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Speech by CS at opening ceremony for "Mozart in Love" (English only)(with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the opening ceremony for "Mozart in Love" this evening (May 5):

Eric (Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Mr Eric Berti), Andrew (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Le French May Arts Festival, Dr Andrew Yuen), Simon (Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Dr Simon Ip), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. I am delighted to join you all at the opening concert of Le French May 2016 - "Mozart in Love" by Ensemble Pygmalion. On behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, I would like to express our warmest congratulations on the 24th anniversary of Le French May, which has grown into one of the most important and well established arts festivals in Hong Kong and in the Asian region, attracting nearly a million visitors each year.

     The objectives of Le French May are "to touch everything, to be everywhere and for everyone". These objectives are achieved through the Festival's diversified and interesting programmes as well as the concerted efforts of the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau and the Association Culturelle France, working together with sponsors such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, partners such as the Alliance Française, and many other supporters from the community. Through co-operation with various counterparts in Hong Kong, Le French May reflects the true cosmopolitan nature of our city and close friendship between our two places.

     Hong Kong values arts and culture as an inseparable part of our lives. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is happy to play a part in supporting this meaningful cultural festival with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) becoming one of Le French May's long-term partners, providing venue sponsorship for the many magnificent cultural performances and exhibitions of the Festival throughout these years. This year, we continue to support the Festival's 10 performing arts programmes with a total of 17 performances at the LCSD venues including collaborations with major local arts groups such as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and Opera Hong Kong.

    Tonight, the Festival has invited Ensemble Pygmalion to make their debut performance in Hong Kong with a concert entitled "Mozart in Love". I very much look forward to the performance of Ensemble Pygmalion under the baton of its founder Raphaël Pichon, one of the youngest conductors worldwide, in reinterpreting the masterpieces of Mozart, celebrating the romantic love story of this world-renowned musical genius.

     I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Consulate General of France for bringing to Hong Kong an impressive series of performances and exhibitions from France, and to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for being the Festival's major partner for the fifth consecutive year. May I wish the Festival every success, and I am sure that the friendship between France and Hong Kong will scale new heights in future.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, May 5, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:13


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