In collaboration with Opera Hong Kong and OperaLab as part of the French May Arts Festival and with the support of the French Consulate, HKUST is happy to present Dr Miracle (Le Docteur Miracle, 1857), a one-act comic opera written by Georges Bizet when he was just eighteen for a competition run by the master of French operetta, Jacques Offenbach. A joint winner with Charles Lecocq, the opera was performed eleven times at Offenbach's Bouffes-Parisiens theatre. More operetta than opera, and only about an hour in length, Dr Miracle is a comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously, yet still shows early evidence of the talent of the future composer of Carmen.
Reset in Hong Kong and performed here for the first time, Dr Miracle tells the timeless story of a young woman in love with a boy her overbearing father thinks unsuitable — only a doctor or lawyer will do — but, despite the attractions of a vain and flirty stepmother, love finds a way through various disguises, a poisoned possibly omelette, and a fake doctor with a miracle cure.
Dr Miracle is an accessible and laugh-out-loud introduction to the world of French opera and operetta, and a newly discovered gem for those that know Bizet’s other, more famous, works.
* Dr Miracle will be followed by the Paris-written one-act comic opera Rita, a delicious farce written at the end of Gaetano Donizetti’s life, while he was living in Paris. Donizetti’s music and Gustave Vaëz’s French libretto result in an Italian take on French opéra-comique with a story so familiar that it could be set anywhere — even Hong Kong!
Rita owns a small restaurant and she happens to have two husbands too! She believes the first husband died in an accident, instead he had run away to Canada. During their relationship, he hadn’t treated her very well, something which — with her new freedom — she now takes out on her timid second husband. As far as Husband#1 knows, Rita is dead too. He’s coming back to get her death certificate and be free to marry again. Husband#2 witnesses the reappearance of his predecessor, clearly very much alive and married, and sees it as a chance to escape his marriage to the tyrannical Rita. The two men meet and agree to play a special game: the winner will keep Rita as his wife forever. It goes without saying that both will try hard to lose!
The running time of the performance is approximately 75 minutes for Dr Miracle and 55 minutes for Rita, both operas are in one act, with intermission. Sung respectively in French and Italian with English dialogue and Chinese and English surtitles.
Creative Team List
Director: Peter Gordon
Musical Director: Marco Iannelli
Soprano: Etta Fung
Mezzo-soprano: Ashley Chui (only in Dr Miracle)
Tenor: Chen Yong
Baritone: Isaac Droscha
Pianist and concertmaster: Hsu Wei-En
Producer: Lorna Chan
For more information, please visit French May website: https://www.frenchmay.com/en-us/article/233
For non HKUST members, please register by signing up as a Friend of HKUST. (Note: If you have already registered as a Friend of HKUST, there is no need to re-register.)
For HKUST faculty/staff/student/alumni/family members, please register using your HKUST credentials.
Free admission. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
This event is for ages 6 and above.
An individual registrant can register for up to four (4) guests including the Registrant himself/herself.
Please input the name, email address and cellphone of EACH GUEST when doing the registration.
Registrant who successfully made the booking will receive a confirmation email with a PDF attachment of printable tickets and QR codes for all the guests he/she registered.
Registrants are encouraged to take public transportation to HKUST.
Please click here for registration.