Ice Hockey 5s Fast and Furious

The action will be fast and furious at the Ice Hockey 5s, now in it’s twenty third year and celebrating it’s tenth anniversary at MegaBox. Over 1,600 players from nearly 90 teams and 14 countries will be participating in the frenetic action.

The original 5s tournament began in 1994, when due to the size of the available ice-rinks the number of players per team was reduced from the traditional 6 to 5, hence its name. The MegaBox ice rink is of international size and the tournament reverted to 6 player teams in 2008.

This year’s Youth Division tournament takes place 24-29 April while the Adults are skates down from 1-6 May with the finals streamed live on youtube for those who can’t make it to Kowloon Bay.

Ice Hockey 5s
Date: 1-6 May, 2017
Venue: Mega Ice
Tickets: tbc

Photo: Ice Hockey 5s

I, Wu Song – A One-man Chinese Opera

Chinese opera has often been seen as an art form that tells historical tales, and that of Wu Song’s is one of the classics. Yet in this new production by The Gong Strikes One, Wu is no longer the protagonist, nor does Chinese opera take up the task to tell his story.

Instead, Wu’s story is transformed into a medium for Chinese opera to explore itself as a theatrical form of body movements and musical gestures. All utterances have been removed and Wu now becomes no more than an anonymous man on stage, called “I”.

I, Wu Song – A One-man Chinese Opera
The Gong Strikes One
Date: 8pm, 10-11 June, 2017
Venue: HK Cultural Centre, Studio Theatre
Tickets: $180, $160 from Urbtix

Tong Tik-sang Centenary Film Retrospective

It’s the centenary of the playwright Tong Tik-sang birth on the 18th June and in celebration the Hong Kong Film Archive will host 27 films adapted from his operatic works, or directed/written by Tong himself. Entitled A Century of Operatic Treasures in Film – A Tribute to Tong Tik-sang on His 100th Birth Anniversary the retrospective is split into four themes of ‘Traces of Snow in Tong’s Songs’, ‘Old Scripts Revisited’, ‘Lovesick Pairs’ and ‘Whodunits’ which lend an eclectic look at Tong’s legacy and runs from 27 May to 25 August.

Born in 1917 as Tong Kong-nin, Tong Tik-sang (1917-1959) was a playwrighting genius whose ingenuity in writing and directing significantly shaped Cantonese opera’s development and inspired Hong Kong cinema. In 1937, he came to Hong Kong to join the Kok Sin Sing Opera Troupe as a copyist, while also studying libretto writing from famed playwrights Fung Chi-fun and Mak Siu-ha and wrote his first Cantonese opera in 1938. From the 1940s onwards Tong wrote prolifically for both film and stage, penning over 400 operas during his career many of which have become timeless masterpieces that continue to impress today and form a significant part of Hong Kong’s cultural heritage.

‘Traces of Snow in Tong’s Songs’ is the main theme of the retrospective, with films featuring performances by Yam Kim-fai and Pak Suet-sin, who worked closely with Tong. Fairy In Drawing (畫裏天仙, 1957) is the signature romantic story played by the duo, in which lucid and lively music and lyrics by Tong breath life into Chinese folklore. The Naughty Couple (妻嬌郎更嬌, 1960), which touches on life and death in a light-hearted way, was the last film scripted by Tong before his passing. The melodrama Madam Wan (芸娘, 1960) sees good emerges from evil for a happy ending, thus following the classic manner of storytelling in most Chinese operas. Based on Tong’s original opera, As Luck Will Have It (運喜當頭, 1955) depicts the thoughts of ordinary folks in the vernacular and delivers some side-splitting humour.

Lee Tit’s directorship, Tong’s exquisite lyrics and Yam and Pak’s flawless performances shine through in the Cantonese opera film classic The Legend of Purple Hairpin (紫釵記, 1959). Unlike Tong’s recurring romances, the story structure of Butterfly and Red Pear Blossom (蝶影紅梨記, 1959) is original, and the lovers do not meet until the final scene. A Poor Girl (可憐女, 1959) follows dutiful concubine Pak, who upholds an unquenchable desire for truth and justice, even though she has been framed for murdering her own son. The Lotus’s Story (芙蓉傳, 1959) features Fu-yong, Poet Laureate of Jiangnan and a courageous woman ahead of her time, in which the sequence ‘Waiting for the Full Moon at the West Chamber’ is a great example of the romantic scenes played by Yam and Pak.

‘Old Scripts Revisited’ focuses on film adaptations of Tong’s period repertoires being placed in a more contemporary context. The Swallows’ Return (一年一度燕歸來, 1953) and Swallows Come Home (一年一度燕歸來, 1958) are based on the same Cantonese opera with the former a contemporary version and the latter a period work. Fong Yim-fun stars in both films, proving herself equally adept at both eras. Adapted from a period to a contemporary setting, Wealth Gone Like a Dream (十載繁華一夢銷, 1952) oozes human warmth and compassion, which makes a departure from Tong’s signature romantic libretti. The film marked the final on-screen appearance of Liu Hap-wai, known as “the head of the four comic masters”. Tong took reference from Hollywood film noir to direct Mysterious Murder (Part One / Part Two) (紅菱血 //下集, 1951) with a modern spin, in which the music is a hybrid of Cantonese opera music and Western orchestral music, highlighting a new attempt at adapting old scripts.

‘Lovesick Pairs’ presents some eternal stories of star-crossed lovers in Cantonese operatic gems. Adapted from Tong’s posthumous opera for the Sin Fung Ming Opera Troupe, Love in the Red Chamber (再世紅梅記, 1968) follows the romance between a scholar (Connie Chan Po-chu) and his lover (Nam Hung) being stymied by the murderously jealous prime mister (Leung Sing-po). Li Tit directed The Legend of Purple Hairpin (紫釵記, 1977) again with full cinematic treatment, this time featuring the young apprentices of Yam Kim-fai and Pak Suet-sin, namely Lung Kim Sung and Mui Suet-si, in which the signature sequence is masterfully crafted with elegant mise-en-scène and evolving atmospheres. The singing of Yam and Fong Yim-fun in Regret from the Spring Lantern and Feather Fan (春燈羽扇恨, 1959) mirrors the chain of obstacles often encountered in the way of love.

‘Whodunits’ features films about revealing culprits and righting wrongs, with Tong incorporating elements of mystery and suspense from the West into traditional Chinese stories. The Swallow’s Message (一年一度燕歸來, 1959) is notable for its intriguing plot twists, in which Tang Bik-wan is accused of having a secret affair with Law Kim-long and even of killing her husband. In Red Shoes Solves the Mystery Case (紅菱巧破無頭案, 1959), Poon Yat On kills his own wife to elope with Fung Wong Nui, and lays down a ruse to suggest Fung has been the victim. In A Smile of Woe (梨渦一笑九重寃 1952), the heroine (Fung, again) is wrongly convicted and gives birth to a son whilst in jail. Her son grows up and vows to exonerate his mother from the monstrous injustice. Gold-braided Fan (穿金寶扇, 1959) features Yam Kim-fai and Pak Suet-sin’s love story with twists and turns, in which Pak’s father annuls their matrimony and Pak is involved in a case of theft and murder. Fortunately she is vindicated and gets to reunite with Yam.

Professors Lau Yin-ping, Yu Siu-wah and Chan Sau-yan will review Tong’s creative career and achievements in a seminar entitled ‘The Cinematic and Operatic Art of Tong Tik-sang’ to be held at 4:30pm, 18 June at the HKFA Cinema.

A Century of Operatic Treasures in Film – A Tribute to Tong Tik-sang on His 100th Birth Anniversary

紅菱血 //下集 Mysterious Murder, Part One/Part Two (1951), 十載繁華一夢銷 Wealth Gone Like a Dream (1952), 梨渦一笑九重寃 A Smile of Woe (1952), 一年一度燕歸來 The Swallow’s Return (1953), 一樓風雪夜歸人 Return on a Snowy Night (1957),鴻運喜當頭 As Luck Will Have It (1955), 夜夜念奴嬌 Tonight and Every Night (1956), 畫裏天仙 Fairy In Drawing (1957), 一年一度燕歸來 Swallows Come Home (1958), 三審狀元妻 Three Trials of the Number One Scholar’s Wife (1958), 三年一哭二郎橋 Triennial Mourning on the Bridge (1959), 春燈羽扇恨 Regret from the Spring Lantern and Feather Fan (1959), 跨鳳乘龍 Happy Wedding (1959), 燕子啣來燕子箋 The Swallow’s Message (1959), 紅菱巧破無頭案 Red Shoes Solves the Mystery Case (1959), 穿金寶扇 Gold-braided Fan (1959), 枇杷巷口故人來 A Respectable Tutor (1959), 紫釵記 The Legend of Purple Hairpin (1959), 蝶影紅梨記 Butterfly and Red Pear Blossom (1959), 可憐女 A Poor Girl (1959), 獅吼記 The Lion’s Roar (1959), 芙蓉傳 The Lotus’s Story (1959), 芸娘 Madam Wan (1960), 妻嬌郎更嬌 The Naughty Couple (1960), 再世紅梅記 Love in the Red Chamber (1968), 紫釵記 The Legend of Purple Hairpin (1977)

All films are in Cantonese with Chinese subtitles for some lyrics only.

Bayer Leverkusen, Leicester City, Olympique Marseille at Soccer Sevens

Defending Soccer Sevens champions Aston Villa will face German newcomers Bayer Leverkusen, HKFA U-23 and competition regulars Singapore Cricket Club in an intriguing looking Group C after the draw for the May 26-28 tournament took place at Hong Kong Football Club on Tuesday.

Villa defeated West Ham United 2-0 in last year’s final to lift the trophy for a record sixth time having last been victorious in 2010. And the holders’ match against Leverkusen – the first side from Germany to compete in the tournament – promises to be one of the most interesting of the group stage.

We knew it was going to be exciting with the new teams coming in,” said Soccer Sevens Tournament Director Chris Plowman. Leverkusen are one of three debutants from Europe, with Olympique Marseille and Cagliari Calcio becoming the first teams from France and Italy respectively to feature as the tournament increases it’s international flavour.

In 2015, Atletico Madrid became the first Spanish side to appear at the tournament as they made their debut in style by lifting the Cup following a thrilling 3-2 win over West Ham after extra-time in the final.

Marseille have been drawn in Group D alongside 2015 and 2016 runners-up West Ham. Hong Kong Premier League side and 2011 winners Kitchee along with Yau Yee League Select, who represent the local amateur league complete the group.

Cagliari are in Group A, where they will meet 2009 and 2010 runners-up Glasgow Rangers, who return after a two-year absence. South Korea’s FC Seoul, who reached the semi-final on their debut, and Hong Kong Football Club make up the group.

We wanted to become more international,” added Plowman. “We were fortunate enough to get Atletico Madrid in 2015 and they were a just a revelation. They played fantastic football and came back in the final from 2-0 down to win. That got us excited and we thought let’s carry that on and go out to more of the European leagues and see if this event will be of interest to them and they all responded positively.”

For local Premier League side and hosts Hong Kong Football Club the group will be a huge test against sides with contrasting styles from all over the world. “It’s a tough draw, but we’re looking to [get through] and play in the Main tournament,” said HKFC captain Andrew Wylde

It’s good fun, but it’s going to be tough. You get close to them and they’ll spin you, you give them time and they’ll turn at you. The fitness is one thing, but it’s the ability to stick with them with their quality.”

English Premier League Champions Leicester – winners of the Shield last year – have been paired with 2016 semi-finalists Wellington Phoenix, Japan’s Kashima Antlers and HKFC Captain’s Select. The match-up with Wellington marks a repeat of last year’s quarter-final in which the A-League side from New Zealand ran out 2-1 winners over the English side.

In the Masters tournament, holders Citi All Stars, who won the competition for the first-time last year after beating local side USRC 3-1 in the final, have been drawn in Group A alongside Singapore Cricket Club Tigers, HKFC Masters, Discovery Bay and last year’s beaten finalists.

In Group B, Playon Pros – who will bring with them an exciting line-up of former English Premier League players, have been paired with Wallsend Boys Club, Kowloon Cricket Club Veterans, HKFC Chairman’s Select and Yau Yee League Masters.

The format is great because there’s always lots of action on the pitch and the games are relatively short,” added Hong Kong Football Association Chief Executive Mark Sutcliffe. There’s a lot of space on the pitch for people to exploit so it’s a very exciting format. There are some fantastic teams and big names, so this is a great opportunity for some of our players to test themselves against players from other countries.”

Soccer Sevens 2017

Group A
Cagliari Calcio, Glasgow Rangers, FC Seoul, Hong Kong Football Club

Group B
Leicester City, Wellington Phoenix, Kashima Antlers, HKFC Captain’s Select

Group C
Aston Villa, Bayer Leverkusen, HKFA U-23, Singapore Cricket Club

Group D
Marseille, West Ham, Kitchee, Yau Yee League Select

Masters Tournament

Group A
Citi All Stars, Singapore Cricket Club Tigers, HKFC Masters, Discovery Bay, USRC

Group B
Playon Pros, Wallsend Boys Club, Kowloon Cricket Club Veterans, HKFC Chairman’s Select, Yau Yee League Masters.

Soccer Sevens

Date: 26-28 May, 2017
Venue: HK Football Club
Tickets: $300 (Weekend pass), $160 (Day ticket), Free (Friday night) from Ticketflap
More info:
26 May (Fri): 6 – 9pm; exhibition youth matches start at 4.45pm
27 May (Sat): 9am – 7.40pm
28 May (Sun): 9am – 6pm

Da Bang

Da Bang HK Tour 2017
Date: 4pm, 16 April, 2017
Venue: Central Harbourfront
Tickets: $3,999, $2,999, $1,499, $1,199, $999, $799, $499

UCI Track Cycling World Championships

The 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships will take place at the HK Velodrome from the 12-16 April (Wednesday to Sunday this week). 300 elite cyclists from over 40 countries will gather to compete for the famous rainbow jersey, symbol of UCI World Champion, which can be worn in every race while World Champion. This is the largest track cycling event ever hosted in Hong Kong.

Three World Champion are up for grabs on the opening day of the 5-day event: in the Women’s Scratch, Men’s Team Sprint and Women’s Team Sprint. London 2012 Olympic medalist and defending Asian Champion Sarah Lee Wai-sze will compete on home turf with fellow Hong Kong team members including Diao Xiao-juan, Cheung King-lok, Leung Chun-wing and Vivian Ma Wing-yu. Strong contenders from abroad include Team Great Britain’s Olympic Champions Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Steven Burke and Callum Skinner; Australias UCI World Champions Elinor Rebecca, Alex Porter, Callum Scotson and Sam Welsford; and Chinese athletes Zhong Tian-shi, Guo Shuang and Lin Junhong.

Mr. Leung Hung-tak, Chairman of HK Cycling Association said, “It’s our honor to host the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong. Local riders will definitely endeavour to obtain the best possible result in the Championships. We encourage the public to join the event and cheer for the Hong Kong Team!”

Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Session 1- 15:00
W- Team Pursuit- Qualifying
M- Team Pursuit- Qualifying
Estimated finish time- 17:35

Session 2- Starts 19:00 (Opening ceremony 18:40)
W- Team Sprint- Qualifying, 1st round, Finals & Ceremony *
M- Team Sprint- Qualifying, 1st round, Finals & Ceremony *
W- Scratch- Final & Ceremony
M- Team Pursuit- 1st round
Estimated finish time- 21:30

Thursday, 13 April 2017
Session 3- Starts 15:00
W- Sprint- Qualifying, 1/16 & 1/8
M- Keirin- 1st round & Repechages
Estimated finish time- 17:15

Session 4- Starts 19:00
W- Team Pursuit- 1st round, Finals & Ceremony
W- Sprint- 1/4
M- Keirin- 2nd round, Finals & Ceremony
M- Team Pursuit- Final & Ceremony
M- Scratch- Final & Ceremony
Estimated finish time- 21:50

Friday, 14 April 2017
Session 5- Starts 13:30
M- Sprint- Qualifying, 1/16 & 1/8
W- Omnium- 1/2
M- Individual Pursuit- Qualifying
Estimated finish time- 17:00

Session 6- Starts 19:00
M- Points Race- Final & Ceremony
W- Sprint- Semi-Finals, 3-4 Places, Finals & Ceremony
W- Omnium- 2/2 & Ceremony
M- Individual Pursuit- 3-4 Places, Finals & Ceremony
Estimated finish time- 22:10

Saturday, 15 April 2017
Session 7- Starts 12:30
W- 500m TT- Qualifying *
M- Sprint- Quarter-Finals
M- Omnium- 1/2
W- Individual Pursuit- Qualifying
Estimated finish time- 15:20

Session 8- Starts 19:00
W- 500m TT- Final & Ceremony
M- Omnium- 2/2 & Ceremony
M- Sprint- Semi-Finals, 3-4 Places, Finals & Ceremony
W- Madison- Final & Ceremony *
W- Individual Pursuit- 3-4 Places, Finals & Ceremony
Estimated finish time- 22:25

Sunday, 16 April 2017
Session 9- Starts 10:00
W- Keirin- 1st round & Repechages
M- Kilo TT- Qualifying *
Estimated finish time- 11:10

Session 10- Starts 14:00
W- Keirin- 2nd round, 7-12 Places, Final & Ceremony
W- Points Race- Final & Ceremony
M- Kilo TT- Final & Ceremony
M- Madison- Final & Ceremony
Estimated finish time- 17:00

UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Date: 12-16 April, 2017
Venue: HK Veledrome
Tickets: $400, $300, $270, $200, $160, $120 from Ticketflap