To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Hong Kong

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Time for the annual culture infusion .. who said HK was a cultural desert !! The 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival is here!!

Every November when the program is published we (well me) subject it to a rigerous challenge process: ie If I could choose only one performance from this years events what would it be ? similarly if I could choose only 2 or 3 performances . Having shortlisted I then consider which dates work (who says I am not systematic!!) and this years budget.(who says I am a spendthrift!!)

I have taken to focus on one genre each year (simple) and this year it was "OPERA". It was a toss up between The Threepenny Opera (Brecht/Weill) or 108 Heroes.The latter was really tempting but an Opera about Mack the Knife was irresistable (actually the "3 pennies" was the compelling argument)

And since I didn't write it up, last year we did jazz and thoroughly enjoyed it. We saw "Nina Simone Remembered " . The performers included her daughter Simone (confusing isn't it) Keeper of the Flame), Grammy winner Patti Austin(My Baby Just cares For Me) , Dianne Reeves (Be My Husband) and Lizz Wright (I love you Porky).The linked music says it all!!

Now I don't want you going away with the idea that we only go to the theatre once a year. OH NO WE DON'T! This Christmas we also went to see Pirates of the Panto at the Cultural Centre in Wanchai. OH YES WE DID! . Whilst this was undoubtedly theatre it may not be considered as cultural by all. The audience demographics were a surprise. There was as expected a strong British contingent; lots of families (including fusion families) but also Canadians and Americans(No doubt regretting independence from the Empire ?). Now did we enjoy the show OH NO WE DIDN'T! In fact #3 (aged 2.5) walked out before the end of the show OH YES HE DID! . Clearly it wasn't working for him. This was not the case however when 3 days later we went to see Walking with Dinosaurs at the Hong Kong Expo Arena. Not only could #3 name the dinosaurs but he was up for more when it finished (He didn't quite master the standing ovation bit though)

Anyway back to this year. #3 graciously allowed us to go to the Arts Festival even though we didn't take him although he did have a case of buyers remorse requiring a pre curtain call to confirm that we would be coming home after the show. The Berliner Ensemble were excellent and why limit yourself to 2 languages when you can reach on 3 (German with English and Cantonese subtitles!). She (the wife) really enjoyed it and much to my surprise confided that she had thought the Russian opera 2 years ago was not to her taste (funnily enough Stalin didn't like it either).

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