The 52nd Hong Kong Arts Festival comes back in full swing for the first time after the pandemic restrictions. With a lineup of 45 productions spanning 150 performances, the 52nd Hong Kong Arts Festival is set to be its most expansive yet.
For the 2024 edition, which officially opens on February 22nd and ends on March 24th, more than 1,400 international and local artists are expected to perform, with a program of 45 shows across 150 performances. With a packed agenda spanning everything from dance, opera, music, and theatre, there’s something for everyone.
“The 52nd edition of the Hong Kong Arts Festival will continue our legacy of offering a broad spectrum of the world’s best artists and performances, enticing the audience with an irresistible blend of timeless classics and groundbreaking new works,” says Professor Kingman Lo, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Despite funding for arts and culture being cut by around the world, this year’s festival has been made possible by the generosity of sponsors, donors, and the Hong Kong government, which has given a grant of HK$18.89 million towards the event.
Though tickets have been on sale since October, don’t miss you chance to snap up the remaining seats. For more information on how to purchase please head to the Hong Kong Arts Festival Website: www.hk.artsfestival.org.
And with so much to see it’s hard to know where to start. So let us give you a helping hand with our top highlights for this year’s event.
Flamenco lovers, rejoice! Spain’s most renowned living Flamenco dancer, Farruquito, is bringing his sell-out show to Hong Kong. The electrifying performance, which has already toured over forty countries and gained rave reviews, is a combination of music, dance, and singing, with the maestro of Gypsy Flamenco accompanied on stage by exciting backup dancers and instrumentalists.
8th – 9th March, Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. More information here.
Commissioned and produced by the Hong Kong Arts Festival, this production of Miss Julie has been adapted from the Swiss playwright August Strindberg’s original. Set in 1940s colonial Hong Kong, the adaption follows the story of a wealthy colonial woman who falls for a local working-class chauffer. Tackling themes of prejudice, class, race and colonialism with a stellar local cast, Miss Julie will be performed in English and Cantonese with Chinese and English surtitles.
1st – 17th March, Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall. More information here.
The Shanghai Pingtan Troupe
You’ll be in for a beautiful evening with the National First-Class Shanghai Pingtan Troupe, who will be showcasing the traditional art form of Pingtan. Originally from Suzhou, Pingtan combines elements of singing, acting, playing music and storytelling, with instruments including the three-stringed lute. With Chinese surtitles and English synopses, there will be four different performances in different venues to show the breadth of this ancient art form.
17th – 19th March, Xiang Hai Xuan, Nan Lian Garden & Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall, more information here
Baltic Sea Philharmonic
For anyone who thinks classical music isn’t for them, or who may have written off the Hong Kong Arts Festival entirely, then Bright & Black is the performance for you. Led by conductor Kristjan Järvi, known for pushing the boundaries of traditional orchestra, The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will be joined by Eicca Toppinen from the Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, to sing and perform heavy metal music composed by Nordic bands. Don’t miss the chance to catch this one-night performance, which is sure to inspire.
14th March, Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, more information here.
Teatro All Scala
You don’t need us to tell you that a performance from the Teatro alla Scala will be a highlight. What you will want to know, however, is what we can expect this year from the celebrated ballet company. Choreographed by the company’s director Manuel Legris, the 100-strong cast will perform the beloved Le Corsaire, a swashbuckling tale following the adventure of two lovers who come across pirates, slave traders, and shipwrecks. With world-class sets and costume design from Luisa Spinatelli, this adventurous performance is the perfect family outing.
15th – 17th March, Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, more informtion here.
Arab Arts Focus
This year there’s also an opportunity to see some contemporary dance and theatre from Morocco, Palestine, and Egypt in the Arab Arts Focus section. With seven different performances showcasing three original works: Untitled 14KM, Losing It, and Anchoring, which explore themes of Arab identity and cultural heritage. A sure highlight will be Losing It, co-created by two female Palestinian artists; the performance explores the trauma of growing up in one of the world’s biggest conflict zones.
February 23-24, 27 – 28, 2– 3 March, Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, more information here.