24 June 2018 - 11 Tammuz 5778 - י"א תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Arts & Culture
Eitan Globerson conducts in Hong Kong Print E-mail

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) presented Jacques Offenbach’s French opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) in late March at the Academy Drama Theatre. Renowned Israeli conductor Eitan Globerson was especially invited to conduct the opera, which was sung in French with Chinese and English subtitles.

Professor Globerson teaches conducting (orchestral) and piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is also the conductor & music director of the Academy’s Symphony Orchestra. While visiting Hong Kong, he had the opportunity to meet local students and teach some piano lessons.

The great Jewish German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann was the inspiration for Les Contes d’ Hoffmann. His narrative style seamlessly interweaves fantasy and the real world. In the opera, the poet Hoffmann unveils his three tales of unfulfilled love: his fascination for the mechanical doll Olympia, who was destroyed by the inventor Coppélius; his love for the courtesan Giulietta, who prefers the jewels from the magician Dappertutto, and his passion for the doleful Antonia, who is forced to sing to her death by Doctor Miracle. After telling these tales of pathos from his past life, Hoffman receives yet another blow when he witnesses his latest love, Stella, elope with the Councillor Lindorf. This final disappointment extinguishes the drunken Hoffmann’s desire and prospects for love, so The Muse, Goddess of the Arts, compels him to write poems for the rest of his life.

(Issue Apr 2018)

Israeli graffiti artists paint in Indonesia with local artists E-mail

Artists 4 Israel (A4I), a team of top graffiti artists, recently spent a month touring Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population in the world.

According to the organisers, this was the first trip by a group of Israeli artists. They spent many weeks on a mission to beautify urban areas and fight bigotry, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They also took a stand for women’s rights. The team of artists created towering, building-sized murals promoting tolerance. They also found that at times tolerance was a dangerous topic. “We felt incredibly welcomed by Indonesian artists and the local community – but we were also warned to keep our identities secret in some parts of the country,” said Craig Dershowitz, President of A4I and the organiser of the trip.

“We were beseeched to avoid news stories of our trip to Indonesia until we returned, to make sure we did not wear our branded shirts, to be circumspect about with whom we shared our itinerary, and to never, ever openly share the names of the Indonesians co-operating with us. Our hosts explained that even if our international artists were to come and go unmolested, the Indonesians still had to live there and the consequences of partnering with an Israel-related organisation or a pro-Jewish group could be fatal.”

A4I is used to operating under a certain amount of danger. Its past works have included painting bomb shelters in Sderot in Israel while the town was under rocket fire from terrorists in the Gaza strip, and a guerrilla mural campaign along the wartorn border of Syria.

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Premiere Performances’ Spring Recital Series 2018 E-mail

In what promises to be yet another world-class musical recital, Premiere Performances, of Hong Kong will be launching this month its Spring Recital Series 2018, featuring world-class concerts, including many Hong Kong recital debuts at the Hong Kong City Hall.

The first performance in the series, on 23 April, will be by hypnotic baritone soloist, Benjamin Appl, set to captivate listeners in his Hong Kong debut.

BBC New Generation Artist, ECHO Rising Star artist, and Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, Benjamin Appl is celebrated both as a soloist and for his operatic performances. The German baritone will bring to life the piano-and-voice partnership of 19th-century lieder alongside celebrated South African pianist James Baillieu. A debut on all fronts — two top young performers and Premiere Performances’ first voice recital!

On 15 May, South Korean violin sensation Bomsori Kim makes her Hong Kong debut, with rising US star Pallavi Mahidhara on piano.With a combined 28 top prizes in over 14 major international competitions, violinist Bomsori Kim and pianist Pallavi Mahidhara are two musicians to watch. With dazzling stage personalities and exceptional musicianship, this pair will come to Hong Kong for the first time in this Premiere Performances concert featuring gems of the violin, piano and duet repertoire. This concert is part of the Recital Series and is an associated programme of Le French May. It is supported by the Korean Consulate General.

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