Keeping you up to date with the latest from the KT Wong Foundation.

KT Wong Foundation and Beijing Music Festival presented the “Masterclass: In conversation with Robert Carsen”

On 13th October the KT Wong Foundation introduced a new in depth interview series called Masterclass: In Conversation at the 19th Beijing Music Festival. Robert Carsen, one of the world’s leading opera directors opened the inaugural session coinciding with the China premiere performance of his seminal production of Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream from the Aix Festival. 

Respected journalist and presenter James Chau interviewed Robert Carsen

(10th October 2016, Beijing) The KT Wong Foundation, leaders in developing and delivering new and exciting cultural exchanges between China and the west since 2007, presented the first of a new series of In Conversation in partnership with the Beijing Music Festival. The masterclass, which is part of the programme of supporting events at this year’s Beijing Music Festival, will be a unique opportunity for audiences in China to hear from the legendary Canadian director Robert Carsen.

Mr. Carsen will direct his highly-praised production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Poly Theatre as part of the festival. In the conversation with James Chau he discussed his life, his work and his inspirations from a career spanning thirty years. This include video footage of many of his signature productions from leading opera houses around the world.

Lady Linda Wong Davies, Founder and Chairman of the KT Wong Foundations said: “Robert Carsen is recognized as one of the outstanding directors of his generation and I have long been an admirer of his extraordinarily moving and thought-provoking opera productions. His unique talents as both a director and artist have given audiences from around the world some of the most inspirational and revelatory interpretations of opera today. The Foundation is proud to be presenting this event celebrating Robert’s life’s work and introducing it to audiences in China”. 

This masterclass is part of a larger series of events, which was be presented by the KT Wong Foundation as part of the Beijing Music Festival in the coming years to explore the diverse skills and achievements of the leading professionals in opera today.  This will include leading set designers, conductors, singers and composers and starts here with the key role of opera director.

The masterclass series offered a unique opportunity for listeners to understand the complex creative functions within opera and learn from the greatest masters what is needed to create productions at the very highest level.  It also is an insight into the relevance ofopera in today’s world, and how it continues to be an important reflection of society.

The masterclass series was conceived by the KT Wong Foundation, an organisation that has led the way in delivering boundary-pushing cultural, artistic and educational exchanges between China and the West, Since its launch in 2007. The Foundation has also established itself as a leading supporter of young musical talent in China, Europe and the US.

The masterclass series reflects the strong partnership between the KT Wong Foundation and the Beijing Music Festival in bringing world-class opera, and music-making, directors and productions to Beijing as part of the festival in future years.

It took place with the kind support of Chao Hotel at 11.00am on the 13th of October in its newly opened facilities.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is coming to Beijing Music festival!

In February 2016, the Beijing Music Festival announced its extensive cooperation with the renowned Festival d’Aix en Provence in the next 5 years. Benjamin Britten’s opera “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the first project after the announcement, will be unveiled at the BMF this year at the Poly Theatre on Oct 15th and 16th.

This unique cultural milestone was conceived by the pioneering KT Wong Foundation, an organisation that has led the way in delivering boundary-pushing cultural, artistic and educational exchanges between China and the West since its launch in 2007. As well as a commitment to promoting cultural relations, the Foundation has also established itself as a leading supporter of young musical talent in China, Europe and the US. Under the leadership of Founder and Chairman Lady Linda Wong Davies, the organisation has been a longtime supporter of both the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Beijing Music Festival, and worked tirelessly over the past three years to bring them together.

In addition the Foundation has been introducing the work of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence to Chinese audiences since December 2014 with a series of film screenings in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin of some of the Festival’s previous seminal productions. These extraordinary productions have included Patrice Chéreau’s chilling production of Strauss’ Elektra, The Robert Carsen sparkling revival of A Midsummer Nights Dream and Robert Lepage’s water-filled production of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale.

Lady Davies said: “This is a huge commitment by both the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Beijing Music Festival and is a fine example of the cultural bridges we are helping to build and develop between China and the rest of the world.

“The Foundation are proud to have helped this collaboration, which offers exciting opportunities for audiences and artists, particularly the young artists in China.

Masterclass: In Conversation with Robert Carsen – Celebrating 30 Years in Opera in Beijing.

The KT Wong foundation and Beijing Music Festival are proud to present Masterclass: In Conversation with Robert Carsen – Celebrating 30 Years in Opera. It will host by James Chau and hosted at CHAO Sanlitun on 13th October.

Robert Carsen was born in Canada and trained as an actor in Toronto and the UK. His work as a director has led to numerous, acclaimed productions worldwide.

Recent productions include: Singin’ in the Rain (Theatre du Chatelet); La Fanciulla del West, CO2, Don Giovanni, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (La Scala); Pique Dame (Zurich); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rigoletto (Festival d’Aix En Provence); Die Zauberfloete (Baden-Baden); Das Rheingold (Barcelona);  L’Amour des Trois Oranges, Macbeth (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Falstaff (The Met Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House), JJR (Citoyen de Genève), Richard III (Geneva); Makropoulos Case (Nurnberg, Strasbourg, La Fenice); Agrippina, Platee, The Turn of the Screw, (Theater an der Wien); My Fair Lady (Chatelet, Mariinsky Theatre), Rinaldo, L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Glyndebourne); Richard III (Antwerp, Dusseldorf, Strasbourg); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ENO, Barcelona, La Scala); Ariadne auf Naxos (Munich, Berlin, Copenhagen); Armide (Champs Elysees); Candide (Chatelet, co-production with La Scala/ENO, also Tokyo, Nice); Dialogues des Carmelites (Covent Garden, La Scala, Madrid, Netherlands, Vienna, Canadian Opera, Cologne. Antwerp, Theatre an der Wien, Chicago, Nice); Tannhäuser (Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona); Die Zauberflote, Capriccio, Les Boréades, Rusalka, Alcina, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Lohengrin, Nabucco, I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, Manon Lescaut (Opera de Paris); Fidelio, Carmen (Amsterdam); Der Ring des Nibelungen (also with La Fenice and Liceu), Otello, Falstaff and Macbeth (Cologne); Der Rosenkavalier (Salzburg); La Traviata (to reopen the new Teatro la Fenice), Elektra (Florence, Tokyo, Paris); Eugene Onegin (Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco); Katya Kabanova (La Scala, Madrid, La Scala); Mitridate (Brussels, Vienna); Orfeo ed Euridice (Chicago, Toronto); Mother Courage (Piccolo Teatro Milan), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (New York), The Beautiful Game (West End), etc.

In 2010, Wagner’s tetralogy “Der Ring des Nibelungen”, directed by Carsen, was staged in Shanghai and created a huge sensation. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be his debut in Beijing.Marking the first appearance of the pivotal 20th-century opera in China. Incidentally, it will be the third opera by Britten to be staged at BMF, following “Peter Grimes” and “Noye’s Fludde”that were performed three years ago.

LD’s dinner w Benedict Cumberbatch and Jiang Wen

On 11 July, LD had a relaxed dinner with Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter, the Chinese top director and actor Jiang Wen, his wife Zhou Yun, also a famous actor, in restaurant Park Chinois in London.

Benedict Cumberbatch took a break from the shooting of BBC series “Sherlock” and go back to London to attend the dinner.

LD’s sister Clara Wong, BC’s friend Adam Ackland also attended the dinner.

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Supporter of the Foundation, Dies

We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Philippine de Rothschild, an extraordinary woman who broke through a male-dominated wine industry by carrying on the work of her father and helping to transform and modernise the wine industry. Château Mouton Rothschild is now one of the largest wineries in the world with vineyards on three continents.

But her legacy also lives on in the arts. “The Baroness”, as she was known to many, was also a very generous patron of the arts not just in France but throughout Europe. In 2012 she donated a large double magnum to be auctioned at the Royal Jockey Club’s Community Box Charity fetching a record breaking sum. In 2013 her legendary magnanimity extended to the KT Wong Foundation’s special dinner to celebrate the first PARSIFAL opera staged in China, by flying in a few dozen bottles of dozens of bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine – their top wine – from Hong Kong.

Another example of her dedication and love of the arts was the private dinner she held for Lang Lang in 2013 for his first performance in Bordeaux. The dinner at the beautiful chateau was crowned by the presentation of a Jeroboam (a bottle large enough to hold 6 regular bottles of wine) of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild – the year Lang Lang was born, and as it turns out one of the greatest years for vintages of the century!

These actions were typical of her generosity and she supported the foundation’s work many times since its founding. May she rest in peace.

Proms interview appears in The Telegraph

Telegraph Article

A recent article in The Telegraph includes content from a recent interview with KT Wong Founder Lady Linda Davies about the China Philharmonic’s BBC Proms debut.