An Enchanting Family Matinée with music inspired by Shakespeare
Actors enliven music by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and more
Swire Sunday Family Series: Ode to Shakespeare (23 Jun – ONE performance only)
21 JUN 2019
[21 June 2019, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) with Principal Guest Conductor Yu Long invites you and your family to explore classical music favourites inspired by Shakespeare. Actors from the Hong Kong Shax Theatre Group will present excerpts from the plays that inspired the music – from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet toMendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The concert takes place at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 23 June 2019 (Sunday, 3PM, ONE performance only).
One of the most well-known stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet has inspired countless composers with its tale of star-crossed lovers. It took 10 years for Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture to reach its final form, including the addition of the calm exposition representing the lovers’ ally Friar Laurence, contrasting with the chaotic theme depicting the feud between the Montague and Capulet families. These signatures turned this work into a classic.
We then turn to another Shakespearean tragedy, Othello, this time set to the music of Dvořák. Conceived as the final piece in a trilogy entitled Nature, Life and Love, the Othello Overture captures through music some of the most intense human experiences. The hymn-like opening introduces Othello’s sombre theme, which is later transformed into a musical metaphor for love, jealousy and deceit.
The programme will finish on a bright note with music by Mendelssohn based on his favourite Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Woodwinds set the scene for the Overture with four simple yet distinctive chords that transport the audience to the enchanted world of the play. The piece offers a glimpse into the magical world of Shakespeare, using short motifs to portray fairies, hunters, and of course the braying of Bottom the donkey. The music is embellished with vivid orchestral colour and artistic polish. The suite’s majestic “Wedding March”, one of Mendelssohn’s most famous melodies, will conclude the concert.
You and your family are sure to enjoy this Sunday afternoon of music combined with the Bard’s imaginative stories!
Swire Sunday Family Series: Ode to Shakespeare will be held on 23 June (Sun), 3PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: HK$380, $280, $220, $180 are available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit hkphil.org.
Yu Long, conductor [full biography]
Hailed as the ”most powerful figure in China’s classical music scene” by The New York Times, Chinese conductor Long Yu holds positions as Chairman of the Artistic Committee of the Beijing Music Festival (BMF), Artist Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony orchestras, Co-director of MISA Shanghai Summer Festival, and Principal Guest Conductor of the HK Phil. Frequently conducts the leading orchestras and opera companies around the world, Yu Long found the BMF in 1998, and was its Artistic Director for two decades. He made history with the China Philharmonic Orchestra which became the first Chinese orchestra to perform at the Vatican in the Paul VI Auditorium in 2008. Recently Yu has signed a recording deal with Deutsche Grammophone and started global release and distribution partnership.
SWIRE SUNDAY FAMILY SERIES: ODE TO SHAKESPEARE
23 | 6 | 2019
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$380 $280 $220 $180
Tickets are now available at URBTIX.
For ages 3 and above
|TCHAIKOVSKY||Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture|
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
|MENDELSSOHN||A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Wedding March|