Hong Kong’s first Broadway musical “The Sound of Music” since the epidemic was co-performed by a Chinese state-owned enterprise

China Art Troupe was established in 2004 and has two subsidiaries: China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA) and China International Exhibition Company (CIEA). In 2021, the group was merged into Bauhinia Culture Group, a state-owned cultural enterprise established in Hong Kong in the same year with joint headquarters in Shenzhen.

A scene from “The Sound of Music” tells the story of a young Austrian woman named Maria who becomes governess to Captain von Trapp’s seven children.Photo: Sound of Music

Known for its Chinese pavilion at the Venice Biennale in the 2000s, CAEG now presents more than 5,000 performances, exhibitions and cultural events, such as opera, every year Marco Polo Like a musical San Xing Dui And, recently, I am who I am.

Many of these works are performed in theaters directly managed by China Arts Group, such as Beijing Tianqiao Art Center, Shanghai Daning Theater, Guangzhou Opera House, etc.

Musicals are relatively new in today’s society [China] market, but they appeal to the system and do it well

Wang Lu, General Manager of China Entertainment Agency

Although CAEG started operating 20 years ago with the guiding principle of “based on China and going global” – which may mean that the group’s interests lie entirely in spreading Chinese culture – but considering the growing Chinese culture, CAEG also takes the lead Introducing Western musicals to China.

“In mainland China, there are many fans of musicals, including fans of Broadway, French and Chinese musicals,” said Wang Lu, general manager of China Entertainment Agency.

This is part of the reason why the orchestra brings Chinese versions of musicals, such as Oh mom! and cat To mainland China.But with sound of musicWang and Broadway Asia co-founder Simon Genat chose the English version because of its appeal as a Broadway original.

“Original Broadway musicals are very attractive to audiences here,” said Genatt, who has worked with CAEG for more than 20 years.

“This is a very talented creative team, and I think for both of us, we’re very focused on it at this time.

Wang Lu and Simon Garnett have worked together for more than 20 years, performing Broadway shows in China and bringing Chinese musicals around the world.Photo: Lei Meibao

“Hong Kong has long been closed to English musicals [because of Covid-19] ——This is the first one to come back after many years. A Broadway version of the musical opened in the city in 2005.

With no venue in Hong Kong, CAEG had to rent the opera. But given that the production fits in with the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority’s plan to create a performing arts venue that attracts tourists, it’s a fitting choice.

sound of music Selected for its broad appeal.

sound of music is a particularly timeless work – it just celebrated its 65th anniversary,” Wang said. “It is considered suitable for all ages and family-friendly.”

Natalie Duncan plays Maria, singing in scenes from “The Sound of Music.”Photo: Sound of Music

The play tells the story of Maria Rainer, a young Austrian woman who becomes governess to Captain von Trapp’s seven children. She taught the children to sing, including the now-classic songs “Do-Re-Mi” and “My Favorite Thing”; their lives were changed forever.

In Hong Kong and internationally, performances star Natalie Duncan as Maria, Corey Greenan as Von Trapp and Lauren Kidwell Starring as the Mother Superior.

The musical’s run in Hong Kong has grown from an initial 40 performances to 64, following its success in mainland China, where it ran for 17 weeks in cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Maria and the von Trapp children singing “Do-Re-Mi” in a scene from “The Sound of Music.”Photo: Sound of Music

Wang and Genat noted that while the musical theater market is growing in both Hong Kong and mainland China, there has been discussion about introducing a musical version of “The Musical.” Amelie and charlie and the chocolate factory – The differences between the two remain.

Genat said Hong Kong is a very complex market. “Musicals have been happening here for a long time — it’s a developed ecosystem.”

China, she said, only recently emerged. “In the past 20 years, they have built more than 100 large-scale performing arts venues. From that perspective, it is growing rapidly. But Hong Kong has many important business and operating principles that are crucial to the commercial operation of theaters [show].

“This is a city that works well – its ticketing, its marketing, its infrastructure. That’s important because it’s definitely leading the way,” she said.

In one scene from the musical, the von Trapp children sing “Goodbye, Goodbye” to party guests.Photo: Sound of Music

“China has its traditional arts, its circus, its opera, and those things work very well. Musicals are relatively new in the market, but they appeal to the system and do well.

Wang added: “We show in more cities in the mainland Chinese market, but in Hong Kong we show for a longer period of time. Both are good, but different.

Although the longest running sound of music On the mainland, single-city runs last about five weeks – typically running two to three weeks – in Hong Kong it’s eight weeks.

“Hong Kong audiences are very appreciative,” Wang said. “First of all, they appreciate this high-quality performance, and their performance viewing habits are also very good.

“The musical theater market in general is only going to grow.”

The Sound of Music, Xiqu Center Grand Theatre, 88 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Deadline is June 9th.

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