Organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government, the 33rd Macao Arts Festival (MAF), will be held from 28 April to 28 May. Themed “The Long Artistic Journey”, this edition features 20 selected programmes covering theatre, opera, dance, music and the visual arts, inviting the public to be inspired by art to appreciate the beauty of life and the most beautiful landscapes, looking forward to the future with both a local focus and a global vision.
The Festival kicks off with Yang Liping’s revival of a century-old Western classic with oriental aesthetics and closes with a hilarious Patuá theatre production
The Festival kicks off with Rite of Spring by renowned Chinese dancer Yang Liping. After the original ballet The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, premiered in Paris a century ago, Yang Liping brings the reinterpretation of the work to the stage, in collaboration with an array of international artists, making artistic breakthroughs, combining inspiration from the East and the West. Marking their 30th anniversary this year, the Dóci Papiaçám di Macau Drama Group will bring the Festival to a close with the Patuá theatre play Carnavaland. On the same occasion, the “Doci Papiaçám di Macau - 30 Years of Multiculturalism on Stage: A Photographic Exhibition” will be inaugurated, inviting the public to savour the vitality of this item of national intangible cultural heritage from multiple perspectives in the new era.
Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company lights the fire of life; the play The Miracles of the Namiya General Store takes the public on a mind-healing journey
Overseas art troupes return to the Macao Arts Festival. In On the Substance of Time, by the Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company, internationally famed choreographers Vasco Wellenkamp and Miguel Ramalho transform verses of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen into dance routines, making lives sparkle through the dancers’ body movements. Chinese stage director Liu Fangqi, known for his highly successful plays, brings his heart-warming theatrical adaptation from one of the three masterpieces by Higashino Keigo — The Miracles of the Namiya General Store.
Acclaimed artists revive a Greek literary classic; a novel production team collaborates to present an urban story on stage
A number of masterpieces by well-known artists will be staged at the Festival. The Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and a Greek-based production team jointly revived Electra, a story of revenge and justice based on the classic play by Sophocles, one of the three great ancient Greek tragic poets. Xiao Ke, a collaboration between Chinese independent dancer Xiao Ke and French choreographer Jérôme Bel, reflects the evolution of Chinese dance and culture over the past 40 years. I Am a Moon, by young playwright Zhu Yi, directed by the new-generation director Ding Yiteng, uses the moon craters to tell the stories of six characters under the moonlight and the loneliness of urbanites. New Dragon Inn, an adaptation of the eponymous film presented by the Shanghai Jingju Theatre Company, is produced by Shi Yihong, a Qingyi actress of the Mei school, who also plays two roles in this production.
Traditional opera shines with new elements, unleashing the power of art with music
The Zhen Hua Sing Cantonese Opera Association transformed the harrowing memories of Typhoon Hato into the Multimedia full-length Cantonese Opera Bonds of Hato, seeking to eulogise Macao people’s nobility and love for the city. Combining traditional Cantonese opera techniques and contemporary stage design, the Experimental Cantonese Opera Farewell My Concubine (new adaptation) produced by the Xiqu Centre, West Kowloon Cultural District, reinvents the legendary story of the downfall of Xiang Yu, the self-proclaimed “Overlord of Western Chu”, from a new narrative perspective.
To commemorate the 130th anniversary of the death of Tchaikovsky, the Macao Orchestra, led by its principal guest conductor and artistic advisor Lio Kuokman, joins hands with young violinist Chen Xi to present the concert Drunken Strings, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major and Symphony No. 1 in G Minor to pay tribute to the composer.
Local productions rise to prominence and bring forth new artistic ideas
Representing nearly half of all the programmes this year, local productions add on a strong sentimental impact with a combination of creativity, technology, insight and human concern. The Dirks Theatre Arts Association, a local theatre company, joins hands with the Paprika Studio from Hong Kong to produce m@rc0 p0!0 endg@me 2.0, a programme that reflects upon the impact of digital civilisation on humanity by taking the theme of “humans and cities” and integrating virtual reality (VR) experience into immersive theatre. The PO Art Studio brings Lift Left Life Live to the Macao Arts Festival, a “pseudo travel-themed theatre” play that blew the audience’s mind in the Macao City Fringe Festival and is now recreated; an intriguing production that combines travel experience and reflection on the city. Stella & Artists, a local contemporary dance troupe, presents Club Loneliness with Berlin-based dance company TOTAL BRUTAL, probing into love and loneliness existing across different regions and cultures. Resident director of the Dream Theatre Association, Cheong Kin I, has constructed the quasi-documentary play The Dress Looks Nice on You based on interviews with psychotic individuals to explore their unusual perceptual world.
Art accompanies children as they grow; Performing Arts Gala spreads art across community
The Macao Arts Festival has been a companion for children over the decades as they grow and is bringing productions of different styles directed to them this year. On This Side of Macao – The Quest for Verónica, a magical family video theatre play by local video artist Bernardo Amorim, unleashes fantastical ideas through local architecture. Transforming a small theatre into a cardboard house, Frozen Charlotte Productions and A.S.K. jointly present the minimalist yet highly imaginative play Paperbelle, which is sure to blow young children’s minds. DKS Shanghai opens the sensory world of the young audience with The Ocean, an immersive interactive musical featuring classical music. The Performing Arts Gala will bring a range of wonderful performances at the Iao Hon Market Park for three consecutive nights, including glove puppetry shows of Jinjiang City, folk songs of the Li ethnic group, Hainan opera, traditional Portuguese music, children’s musicals and Cantonese opera in order to spread art across the community. The exhibition “Fang Lijun: The Light of Dust” at the Macao Museum of Art features 190 pieces of representative works created throughout the artist’s career spanning over four decades, revealing his extraordinary sensitivity to the times and his creativity.
Tickets for the 33rd Macao Arts Festival are on sale simultaneously through the Macau Ticketing Network outlets, telephone and online booking from 10am on 26 March (Sunday). On the first day of ticket sales, ticket purchases for each show are limited to a maximum of 10 tickets per performance per person, with ticket limits and special arrangements applied to some shows. An early bird discount of 30%, subject to certain criteria, is available from 26 March to 2 April, and a 20% discount will be offered from 3 April onwards. A 30% discount will also be offered on ticket purchases for “Selected Screenings of International Stage Performances”. Members of the public purchasing their tickets with BOC Credit Card or BOC Card will receive a 30% discount on tickets for the opening performance Rite of Spring and the closing performance Patuá Theatre Carnavaland, as well as a 20% discount on tickets for other shows. A 20% discount will be offered for holders of MasterCard, Visa or UnionPay card from Luso International Banking Ltd., BNU, BCM Bank, Tai Fung Bank or OCBC Wing Hang. A 50% discount will be offered to holders of Macao Senior Citizen Card or Disability Assessment Registration Card. Each cardholder can only use one discounted ticket per performance. For every ticket purchase over MOP500 (net price after discounts), purchasers will receive one discount voucher for the exhibition “Visiting the Ruins of St. Paul’s in Space and Time” – Exhibition of Virtual Reality at the Ruins of St. Paul’s and one MGM dinning voucher. Those who purchase two tickets for the virtual reality theatre m@rc0 p0!0 endg@me 2.0 will receive one discount voucher for the exhibition “Visiting the Ruins of St. Paul’s in Space and Time” – Exhibition of Virtual Reality at the Ruins of St. Paul’s. Vouchers are limited and subject to availability. Air Macau customers may enjoy a 20% discount on ticket purchases at the Macau Ticketing Network outlets by presenting their respective boarding pass (flight code NX) within 7 days upon their arrival in Macao.
This edition of the MAF counts with the support of the Macao Government Tourism Office of the Macao SAR Government, TDM – Teledifusão de Macao, Air Macau and MGM. Macao Arts Festival’s website: www.icm.gov.mo/fam; email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. For enquiries, please contact IC through tel. no. 8399 6699 during office hours. 24-hour ticketing hotlines: 2855 5555 (Macao), 2380 5083 (Hong Kong) and 139 2691 1111 (Mainland China). Ticketing website: www.macauticket.com.
The presentation of the programmes of the 33rd MAF was held on 15 March, at 12pm, at Vista of MGM COTAI, and was broadcast live online by a number of media from the Greater Bay Area, with the presence of the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man; the Deputy Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Cheng Wai Tong; the Director and Member of Executive Committee of Teledifusão de Macau, S.A., Frederico Alexandre do Rosário; the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and General Manager of Air Macau Company Limited, Chen Hong; the President, Chief Strategic and Financial Officer of MGM, Kenneth Feng; the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Cheong Lai San; the Acting Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Cheang Kai Meng; and representatives of the participating art groups.