Media
6.9.2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A tragic story of forbidden love, class divides and self-sacrifice

Asian première of Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias

Joining together Hong Kong’s finest ballet and musical talent


[Hong Kong – 6 Sep 2016] This November, Hong Kong Ballet will bring you the highly anticipated, Asian première of Lady of the Camellias by one of today’s most sought-after American choreographers, Val Caniparoli. Adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ French novel of the same name (1848), Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias is a powerful tale of forbidden love between renowned Parisian courtesan Marguerite Gautier and provincial bourgeois Armand Duval. Performed to critical acclaim by companies like Boston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet since its début in 1994, Caniparoli’s inspirational choreography is showcased in the lovers’ rapturous pas de deux and is perfectly complemented by Chopin’s romantic music. Accompanying some of the most passionate scenes are lilting piano solos and soulful vocal performances by a trio of Hong Kong’s finest musical talent – piano soloist Colleen Lee, the sixth prize winner at the prestigious Chopin International Piano Competition in 2005, Albert Lim, one of the city’s finest baritones, and award-winning soprano Louise Kwong, alongside live accompaniment by Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Artistic Director Madeleine Onne states, “This beautiful ballet will showcase our leading dancers in principal roles. I chose the ballet with Yao Jin in mind, as the character of Marguerite suits an experienced artist who can show her depth in both technique and emotion. The younger ballerinas will be inspired by her and grow through this fantastic role where artistry on the highest level is required. In addition to the male lead of Armand, there are several opportunities for our exceptional men to display their abilities in this ballet that was created with so much love by Val Caniparoli.”One of the greatest love stories of all time, the literary gem has sparked Verdi’s opera, La Traviata, and films such as Baz Lurhmann’s blockbuster Moulin Rouge (2001) and George Cukor’s Camille (1936), starring Greta Garbo, which Caniparoli turned to for inspiration.

Lady of the Camellias will run from 4-6 &11-13 November 2016 at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre for eight performances. Tickets are priced at $680, $480, $280 and $140, with VIP tickets at $1,000. Tickets are available at URBTIX now.

About Lady of the Camellias

Lady of the Camellias is the powerful love story of renowned Parisian courtesan Marguerite Gautier, a woman suffering from a deadly illness, and a young provincial bourgeois, Armand Duval, who has to pay a steep price for love. 


Throwing caution to the wind, Armand falls in love with Marguerite and becomes her only lover, convincing her to turn her back on her life as a courtesan. Their idyllic life together in the countryside is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Armand’s father. Concerned by the scandal created by the illicit relationship and fearful that it will destroy the family’s social standing, Armand’s father demands that Marguerite leave Armand. Out of her deep and sincere love for Armand, Marguerite complies and makes Armand believe that she has abandoned him for her former lover, Baron de Varville. After an emotional confrontation with a weakened Marguerite at a grand party to open the Paris social season, Armand is challenged to a duel by Baron de Varville. Alone on her deathbed, Marguerite envisions the worst about Armand and the Baron’s duel and relives her love for Armand, regretting what might have been. In spite of her past, she feels redeemed by her pure love for Armand, which offers her hope and allows her to rediscover her innocence, shattering any need to conform to society’s strict morals.


Artists
Val Caniparoli, Choreographer

Val Caniparoli’s versatility has made him one of the most sought after choreographers in the United States and abroad. Although he is most closely associated with San Francisco Ballet, his artistic home for more than 40 years and where he was former resident choreographer, Caniparoli has contributed to the repertories of more than 45 companies, including Texas Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Boston Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet West (resident choreographer 1993-97), The Washington Ballet, Israel Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, State Theatre Ballet of South Africa and Tulsa Ballet (resident choreographer 2001-06 ). Caniparoli has also choreographed for the Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. He has worked on several occasions with the San Francisco Symphony, most recently on the Rimsky-Korsakov opera-ballet Mlada, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. 


Caniparoli has been the recipient of ten grants for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts, an artist fellowship from the California Arts Council, and two awards from the Choo-San Goh and H. Robert Magee Foundation. Works with American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco includes choreography for A Christmas Carol, A Doll's House, A Little Night Music, Arcadia and the creation, with Carey Perloff, of a new movement-theater piece, Tosca Cafe.


Colleen Lee, Piano Soloist

Colleen Lee was Artist Associate of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in 2010/2011 and was featured in the orchestra’s tours to the South America and Italy. Since winning the sixth prize at the prestigious Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005, she has performed extensively around the world and has collaborated with such orchestras as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Galacia Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestras of Israel, China, Warsaw and Sendai as well as Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Lee has been featured at festivals including the International Chopin Festival in Poland, Pianoforte-Festival Meissen in Germany and International Keyboard Festival in New York. Her performance in Magic Piano & Chopin Shorts at the 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival had garnered rave review. 


Lee currently teaches at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and is the Honorary Artist-in-Residence of The Education University of Hong Kong.


Albert Lim, Baritone

Albert Lim is one of the most active baritones in Hong Kong. Lim is trained at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, from which he received the Advanced Diploma and Bachelor of Music degree. Lim was admitted to the Royal College of Music in London, graduating with distinction from the Postgraduate Diploma programme in vocal studies. With his remarkable stage presence and fine lyrical singing, Lim has appeared frequently in opera and concert performances presented by Opera Hong Kong. Lim’s repertoire include Figaro from Le Nozze di Figaro, Papageno from Die Zauberflӧte, Escamillo from Carmen, Marcello from La Bohème, Ben from Menotti’s opera, The Telephone, and Umeya from Huang Ruo’s opera, Dr. Sun Yat Sen


Lim is currently faculty member of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also Choral Conductor of Hong Kong Children Choir and Assistant Chorus Master of Opera Hong Kong.


Louise Kwong, Soprano

Louise Kwong is the prize winners of numerous singing competitions, namely the second prize, Audience Prize and the Best Soprano prize at the 18th International Singing Competition Ferruccio Tagliavini in Austria, first prize at the Singing Competition Salice d’oro 2015 in Italy, first prize at the Singing Competition Città di Iseo 2015 in Italy, second prize at the 7th International Singing Competition Bell’arte in Belgium. She graduated from the Dutch National Opera Academy, the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Royal College of Music, London. Her operatic roles include Cio-cio-san in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Liù in Puccini’s Turandot, Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Anna in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and La Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte


Kwong’s achievement was recognized by the Hong Kong SAR Government by being awarded with the Young Artist Award in Music (2014) and in the Commendatory Scheme of the Secretary of Home Affairs (2015).


Performance details

4-6 & 11-13.11.2016

Fri 7:30pm | Sat 2:30pm & 7:30pm | Sun 2:30pm

Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

$1,000 (VIP tickets) $680, $480, $280, $140
8 performances
Suitable for ages 6 and above

Choreography Val Caniparoli
Libretto, Concept and Score Norbert Vesak and Robert Glay de La Rose (adapted by Val Caniparoli)
Music Frederic Chopin
Set Design David Gano; Act II set designed by Robert Glay de La Rose
Costume Design Robert Glay de La Rose
Lighting Design Alice Kwong
Assistant to the Choreographer Charla Whiteley
Live Accompaniment Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Conductor Benjamin Pope
Piano Soloist Colleen Lee

Baritone (Act II) Albert Lim

Soprano (Act III) Louise Kwong


Discounts

50% offFull-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities (Limited tickets for students and senior citizens available on a first-come, first-served basis. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts.)
15% offFriends of The Hong Kong Ballet
10% off
(First two tickets)
CCDC Dance Inspirations Card holders, Members of Chung Ying Theatre's Energy Fun Club plus, Friends of HKCO, Friends of HKDC Prestige Members, HK Phil Club Bravo members, Members of HKRep Pals, Zuni's Friends, Fringe Club Members, Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association members, HKBU Foundation members and Hong Kong Dance Alliance members.
Group Booking10% off for every purchase of 10-19 tickets at regular price,
15% off for 20-40 tickets
Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discounts for each purchase.
Discounts are not applicable to $1,000 VIP tickets


$1,000 VIP ticket holders Special Privilege
Present your ticket stub to Hong Kong Ballet’s reception counter (Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre) before the end of intermission to receive a coupon for a free drink. Each ticket stub is valid for one free drink only.


15% off food and beverage at InterContinental Hong Kong
Ticket holders can enjoy 15% off food and beverage in all restaurants and bars at InterContinental Hong Kong before or after the performance upon presentation of their tickets on the performance date. For details, please call 2313 2323 or email to fb.hongkong@ihg.com.


Programme Plus! 

The Preview of Lady of the Camellias
25.10.2016 Tue 7:30pm – 8:45pm
GR3, 8/F, Grand Theatre Backstage Hong Kong Cultural Centre 

Get an exclusive first look at our inspirational season highlight and one of the greatest love stories of all time – Lady of the Camellias! Hong Kong Ballet dancers, designers and other special guests will take you deeper inside Val Caniparoli’s Asian premiére of this powerful tale of forbidden love between a renowned Parisian courtesan and a provincial bourgeois. This evening will also feature special performance excerpts from Lady of the Camellias by the Company’s dancers. Don’t miss this unique event!

Free admission 
Conducted in English 
Suitable for ages 6 and above 
Limited capacity, advance registration required
Registration Details: hkballet.com/preview

Pre-Performance Talks
4.11.2016  Fri 6:50pm - 7:10pm [Conducted in Cantonese]
5.11.2016  Sat 1:50pm - 2:10pm [Conducted in English]
Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Come experience Val Caniparoli’s rapturous Lady of the Camellias, a brand new Hong Kong Ballet production, by joining us for an engaging 20-minute introduction to the performance, which may include discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing this deeply romantic and tragic story of self-sacrifice and class divides to  life. These exciting talks with members from the Company will be a perfect introduction to your evening at the ballet and give you a better understanding of the production!

Free admission with Lady of the Camellias ticket



Champagne Partner
Make-Up Partner

DOWNLOAD PRESS PHOTOS

[Click on the photo to download full image]

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Photo 1: Lady of the Camellias promotional image | Dancers: Yao Jin and Jia-bo Li | Photographer: Tim Wong
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Photo 2: Lady of the Camellias promotional image | Dancers: Yao Jin and Jia-bo Li | Photographer: Tim Wong

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Photo 3: Lady of the Camellias promotional image | Dancer: Yao Jin | Photographer: Tim Wong

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Photo 4: Lady of the Camellias promotional image | Dancer: Jia-bo Li | Photographer: Tim Wong

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Photo 5: Val Caniparoli, Choreographer | Photographer: Chris Hardy


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Photo 6: Colleen Lee, Piano Soloist
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Photo 7: Albert Lim, Baritone
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Photo 8: Louise Kwong, Soprano

About Hong Kong Ballet

An eclectic mix of talent, a balance of classical and contemporary works, and a unique repertoire are the trademarks of Hong Kong Ballet, Asia’s premier ballet company. Internationally recognised and acclaimed for its creativity, talent and artistry, the Company, led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, is committed to providing captivating experiences that delight and inspire audiences from all walks of life, both at home and abroad.


For further information, please contact:

Nick Chan

Director of Marketing

T: 2105 9716

M: 9728 1777

nick_chan@hkballet.com