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Renowned Singapore composer Mark Chan and leading Asian artists to perform "The Flight of the Jade Bird" (with photos)

     Singapore's Mark Chan, who has been described as a "musical genius" as well as an acclaimed composer, producer, singer, poet and painter, will collaborate with celebrated Hong Kong dancer-choreographer Mui Cheuk-yin and other leading artists from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan in presenting the evocative operatic tone-poem "The Flight of the Jade Bird" in November.

     The concept, music and text for "The Flight of the Jade Bird" originate from the artistic director Mark Chan while Julian Wong is responsible for music direction and Mui Cheuk-yin is both choreographer and dancer. The show is one of the programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and will be staged from November 8 to 10 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre.

     Caught between the material and the spiritual, the ancient Jade Bird faces a dilemma: to depart for transcendental solitude or stay to fight against brash modernity. Conflict grows when the reclusive bird becomes friends with a young boy interested in learning about the past.

     Chan showcases his versatility in this eclectic production, which is inspired by the mythology that envelops ancient pieces of jade in many cultures. Here, Chan taps into jade's spiritual and historic qualities as well as its special relationship with the bearer to create an imaginative and endearing tale.

     Top artists from the region bring an array of talent to this epic production, including Hong Kong soloists Wong On-yuen (erhu), Guo Yazhi (suona), Singaporean cellist Leslie Tan and other accomplished musicians such as Sunny Wong Sun-tat (erhu), cellist Tang I Shyan, Loo Sze-wang (sheng), Chen Hung-tao and Chu Siu-wai (dizi) and percussionist Margie Tong. They will be joined by leading opera singers from the region including Almira Farid (boy treble), Phua Ee Kia (counter tenor), Yee Ee Ping (soprano) and Melvin Tan (tenor) in orchestrating a brilliant fusion of sound. Mui also deftly expresses the Jade Bird's internal struggles, delivering a soul-searing performance.

     Best known for enchanting compositions that create a unique blend of East and West, Chan has presented a wide range of works in different parts of the world over the past two decades. Notable stage productions include "Email & Eternity", a collaboration undertaken with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in 2003, and the chamber opera "Opiume", co-produced by the New Vision Arts Festival and Singapore Arts Festival in 2004. Chan's score for the 1930s-set Chinese silent film "Little Toys" in 2003 earned widespread critical acclaim in cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris and Copenhagen.

     The operatic tone-poem "The Flight of the Jade Bird" will be staged from November 8 to 10 at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre. The programme will be conducted in English with Chinese and English subtitles. Tickets priced at $260 and $180 are now available at URBTIX.

     Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Other booking discounts of up to 20 per cent are available.

     A talk on the production of the show will also be held on November 6 (Tuesday) at 7.30pm at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Administration Building Level 4 AC1 featuring Mark Chan, Mui Cheuk-yin and Low Kee-hong as speakers. The talk will be conducted in English. Admission is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

     Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website,

     For more details, please call 2370 1044. Credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999 or on the Internet at

Ends/Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:39


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