HKU Faculty of Arts Professor Giorgio Biancorosso stages the tech-cantata The Longest Days and the Shortest Days at
Lisbon's Gulbenkian Auditorium

24 October 2022 (Monday)

HKU Faculty of Arts Professor Giorgio Biancorosso stages the tech-cantata The Longest Days and the Shortest Days at
Lisbon's Gulbenkian Auditorium (English only)

Giorgio Biancorroso 

Giorgio Biancorosso, Professor of Music in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) staged the tech-cantata The Longest Days and the Shortest Days at Lisbon's Gulbenkian Auditorium, the premier performing arts venue in Portugal and among the most prestigious in Europe on September 14, 2022.  

The Longest Days and the Shortest Days explores the solitude and anxiety experienced during the pandemic as an occasion to reflect on the passing of time. The work premiered to a full house on September 14 and is slated to enjoy a string of repeat performances in 2023.  Professor Biancorosso said, “I have been blessed to work for one of Europe’s top theatres and learn from their formidable technical team. I am also extremely thankful to HKU’s Music Department for encouraging me to pursue my work as dramatist and stage director and helping secure funding for a last-generation 3-D Mesh Hologram Screen.”

Written for a large choir by composer Dr. Eugene Birman (Hong Kong Baptist University) on a text by acclaimed Portuguese writer Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida, The Longest Days and the Shortest Days is an extraordinarily rich score in which a flesh and blood choir is complemented and at times replaced by a virtual one.

In his role of dramatist and stage director, Professor Biancorosso has recreated the Gulbenkian stage on screen and filmed a high-resolution performance of the relevant passages of the music complete with an extremely fine-grained audio recording.  Projected onto the hologram screen, the resulting images both competed with and enhanced the presence on stage of the real choir.  Professor Biancorosso said, “As the virtual choir faded out at the end of the first movement, the audience gasped and then broke into applause. It was the first time I saw people clap to a technology and not a live performer!”

“Technology has always been central to the presentation of musical performance, Biancorosso added. The challenge today is to channel new technologies in ways that resonate with contemporary audiences, and the key to that is, ironically, to revive the old marriage of music and drama.  Hence our decision to use state-of-the-art cameras and projective technologies at the service of a strong dramatic premise: after so many months of watching live performances online, what would it mean to play a recording inside a theatre to a live audience?”

HKU Dean of Arts Professor Derek Collins congratulated Professor Biancorosso, “With this huge success, Professor Biancorosso continues his cutting-edge leadership in music, performance and digital technology.  His work represents the future of Humanities and Digital Technologies, where a combination of tradition, experimentation, and imaginative use of technology can lead to the production of new art forms and create powerful experiences for audiences. It’s like the medieval art form of the choir has been reborn through technology and made immediately, electrifyingly relevant to today’s audiences. Astounding”.

For further details about The Longest Days and the Shortest Days, please visit:

For the online press release and photo, please visit:

For media enquiries, please contact Ms Natalie Yip, Executive Officer, Faculty of Arts, Tel: (852) 3917 4984 / email: