Speech by CE at Opera Hong Kong 20th Anniversary Opera Gala (English only) (with video)

     Following is the video speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the Opera Hong Kong 20th Anniversary Opera Gala today (August 25):
Dr Moses Cheng (Founding Chairman of Opera Hong Kong), Mr Ronald Kwok (Chairman of Opera Hong Kong), Dr Warren Mok (Artistic Director of Opera Hong Kong), distinguished guests, fellow opera enthusiasts, ladies and gentlemen,
     It is with great pleasure that I address you on this momentous occasion. This evening's Opera Gala celebrates the 20th anniversary of Opera Hong Kong. I extend my warmest congratulations to Opera Hong Kong for staging this milestone programme.
     I am sure you are all thrilled to be here at Hong Kong City Hall, to witness the harmonious convergence of 30 established artists from the Mainland and Hong Kong to grace the stage. They will present remarkable arias and ensembles, from various repertoires that have been masterfully produced by Opera Hong Kong throughout its history.
     Over the past two decades, Opera Hong Kong has been the driving force behind the development and promotion of opera in the region, bringing world-class operatic experiences to our city. Since Opera Hong Kong's inception in 2003, the Government has long been giving its solid support, including a long-term partnership with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and support from different funding schemes. Opera Hong Kong has nurtured and showcased local talent while collaborating with outstanding artists, opera houses and festivals from around the world.
     The National 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong's development into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. The Hong Kong Government is committed to expediting the progression of Hong Kong's arts and cultural scenes. With the help from industry leaders, we are mapping out a Blueprint for Arts and Culture and Creative Industries Development, to enhance the ecosystem for the sector.
     Opera Hong Kong has made a significant contribution in this regard with its unwavering commitment to fostering artistic excellence and encouraging cultural exchanges.
     In the light of the rapidly evolving arts scene, I look forward to Opera Hong Kong's continuous effort in engaging the next generation of opera enthusiasts, while keeping up with its excellent work.
     I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who has contributed to Opera Hong Kong's success - the talented performers, the passionate supporters, and the dedicated organisers. I have no doubt that Opera Hong Kong will continue to grow from strength to strength in the years ahead.
     On that note - a very high note - I wish you an enjoyable evening with Opera Gala. Thank you.

Ends/Friday, August 25, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:00