, performers are told that the opera and the comedy are to be performed simultaneously, and everybody scrambles to fit the two completely opposite productions together. Theatre and opera, and classical and popular styles, collide when the Tenor and the Prima Donna fight for the limelight as tragedy and comedy deliciously unfold at the same time!

This phenomenal mash-up of comedy and high art centres on a stellar trio of female leads: the acclaimed Rachel Willis-Sørensen, the fabulous Brenda Rae with her high-flying vocal pyrotechnics, and the award-winning Tara Erraught, as well as the exceptional Heldentenor Clay Hilley.

The opera is conducted by Maestro Patrick Lange, a protégé of celebrated late conductor Claudio Abbado, and is directed by world-renowned opera and theatre director Robert Carsen, who has enjoyed a long-term association with the Glyndebourne Festival and curated celebrated productions for the Salzburg Festival, the San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. With a set design by Peter Pabst, a long-time collaborator of the immortal dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, this glorious production combines grand passions and romantic ideals to forge a unique operatic experience. It is without doubt one of the defining theatrical events of the year in Hong Kong, and it is not to be missed.

Opening of the 52nd Hong Kong Arts Festival

22 February – 7:30pm

24 February – 2:30pm

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