The Hong Kong Ballet performs The Merry Widow A revival of the smash-hit production by The Australian Ballet

May 24, 2013

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The Hong Kong Ballet performs The Merry Widow

A revival of the smash-hit production by The Australian Ballet


Photograph : Almond Chu

Ever since Ronald Hynd created The Merry Widow for The Australian Ballet back in 1975, it has been one of the most successful ballets in the Company’s history. When The Hong Kong Ballet’s Principal Dancer Jin Yao visited The Australian Ballet in November 2011 as part of an artistic exchange programme, she danced the role of Hanna in their 389th performance of the ballet in five performances. This time around, The Merry Widow will be performed by The Hong Kong Ballet here in Hong Kong, and the Cultural Centre’s Grand Theatre from 14th – 16th June 2013 (5 performances).

The Merry Widow became part of The Hong Kong Ballet’s repertoire in 2007, shortly after John Meehan took up his post as Artistic Director of the Company. When The Merry Widow was created in 1975, the role of the male lead, Count Danilo, was created specifically for John Meehan who was a Principal Dancer at The Australian Ballet at the time. Subsequently, Meehan went on to perform the ballet many times on tour, partnering the incomparable Margot Fonteyn in the role of Hanna. The ballet carries great significance for the former Artistic Director.

Adapted from Franz Lehár’s romantic operetta of the same name, The Merry Widow has won standing ovations, rave reviews and many dedicated fans in its time. Set during Paris’s glorious heyday, this ballet presents an irresistible mix of comedy and romance. Desmond Heeley’s opulent costumes and sets are breathtaking, and the action on stage will be further enhanced by live accompaniment by Hong Kong Sinfonietta, led by guest conductor Philip Ellis.

Tickets are available at all URBTIX outlets and via the URBTIX website. Suitable for adults and children (ages 6 and up) alike.

For ages 6+

The Merry Widow

The story begins at a Grand Ball, hosted by the Pontevedrian Embassy in Paris. Pontevedro is almost bankrupt, so the country’s diplomats hatch a plan to make the rich and beautiful Pontevedrian widow Hanna Glawari fall in love again with her old flame and fellow countryman Prince Danilo. This will ensure that the widow’s wealth remains in Pontevedro, and will save the country from ruin. As the festivities begin, the stage is set for a whirlwind of decadence, love, and intrigue.

Ronald Hynd’s choreography will showcase the entire Company with its swirling waltzes, intimate pas de deux, and the French can-can. The lavish décor and glamorous gowns designed by Desmond Heeley are complemented by Franz Lehár’s enchanting music to offer you a feast of Parisian charm and romance of days gone by.

The Merry Widow

14th-16th June, 2013   7:30PM
15th -16th June, 2013   2:30PM
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

$1000 (VIP), $600, $400, $260, $140
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
Ticketing enquiries          2734 9009
Credit card booking        2111 5999
Programme enquiries      2105 9724

Choreography: Ronald Hynd
Répétiteur: Mark Kay
Scenario & Staging: Robert Helpmann
Music: Franz Lehár
Original Book & Lyrics: Victor Léon & Leo Stein
Music Arrangement & Orchestration: John Lanchbery
Set & Costume Design: Desmond Heeley
Lighting: Billy Chan
Live Accompaniment by Hong Kong Sinfonietta, conducted by Philip Ellis


A Preview of The Merry Widow

The Hong Kong Ballet‘s Artistic Director Madeleine Onne will share with the audience the ideas and inspiration behind this ballet. There will also be a dance preview performed by the Company’s dancers.

Date: 4.6.2013
Time: 7:30PM-8:45PM
Venue: Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Suitable for ages 6 and above. Conducted in English. Free admission.
Limited audience capacity, advanced registration required.

Registration & Enquiries 2105 9724 /

Pre-performance Talk

Date: 14.6.2013
Time: 6:50PM
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The programme is about 20 minutes long.
Free admission with The Merry Widow tickets.
Conducted in English with Cantonese translation.

Backstage Tour

Date: 15.6.2013
Time: After matinée performance
Venue: Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Only for ticket holders who are Friends of The Hong Kong Ballet. Advanced registration required.

About The Hong Kong Ballet

One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, The Hong Kong Ballet is becoming internationally recognised as a world-class institution with an identity that fully reflects the unique vitality of Hong Kong. The Company turns 34 in 2013, and over time has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with accomplished dancers, a strong repertoire, and sparkling, technically challenging productions.

The Company’s artistic team is led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, with over 40 dancers originating from all over the world. The Company performs a repertoire that combines classical masterpieces and acclaimed contemporary works from the 19th to 21st centuries, as well as new commissions. Since 1997, The Hong Kong Ballet has raised its international profile by conducting over 30 tours; in the summer of 2012, The Hong Kong Ballet toured the United States and Canada, performing at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and in Aspen, Montreal and Santa Fe. An integral part of the Company’s activities is an extensive education and community outreach programme, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as to the wider community of Hong Kong.

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