A Night at the Opera

Date: April 27, 2021 (Tuesday)
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: CMA Lecture Theater (LTL)

Three of Hong Kong’s most prominent operatic vocal talents and six of its outstanding instrumentalists will present the full-length performance of the rarely-heard one-act opera Rita by Gaetano Donizetti, a comedic treat for all ages. Presented in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Hong Kong, this fifty-minute opera, which was premiered in Asia by the same cast in November 2020, will be remounted for HKUST’s inaugural Cosmopolis Festival.





  • Rita by Gaetano Donizetti

Music: Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto: Gustave Vaëz

Music adaptation: Marco Iannelli
English dialogue: Peter Gordon
Director: Peter Gordon
Music Director: Marco Iannelli
Producer: Lorna Chan, Let Me Plan It Co.
Custom Artwork: Adolfo Arranz

Soprano: Etta Fung
Tenor: Chen Yong
Baritone: Isaac Droscha

Piano: Hsu Wei-en
Flute: Angus Lee
Clarinet: Calvin Leung
Violin: Patrick T.S. Yim
Viola: Sun Yu
Cello: Anna Kwan


Rita is a delicious farce in the best traditions of Italian opera buffa. It was 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 is an Italian take on French opéra-comique with a story so familiar that it could be set anywhere — even Hong Kong!

Rita is a innkeeper who happens to have two husbands. She believes the first husband died in an accident, when in reality, he has run away to Canada. During their time together, he hadn’t treated her very well, something which — with her newfound freedom — she now takes out on her timid second husband.

As far as husband #1 knows, Rita is dead, too. He is returning to get a hold of 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


Date: April 27, 2021 (Tuesday)
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: CMA Lecture Theater (LTL)