Saturday, December 4, 2010

High School Opera

I just spent the evening with a bunch of adolescents from Xin Dian High School at the National Concert Hall to watch their school's annual opera production of Cavalleria Rusticana. Yes this high school actually had the resources to stage a full opera, even if its a really short one and in semi-staged concert format. While the cast consisted of professionals contracted locally and from the Mainland, the chorus and orchestra were made up of students and recent alumni. Sets consisted of not more than two chairs and a table. But nevermind the sparseness, the kids gave a spirited and surprisingly clean performance that wouldn't pale much in comparison with the pros (rehearsals apparently started during the holidays in August). If anything the kids were so rushed on performance adrenaline that at many moments they drowned out the poor Santuzza who is not exactly of small resources (but she still rocked nonetheless).

I attended partly as I've not seen a live Cav for some time (first and only time being the SLO's  production many years back with a magnificent can belto Yu Juxing as Turridu and a hyperactive bordering on camp Stella Zhou Ming Lun as Santuzza). I came away inspired at the quality of music making these kids gave, and wonder if the same can ever happen in Singapore.

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