Apr 18, 2018

Time to embrace the Francophile in you – Le French May 2018


Le French May festival was founded in 1993 and 25 years later, is one of the largest French arts festivals in all of Asia! Get your dose of French culture, art, music (classic and contemporary), dance, cinema, fashion and so much more at this summer extravaganza!




May 6, 2.30pm: The Butterfly Lovers at Hong Kong City Hall

May 11, 8pm: From Venice to Versailles at Hong Kong City Hall

May 12, 8pm: Reinventing The Magic Flute at Hong Kong City Hall 

May 23, 8pm: Sarabande at Sheung Wan Civic Centre

May 25, 8pm: François-Frédéric Guy plays Beethoven at Hong Kong City Hall

May 9, 16 & 23:  OMMM, a cappella at the Happy Valley Race Course

May 26, 7.45pm and May 27, 11am: Les Forains, Ballet Urban at Hong Kong Cultural Centre

June 20 and 21, 8pm: La Vie En Rose at Hong Kong City Hall


The Butterfly Lovers –Piano performance with live sand-painting



The Butterfly Lovers is a classic Chinese folktale. Duo Jatekok will perform with Hoi Chiu, the famous sand-painting artist from Hong Kong to give a creative perspective on the story.


The Butterfly Romance is a tragic romantic story about two lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. It was added to the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Of China by the Ministry of Culture. In addition to the live sand painting, a few classical French music performances bring the tale to life:


Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Poulenc – Sonata for 2 Pianos

Trotignon – 3 Pieces

Debussy – Clair de Lune (arranged by Henry Woolett for 4 hands)


From Venice to Versailles – Blend of Continental music forms



Imagine a mix of Italian Opera and French dance music! Orefo 55, a popular French baroque ensemble from the Montpellier Opera, brings you a musical experience that’s almost certainly unlike anything you've ever heard before. Led by Nathalie Stutzmann, the ensemble will play baroque music from 18th century Italian operas along with French dances composed by greats like Lully and Rameau.


What's incredible is that, while these compositions were written for male contralto singers, and traditionally are sung by men, gender is no a barrier! The performance will feature Stutzmann in two roles –as a conductor, as well as a vocal soloist.



Reinventing The Magic Flute – A twist on a classic by Quatuor Zaïde



The Magic Flute was Mozart's fourth quartet, which he wrote at the age of 17. It was played in Paris ten years after its Vienna premier in 1791, titled "Isis' Mysteries". It took advantage of the prevalent interest for Ancient Egypt around the time in Paris and centered around the Egyptian goddess Isis.


At Le French May, four musicians with four different instruments will perform a variation of the magic flute, and the operatic persona and emotions will be captured in a big way. The finale of the concert will see Debussy's impressionist masterpiece –his string quartet opus 10. This masterpiece is beyond sound and beyond instruments. An indescribable experience!



Sarabande– A Bach masterpiece


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Sarabande will see Noémi Boutin play the three famous suites of J.S. Bach on Cello, along with Jörg Müller, a Circassian artist maestro, whose performance will see a mix of theatre, dance and contemporary art.



Great Piano Concertos –François-Frédéric Guy plays Beethoven


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François-Frédéric Guy is a critically acclaimed Beethoven specialist. He has been praised for his detail-oriented approach to piano technique. Appearing in several different prestigious festivals such as the Chopin Festival (Warsaw) and the Beethovenfest (Bonn), Guy has been described as a "hair-raising tour de force" by BBC Music Magazine.


Guy will make his Hong Kong sinfonietta debut this May, where he will perform under Gabor Kali, a prestigious Hungarian conductor. Gabor Kali, who is only 35 years old, is the winner of the first prize and the orchestra prize of the First Hong Kong International Conducting Competition.


A cappella:OMMM



On Wednesday nights of May 9, 16 and 23, at the Happy Valley Race Course, in addition to edge-of-your-seat racing action enjoy authentically Parisian, exquisite French wines and cuisines. Be entertained by the a cappella group, OMMM. Four voices, a human beatbox and a Dub Master that go far beyond the limits of a cappella.  This 100% vocal experience will be an organic and electronic immersion into the powerful rhythms of pop, hip hop and trip hop. 


Les Forains, Ballet Urbain



Eight hip-hop dancers perform their own rendition of the popular 1945 ballet Les Forains, to try and recapture the spirit of youth and dance! A true fusion of styles, this performance proves that art and truth transcend style or form.


La Vie en Rose 



Paying tribute to the late, great Edith Piaf, Chanson Musical performs the legendary La Vie en Rose at Le French May@K11.



Over the course of most of May and June, witness some of the most out-of-the-box, unique talent that France has to offer. Be it classical music, beatboxing, cinema, ballet, opera, circus theatre or pretty much anything else, expect nothing short of a jaw-dropping performance, every time.


An unmissable festival for Francophiles!


#mozaic #LeFrenchMay

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