I see lots of opera in Oslo again. The Oslo Opera House has a beautiful outlook and its production is super-good!
There are standing tickets in Oslo Opera House and they are cheap compare to everything-expensive-Norway. A standing ticket is just NOK$100 (less than HK$100, 2015 summer ratio). Theatres in Hong Kong don’t even sell standing tickets.
There is a long wooden fence in the standing ticket area in Oslo Opera House and the standing audiences can rest on the wooden fence to watch the show. I stood there for a whole night and there are no standing audiences disturb the sitting audiences in front of them even they are tired of standing for all night.
The theatre supervisors (especially government body) in Hong Kong always hold a high wariness toward audiences. There are many rules and surveillance on the audiences and the supervisor body just want no complains and ask for no progress. ‘let the audiences to have a pleasure night’ is not their priority. Can Hong Kong has more trust on their audiences and relax the regulations and make some breakthroughs just like Norway?
I saw The Barber of Seville, Don Giovanni and Káťa Kabanová. There are English subtitles and they are easy to follow. The songs are beautiful. There are native Norwegian elements in classic opera script: the young lovers run away on BOAT (with a Norway national flag), a common transport for the originated-pirate Norwegians, but not on CAR. It’s so cool to see a prefect mix between traditional and native style!
Don Giovanni has made me a great impression. There is a live orchestra and the songs are all sung in a high pitch classic opera tone but the customs and background are all in modern style. There are policemen in modern uniform, an ambulance and red-white plastic tape to enclose the scene after the murder in the first act. There are all modern elements except the classic opera singing, very indulging!
Don Giovanni has only one backdrop, a giant cross hill. There are millions small light bulbs put on the cross hill. When the light on, it is a dance floor and when the light off, it is a grave yard. Difference scenes are created by light and dark and just amazing!
Everybody sings excellent. From a high pitch to a low pitch then back to a high pitch without difficulty. It’s a nice hearing experience.
There are always 2 layers (or even more) in Don Giovanni. At least one singer will sing in the front (or back) stage and the other supporting roles are busy—such as the policemen are removing the body, dancers are dancing on the dance floor…super bustling. It is an opposite of the classic ‘sing and stop’ approve and reflect the ‘Ultra-fast rhythm’ in modern days.
There is always a helpless feeling when I see a HK production. The organiser (especially a local HK drama group) always complain about the expensive rent, insufficient theatres and the ignorance of government in the end of the show. I as an audience only have the same helpless feeling just like them.
The actors in Europe always give me a pure feeling. Seems like they can really concentrate on art and don’t have to worry about expensive rent nor troublesome relationship. It’s really beautiful…
I really hope this fantasy can bloom in Hong Kong. Art would be included in normal norms and artists can have a higher respect in society. It would just be great if the HK people like art as they love food.
Culture is the root of every one and it’s important and can’t be measured on profit nor loss. It has to be keep doing even if there isn’t any money benefit. (but usually would harvest a great social value)