May is here, which means that annual arts festival, Le French May, has officially begun. Since its inception in 1993, the event has brought an eclectic range of events to the city.
The 22nd edition of the festival will see events held in both Hong Kong and Macau, running until June 28. As this year also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France, Le French May promises to be the most brilliant blend yet of East and West.
To celebrate this mix of cultures, I'll explore the diverse mix of French music on offer. As a fan of reality show The Voice, I'm definitely going to check out top-four finalist Aude Henneville's gig.
Classical music is important in both French and Chinese cultures, so I'll be checking out Hong Kong's own Philharmonic Orchestra performing Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique and An Evening with the "Sounds" of France, in which musicians from France and China will perform works by French composers.
To top it all off, June 21 is World Music Day, or Fête De la Musique, which will be celebrated at Sai Wan Ho with Cameroonian singer Blick Bassy. The following day, a free music festival will be held in Stanley from 2pm to 6pm. If you like music as much as I do, maybe I'll see you there!
Cadet Miranda Zhang
France is renowned for its delectable food, so this May I intend to celebrate l'Hexagone by making, and more importantly, consuming French cuisine. Yes, this month at the Livingston household, the air will be heavy with the mouthwatering aromas of creamy vichyssoise and rich, sugary crème brûlée. Perhaps, too, a cake iced in the colours of the French national flag. Bon appétit!
While I wait for my French delicacies to cook, I can re-watch all of my favourite French movies: Moulin Rouge, Amelie, and Priceless. Yes, they're all romantic films, but French is the language of love, so this May, nothing could be more fitting.
But only an uncultured swine thinks simply of food and love when celebrating France, so I hope to attend some of the French May events. Silent physical theatre piece Tell Me the Truth and Other Stories by Mangano-Massip looks amazing, as does Marco Polo by the Nice Mediterranée Opera Ballet, the tale of the conflict between emperor Kublai Khan and the Italian explorer.
Cadet Siri Livingston
To celebrate the land of baguettes and Napoleon, I plan to watch Les Misérables, Moulin Rouge and childhood favourite The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'll also listen to Carla Bruni's music while cooking ratatouille (perhaps while watching the movie?), and by the end of the month, I hope to have mastered, if not the language, the French accent.
I am also very much looking forward to celebrating Le French May by learning about the country's arts. I really want to see And…Action! by Pockemon Crew, a hip hop dance crew influenced by American musicals from the 1930s and 40s. I'd also like to see the Thomas Enhco Jazz Trio - I'm a jazz enthusiast, and am intrigued by the idea of listening to this genre in French.
Lastly - and this is what I am most thrilled about - is Chaos, a photo exhibition that portrays humanity and morality. I can't wait.
Cadet Giya Panjabi
This year's Le French May promises a range of exciting performances. Check out what's on offer.