Leveraging on the great success of last year special 20th edition, Le French May 2013 will present a selection of world class art and cultural programmes including around 50 performances, 18 exhibitions, and 50 movie screenings; unleashing the best of French culture. The 21st edition will take place across Hong Kong and Macau from April 17 to June 23. Tickets go on sale from Wednesday, March 27.
Organised by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, in collaboration with the Alliance Française and with the support of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong, Le French May 2013 is proud to continuously present a series of spectacular programmes ranging from visual arts, opera, classical and modern music, contemporary dance, theatre, cinema, fashion with Le French Fashion May as well as culinary arts with Le French GourMay.
Press conference of Le French May held at Mandarin Oriental, Macau
After the city's most acclaimed exhibition of Picasso's Masterpieces last year, "Napoleon and the Decorative Arts: Treasures of the Imperial Palaces" will cause an unrivalled sensation in Hong Kong and Macau this year. This once in a lifetime exhibition will be the first worldwide display of a unique collection of Empire style furniture and decorative arts that adorned Napoleon palaces during the First Empire (1804-1815). The Imperial throne, the original piece of furniture used during the military campaigns, candelabras, chandeliers, etc, will be exhibited outside of France for the first time. The exhibition will take place at Macao Museum of Arts from April 18 to July 14.
Mr. Arnaud Barthèlemy, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau said, "Thanks to the strong and constant commitment of our partners in the promotion of French art and culture, Le French May confirmed its place as one of the most expected cultural events in Asia. I am very proud of what has been achieved and feel more than enthusiastic about the 21st edition, which will present an ambitious programme building on the success of the 20th edition. May I take this opportunity to invite new friends to join us and enjoy this cultural exchange."
"Napoleon and the Decorative Arts, Treasures of the Imperial Palaces"
will be the first worldwide display of the major treasures of the Napoleonic legend
(Photo Paris, Mobilier national / Isabelle Bideau)
Back to 1920's: The Glamorous and richest period of the 20th Century
This year, Le French May will focus on one particular theme: the 1920's, a boiling period for art, fashion and society. With an extremely dense programme, Le French May 2013 will immerse the spectators in the heart of the "Crazy years." From Jean Cocteau to Poulenc, from cabaret to cinema's masterpieces, the 1920's was a period marked by an unprecedented aspiration for freedom, creation and the renewal of all codes putting Paris at the center of the artistic world.
"Jean Cocteau, Spirit of the 20th Century Parisian Scene" exhibition pays homage to the French graphic poet Jean Cocteau. To pay a tribute to the artist, 50 years after his death, this show features over 150 major works, allowing the audience to rediscover this legendary multi-talented artist of the 1920's who widely inspired major artists of the century. Among them, we will present artworks from Picasso, Matisse, Warhol and the magnificent sword created by the jeweler Cartier for the poet.
Being described as "half bad boy, half monk", Francis Poulenc is surely one of the great melodists of the 20th century. France's finest keyboard players on harpsichord, piano and organ will join the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, to pay tribute to the true genius of Francis Poulenc in the "Poulenc in Paris, Concertos for Piano, Organ & Harpsichord" concert.
Clock representing "The toilet of Psyche" Circa 1805
(Photo Paris, Mobilier national / Isabelle Bideau)
Organised by the Alliance Française of Hong Kong, the exhibition "Photographers of Elegance, The Séeberger Brothers 1909-1939" will showcase an outstanding collection of photographs, revealing the secret of French elegance and fashion among the French high society, fashionistas and Hollywood movie stars in the 1920's.
This year, the Hong Kong Theatre Noir, with the acclaimed French singer Mouron, will create a great burlesque show "Cabaret des Années Folles, Music, Comedy and Dance Performances from the Roaring Twenties" introducing French Cabaret. Don't miss the chance to experience the mysterious flavour of the Parisian nights, mixing dance, music and performances on May 10, 11 and 12 in Yuen Long Theatre.
Back to 1920's (EDKO films)
Echoing the theme "Back to 1920's", the cinema programme "A Touch of Madness the 20's" will feature a selection of masterpieces from the 1920's, some modern French movies that take place in this period which showcase the incredible energy of that time, such as "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky", "La Vie en Rose", etc.
Highlight on the Amazing Bourgogne (Burgundy)
Every year Le French May focuses on one particular region. Le French May 2013 will honour Bourgogne: rich of millenary history and heritage, of very prolific culture, la Bourgogne will be represented through numerous events, as well as in Le French Gourmay. Through the label "Amazing Bourgogne", Le French May will showcase the art and the creation of the Burgundy region: from the classical "Quatuor Manfred Meets RTHK Quartet", to the spectacular drum show "Les Tambours du Bronx" and the installation of contemporary artist Cécile Bart in the Landmark Atrium. Hong Kong will, for sure, beat at the Burgundy rhythm this spring!
Installation of contemporary artist Cécile Bart
Diversified programmes as a flavour of French Art and Culture
The French May is open to all: to all major artistic fields, from traditional to more contemporary creations and to all audiences, from art connoisseurs to people who are usually not visiting cultural institutions.
Visual art programmes of Le French May aim to attract and surprise the largest possible audience: we all recall the monumental sculptures of Bernar Venet in Tsim Sha Tsui and the installation of Nathalie Decoster's poetic works in Central. From the Burgundy artist Cécile Bart's installation will definitively catch the public's eyes, with a spectacular tailor-made installation in the Landmark's atrium from May 9 to May 26. Cécile Bart plays with the surface, colour, light and space with great precision as she liberates the canvas from the traditional frontality of painting.
French tableware and decorative arts from the 18th century will be presented in Hong Kong
"Splendour of The French Table, Heritage and Modernity of Tableware throughout the Centuries" exhibition which will be held at Elements above the Kowloon Station from May 4 to June 9 offers a history of French tableware and decorative arts from the 18th century to the present day, highlighting the development of decorative arts and contemporary creations by famous historical manufacturers and luxury French maisons.
Following the acclaimed Carmen in 2012, Le French May and Opera Hong Kong are proud to present "The Tales of Hoffmann, Jacques Offenbach's Opera Fantastique in 3 Acts with Prologue and Epilogue" in a production from Opera de Monte-Carlo, conducted by Benjamin Pionnier and directed by Jean-Louis Grinda. Along with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the Opera Hong Kong Chorus, the cast is composed of international stars as well as top local singers.
Dance programme will be a "must" for this year again: Company Käfig returns to Le French May 2013 with its latest and highly acclaimed production "Yo Gee Ti", blending hip hop with established contemporary dance styles at Hong Kong Cultural Centre on May 30 and May 31.
Le French May bringing art to the community
Striving to reach out to the widest possible audience and to contribute to art pedagogy, Le French May initiates educational programmes and offers different activities inviting the audience to meet the artists through workshops and master classes. In 2012, around 4500 festival tickets were distributed overall. More than 2500 local secondary students benefitted from the Jockey Club Picasso educational program through in-depth docent tourism, and over 2000 tickets were given out to local schools and universities. The 2013 edition will follow the same line, offering the youngest and underprivileged the opportunity to enjoy art and culture through dedicated programmes.
Please check out the full programmes of Le French May Arts Festival 2013 at www.frenchmay.com.
Tickets go on sale from Wednesday, March 27 available online at www.urbtix.hk and www.hkticketing.com.