HK, Macao, Taiwan performers to retake mainland stages starting mid-February
Approvals of commercial performance applications involving people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will resume from Feb 16, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday.
New applications involving people from overseas are still suspended, except for those who are already on the Chinese mainland, according to the announcement released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The public notice said that organizers of shows need to implement the new epidemic prevention and control measures and continue to promote the prosperity and development of the cultural performance market.
"The market for concerts and entertainment performances is big in China, but it was heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic and many concerts were canceled over the past three years," said a statement released by the China Association of Performing Arts on Sunday, adding that many artists from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan such as pop singer-songwriter Jay Chou and singer-actor Andy Lau had to cancel their performances in early 2020.
Due to the pandemic, many artists turned to online streaming platforms to perform, hoping to reach out to their fans on the Chinese mainland.
"Resuming registration of commercial performances from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will allow more artists to hold concerts on the Chinese mainland, which will help the performing arts market recover," said the China Association of Performing Arts in the statement.
Theater chain CPAA Theatres said it will relaunch a series of performances and programs, including tours of the Hong Kong String Orchestra, the Hong Kong Gaudeamus Dunhuang Ensemble and violinist Yao Jue. Performing arts groups and artists from Hong Kong and Macao will also be invited to perform in cultural events on the Chinese mainland, such as the annual Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival.
"We will adjust our performance schedules based on the announcement from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism," said Chen Guangxian, head of the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, which is based in Jiangsu province.
According to Chen, before 2020, the orchestra invited about 10 musicians from around the world to perform with the orchestra every year. Thirteen of the orchestra's concerts that featured international musicians were held in 2019.
"We have already started talking to international musicians, inviting them to China to perform with us. We want to present high-level classical music concerts to our audiences at home," said Chen, adding that the orchestra is also planning to perform abroad.