Chow Fan-fu to explore Verdi's operas in lecture series for beginners

     Chow Fan-fu has hosted numerous well-received music lectures in recent years. In his coming lecture series to be launched in April, "Five Signature Operas by Verdi", Chow will introduce his "6S" key to the appreciation of opera for beginners. The "6S" method was devised on the basis of Chow's many years of opera appreciation. With this key, listeners may enter the realm of Verdi's operas and proceed to wider appreciation of the great art of the opera.

     Opera is generally regarded as the most dignified and sublime genre of Western music. It is an art form that delivers vocal music with awesome grandeur as well as great music of an infinite and transcendental beauty. Opera is also a tripartite union of music, theatre and the visual arts.

     The 19th century was the most glorious age for European opera, and Verdi may rightfully be called a colossus in the operatic world. Verdi was a prolific composer who wrote at least 28 operas in his lifetime. Most of these are extravaganzas, requiring large and elaborate sets. Music-wise, they feature a lot of innovation within the traditional operatic form - the rhythm becomes brisker, drawn-out scenes are cut to reduce boredom, the episodes become more connected, and the melodies are catchy and well-suited for expressing the delicate feelings of characters. In addition, the operas' contents offer a more universal appeal and stronger humanistic touches, while the atrocities, vicissitudes and happiness common to all men are featured to elicit maximum audience response. The five operas selected for these talks are four from the composer's mature period - "Rigoletto", "Il Trovatore", "La Traviata" and "Aida" - and one from his later years when he was regarded to have scaled new heights in the operatic art form: "Otello".

     Each talk will feature audio and video excerpts from the relevant operas, in order to enhance the audience's interest and understanding of the topics concerned. Those who are interested in knowing more about operas are strongly encouraged to attend the first talk, about the "6S" key to opera appreciation.

     Chow Fan-fu is an arts critic widely known in the Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. He was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2011 for his continued and tireless efforts in the promotion of classical music and the appreciation of the arts. Chow has written several books that chronicle the arts scene in Hong Kong, the latest being "Where Modern Hong Kong Began: The City Hall and Its 50-Year Story" commissioned by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) in 2012. Other publications include "Building Musical Ties for the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra"; "Music with Love: The 30th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra", which was listed as one of the "Ten Best Books of 2005"; and "Fu T'song's Suite".

     Details of the lecture series are as follows:

April 17 (Wednesday)
The Jewel on the Artistic Crown - The 6S Key to Operatic Appreciation

April 24 (Wednesday)
"Rigoletto" (1851)

May 8 (Wednesday)
"Il Trovatore" (1853)

May 15 (Wednesday)
"La Traviata" (1853)

May 22 (Wednesday)
"Aida" (1871)

May 29 (Wednesday)
"Otello" (1887)

     "Music Appreciation Series: Five Signature Operas by Verdi" is presented by the LCSD. All lectures, conducted in Cantonese, will be held at 7.30pm at the Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum. Tickets priced at $50 (for each lecture, with free seating) are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). Please refer to programme leaflets for details of the group booking discount.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321 or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone booking, please call 2111 5999, and for Internet bookings, please visit

Ends/Monday, March 18, 2013
Issued at HKT 10:00