French May Arts Fest to Present Hong Kong Premiere of Offenbach’s ‘Pomme d’Api’

By Logan Martell

On June 8, 2022, French May Arts Fest will present the Hong Kong premiere of Jacques Offenbach’s “Pomme d’Api.”

This one-act, comic operetta will be directed by Peter Gordon and music directed by Marco Iannelli, starring soprano Etta Fung, tenor Chen Yong, and baritone Isaac Drosca; they will be accompanied by pianist Hsu Wei-en.

The production resets the drama in Hong Kong, with the performance being sung in French along with new English dialogue, and subtitles in English or Chinese.

“Among Jacques Offenbach’s ‘chamber-sized’ operettas, ‘Pomme d’Api’ is an intimate domestic rom-com with a story — a boss, a new employee and a love triangle — that is easily transportable in place and time,” Gordon told OperaWire regarding what inspired him to direct this opera. “It also contains two marvelous trios (‘Cherchez le gril’ and ‘Un, deux, trois’) which will surely remain in audience’s ears after the curtain comes down. We are fortunate to have an experienced ensemble cast which can do justice to Offenbach’s music, whether lyrical, ironic, humorous or perky. Offenbach’s operettas are rarely performed in Hong Kong, and via the French May — the cultural festival founded in 1993 — we hope to reintroduce him (and French operetta) to Hong Kong audiences.”

Held at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre, there will be also be a post-performance discussion of the work.