In this publication, we offer “Discuss the Issue of Democracy with Dr. Lester Lee” by Professor Wenquan Lu; and “The Essence of New Urbanization Is the Urbanization of People” by China Review News.
Taking Opera to the People
Imagine you are walking through the concrete jungle of Hong Kong when suddenly you see a bright red tent, in the middle of the city! Wouldn't you like to know what is inside? It is the Foundation for the Arts and Music in Asia's PopUp Opera tent, a striking 6 metre-high, custom-designed cinema with comfortable seating for 40 viewers. Entry is free of charge. Hong Kong has never seen anything like this before!
The Foundation for the Arts and Music in Asia (FAMA) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to bringing the art of opera to the people of Hong Kong, particularly those living in economically-disadvantaged areas. This cultural outreach program has shown that opera, when presented in an entertaining and meaningful way, can touch the hearts of all people, regardless of their knowledge or experience. As one viewer said, “After seeing the entire film, I found out that opera can be very meaningful and touching for ordinary city people.”
Through the PopUp Opera tent, the brainchild of Laurence Scofield, Chairman of FAMA and opera fanatic, thousands of people have now experienced the glamour and passion of Italian opera. Inside the tent, audiences watch "The Traviata Story", a 90-minute documentary presented by award-winning actress Louisa So, whose love of opera and charming personality bring to life the story of Verdi’s most popular work. She expertly guides viewers through this beautiful and tragic love story, enhancing the experience further by pointing out interesting features such as a designer’s interpretation of the set. The film includes excerpts from some of the world’s most celebrated productions of La Traviata; The Royal Opera House with American soprano Renée Fleming in the lead role, Angela Gheorghiu as Violetta Valéry at the Teatro alla Scala di Milano, and the Salzburg Festival’s production starring Anna Netrebko.
The PopUp Opera tent amazed the people of Lok Fu last October, during the project’s inaugural outing at Lok Fu Plaza, supported by the Link. One community member said, on seeing the tent for the first time, “this is just like discovering a diamond in a rock, which gives you a surprise and joy”. During the tent’s residence many people experienced their first taste of Italian opera. One delighted audience-member said “I can’t believe something cultural will happen in a shopping mall in Lok Fu, so immediately, this leaves a very deep impression”. Another commented that “at first, I thought it was an ordinary show, but La Traviata is a show with rich cultural depth”. They enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to view The Traviata Story.
The tent also appeared at the beginning of January outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Against the backdrop of the city’s famous harbour, this spectacular structure was certainly a sight to behold. And many more people were introduced to opera through The Traviata Story at this location. Italian Consul General Alessandra Schiavo attended the PopUp Opera’s Gala Event and said “I congratulate [FAMA] for your excellent work and the great initiative of getting common people closer to opera. After all, this is the true ‘spirito dell’Opera’!”
FAMA is currently planning more opportunities for the people of Hong Kong to experience the wonderful PopUp Opera. So keep an eye out for it. You never know where this magical creation will next appear! For more information visit www.fama.org.hk or www.facebook/ThePopUpOpera. FAMA is also responsible for bringing the screenings of New York’s famous Metropolitan Opera in high definition to Hong Kong. For more information on that exciting programme please visit www.themetinhongkong.info.
試幻想一下，當你身處在香港這個钢筋水泥森林之間，有一個紅色的帳幕在你面前，你想了解帳內的一切嗎？PopUp Opera Tent由亞洲藝術音樂推廣基金會（FAMA）策劃，影院高達6米，共設40個舒適座位。歌劇以免費形式播放，在香港前所未有。
PopUp Opera Tent是對歌劇充滿熱愛的基金會主席羅蘭士史葛（Laurence Scofield）的心血結晶，令數以千計的香港人深深地體會具有魅力與熱情的意大利式歌劇。在帳幕內，觀眾可以舒適地欣賞全長90分鐘的紀錄片《茶花情恨》。基金會亦成功邀請本地得獎女藝人蘇玉華以廣東話作導賞。她憑藉對歌劇的熱愛與個人魅力，令威爾第膾炙人口的《茶花女》故事煥出無窮的生命力，從而深深打動在場觀眾的心。香港觀眾有機會欣賞到三齣《茶花女》歌劇，包括由倫敦皇家歌劇院製作，著名女高音費萊明領銜主演，意大利米蘭史卡拉歌劇院製作，羅馬尼亞女高音喬烏紫主演，及奧地利薩爾斯堡音樂節製作，俄羅斯女高音尼特立哥主演。
去年十月份，亞洲藝術音樂推廣基金會基金會（FAMA）與領滙管理有限公司（The Link）聯手在樂富廣場推出的PopUp Opera Tent於城中享負盛名，而且深受區內市民歡迎。其中一位初次參與歌劇活動的市民形容：「歌劇好像在普通的石頭裡突然發現了鑽石一樣的感覺，是讓你又驚訝又喜悅的。」另一位被這次歌劇感動的觀眾認為：「覺得不相信會有這樣的一件事件，在樂富這個商場裡發生，所以它在你的腦海裡就留下一個好深的印象。」有參與其中的觀眾說：「最初認為歌劇是一些普通的文娛表演，但《茶花女》是一齣文化色彩濃厚的劇作。」觀眾們都十分慶幸和珍惜這次欣賞茶花情恨的機會。
亞洲兿術音樂推廣基金會（FAMA）仍然努力不懈地為香港市民提供更多接觸歌劇的機會。慬記萬勿錯過！了解有關PopUp Opera Tent及亞洲兿術音樂推廣基金會（FAMA）的詳情，請登上：www.fama.org.hk或www.facebook/ThePopUpOpera。亞洲兿術音樂推廣基金會（FAMA）負責為香港提供紐約著名歌劇，有關詳情請登上www.themetinhongkong.info。