Shakespeare Lives - Far East Report

Visiting the great cities of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Wuhan and Beijing, we set out on our second tour of mainland China, alongside British singers Mary Bevan and Tim Mead in celebration of Shakespeare in this the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

“…[what] made this concert a phenomenon was the marvelous programming; every piece in the first and second half were strung together as a whole work without breaks for applause between the pieces.”

From Purcell’s magical Fairy Queen (based on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) and Handel’s Giulio Cesare, emerged a masque in homage to music inspired by Shakespeare’s writing, acted out by the love-struck singers.

“…unlike many other baroque orchestras, [The English Concert] plays very [sensitively] and the nuance in their playing is fantastic, one can really feel the inspiration from the music.”

Created in partnership with Intermusica, we were thrilled not only to feature in the British Council’s year-long ‘Shakespeare Lives’ programme as ambassadors for one of Britain’s greatest cultural exports, but to find in Dream & Crystal Cruises a corporate partner that shared our pursuit for excellence.

“…Another incredible touch from Harry Bicket was the arrangement of the Chinese folk tune 'Jasmine Flower Song' and Pachelbel's Canon, and the new piece was just as naturally composed, bringing the composers from different times and different backgrounds of culture to the same stage, and the applause by the audience was very proper recognition to the arrangement.” - Music Weekly, China