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News Highlights

Opera Hong Kong delights Shanghai Expo crowds with Chinese and Western classics (with photos)

World-renowned Hong Kong tenor Warren Mok teamed up with Opera Hong Kong and the Shanghai Opera House today (October 20) to present "My China Heart" for Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo).

As one of the programmes for Hong Kong Week, "My China Heart" was performed in three sessions at the Celebration Square of Expo Park in Pudong.

Comprising famous Chinese and Western classics, the concerts were well-received.

Under the baton of celebrated conductor Zhang Guoyong, the Hong Kong and Shanghai vocalists sang well-known songs from Hong Kong and the Mainland as well as arias from famous operas.

Warren Mok, who is also the Artistic Director of Opera Hong Kong, said: "We have chosen songs that are well-known throughout Hong Kong and the Mainland.

"The songs from Hong Kong, such as 'Beneath the Lion Rock' have been re-arranged into orchestral music by local tenor Alex Tam.

"It is a brand-new experience hearing these familiar tunes performed in an operatic style."

Apart from the Hong Kong songs, Chinese classics such as "Pearl of the East", "Jasmine Song" and arias from operas such as "La Traviata" and "Carmen" were also performed.

"The hybrid nature of Hong Kong makes it the perfect platform on which to blend Eastern and Western culture," Mr Mok said.

"With the excellent Shanghai Opera House Orchestra, this cultural programme is even more interactive."

Although Mr Mok has performed on many an international stage, he said "My China Heart" was his first daytime outdoor performance.

"The outdoor concerts I performed before were mostly in the evenings," he said.

"To perform during the day and three concerts in a day is a new experience for me."

Zhang Guoyong, conductor of "My China Heart", is a Shanghai-born National Class One conductor. Well-known internationally, he has collaborated with many orchestras and opera houses around the world, and has performed with Warren Mok many times.

Their collaboration for Shanghai Expo provided a memorable experience for the audiences as well as for the performers.

During Hong Kong Week from October 18 to 22 a kaleidoscope of performances will be staged including Cantonese opera by the Hong Kong Children and Juvenile Chinese Opera Troupe; Swing for All and Contemporary jazz featuring Ted Lo and Eugene Pao, by the Hong Kong Fringe Club; Generation Singer-Songwriters Concert by Hong Kong singer-songwriters and "A Soldier's Story" by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

For full details, please visit Hong Kong's Expo website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.