27th Macao Arts Festival Opens 30th April

The Macao Art Festival gets off to a flying start with A Midsummer Night's Dream (Photo provided by Cultural Affairs Bureau)

The 27th Macao Arts Festival (MAF) - organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and supported by the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM - Teledifusão de Macau, Air Macau and MGM Macau - will be held from 30th April to 29th May. Themed 'Time', this edition of MAF presents 27 wonderful shows and artistic exhibitions plus a comprehensive outreach programme, in a total of over 100 activities adopting the slogan 'Reshape your Imagination. Experience the Spirit of the Times'.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the Western world's literary giant William Shakespeare and of the Ming Dynasty's renowned playwright Tang Xianzu. The MAF will present 'Thematic Highlights' in tribute to the two exalted wordsmiths.

The Festival starts with the Bard's romantic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, rendered by the Shakespeare Theatre Company from the USA, and draws to a close with an adaptation of Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most renowned tragedies, which will be presented by Third World Bunfight from South Africa. Other staged plays will include Tang Xianzu's acclaimed Excerpts from The Peony Pavilion, performed by the Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe of Mainland China, and the romantic tragedy The Legend of the Purple Hairpin, performed by renowned Macao Cantonese Opera artist Chu Chan Wa and other local Cantonese Opera stars. The event also presents Micro-Shakespeare and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) encouraging audiences to explore in depth the masterpieces of these literary giants.

A variety of outreach activities will be held prior to the Festival: 'A Dialogue between Masters - Wu Hsing-Kuo x Tang Shu-Wing: Searching for the Contemporary Meaning of Shakespeare'. And Professor Katrine K. Wong, Associate Professor of English at the University of Macau, will hold talks that explore the dramaturgical significance of music in and of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Meanwhile, A Midsummer Night's Dream will include a backstage tour, which can enable audiences to have a closer view of sets, costumes and theatre props. In the workshop '1 Night! Shakespeare', the audience will experience Shakespeare's poetic charms and romance through the eyes, ears - and even taste buds!

Local performances of this edition of the Festival include Shelf Life, a combination of visual art and installation; the musical performance The Fairy Tales from the World of Chaos; the uplifting experimental concert Journey to the Last Frontier - Concert; the satirical Patuá play A Tea for a Dream; Mu Guiying's Battling in Hongzhou by the Macao Kaifong Cantonese Opera Juvenile Troupe, which inherits the essence and aestheticism of intangible cultural heritage; and the play Someone from Outlaws of the Marsh featuring elements from Cantonese Opera.

Tickets for the 27th MAF are now available. 24-hour booking hotline: Macao (+853) 2855 5555; Hong Kong (+852) 2380 5083; Mainland China (+86) 1392 6911 111. Booking website: www.macauticket.com. For more information, please visit: www.icm.gov.mo/fam/27/en