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Hong Kong Arts Festival 100 Features Laila

HKAF50 ArtTech Laila project. Music Press Asia

Exactly a month before Laila was due to meet Hong Kong audiences in February, the technical team from Finland were undergoing quarantine in the city, and the first batch of tickets were quickly snapped up.

But, unfortunately, the fifth wave of the pandemic caused an unforeseen delay to this eagerly anticipated programme. To keep Laila and Hong Kong audiences connected, the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) made a quick change to the programming—filming everyone involved in the production while Laila was in preparation.

Laila in Hong Kong reveals the process of putting together Laila, decoding the technologies behind it. Zeno Koo, Outreach Ambassador for Laila, takes the audience into the world of Laila.

Watch local multidisciplinary artists and student talents recount the creative process for the artworks in the pop-up exhibition, which are revealed for the first time on screen. Click below.

COMPOSER, Esa-Pekka Salonen
DRAMATURGE, Paula Vesala
SOUND DESIGN, Tuomas Norvio
ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST, Ekho Collective

A co-production of the HKAF and the Finnish National Opera and Ballet (FNOB), Laila is an immersive and interactive opera composed by world-renowned Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen. It incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), video-projection mapping, 360 spatial sound and real-time sensors to offer a unique opera experience in the dome-shaped performance space.

The first Laila outreach and education activity rolled out is the “Arts X Tech Creative Competition”, for which an open call for proposals from students started on 20 May 2021. Shortlisted proposals are showcased to the public during the festival. There will also be demonstration performances at 20 local secondary schools in an immersive and interactive setting. A unique guided tour will also be curated, enabling students to experience Laila and the complementary exhibition.

A teacher seminar was held to provide a platform for exchanges of ideas between teachers and arts educators on topics including STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education, cross-disciplinary collaborations, creative teaching strategies and Arts Tech.

Laila was the winning project of Opera Beyond 2019, the FNOB’s open call for arts and technology project ideas, and won the prestigious FEDORA Digital Prize in 2020, Europe’s most prominent opera and ballet competition.

Watch the short documentary on how Laila is constructed here. From its journey from Finland to Hong Kong via cargo and how it inspires the music, dance and art medium. The film will be streaming at 9 pm on 6 August until the same on 6 September at 9 pm following overwhelming responses from the special MCL K11 Art House screening.

HKAF 50th Anniversary Special Project Laila and the complementary education and outreach programmes are Solely Sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

Click here to read more about Laila’s outreach and educational program.

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