Thursday, March 31, 2011

Martin Ng Recital - Monteverdi to Mascagni

After playing numerous roles in SLO productions, baritone Martin Ng takes centrestage this time in a solo recital organised by the Young Musician's Society, which promises to be a comprehensive survey of Italian art songs through the ages. More details below:



Date: 28 April 2011 (Thursday)
Time: 8:00pm
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio

YMS’ after8 series puts the spotlight on the bass, a voice part seldom heard in solo recital.

Martin Ng presents an all-Italian recital tracing the Italianate school of solo singing from the early 17th century to 20th century. He follows the emergence of solo voice from polyphony, through the ‘recitar cantando’ movement of Monteverdi and his peers, the baroque, bel canto and Romantic eras, and ending with the post-Romantic verismo works of Leoncavallo and Mascagni. Represented in his repertoire are seminal Italian composers (and operanistas) Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini, who were nevertheless little known as writers of the chamber solo song.

Trained at the Conservatorio Statale di Music “dall’ Abaco” in Verona and the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Salzburg, Singaporean Martin Ng is currently based in Verona, Italy, where he has sung various roles in operas by Italian masters Puccini and Verdi. He has also performed as bass soloist for works such as Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, and Rossini’s Petit Messe Solennelle.

Martin will be accompanied by Shane Thio.


Amarilli - Giulio Caccini
Amor ch'attendi - Giulio Caccini
Perchè se m'odiavi - Claudio Monteverdi

Intorno all'idol mio - Antonio Cesti
Già il sole dal Gange - Alessandro Scarlatti
Selve amiche - Antonio Caldara

Sol da te - Antonio Vivaldi
Orribile lo scempio - Antonio Vivaldi
Lungi da caro bene - Giuseppe Sarti

Chi m'ascolta il canto usato - Gioacchino Rossini
Vaga luna ch'inargenti - Vincenzo Bellini
Il zeffiro - Vincenzo Bellini

Leonora - Gaetano Donizetti
Il poveretto - Giuseppe Verdi
Dimenticar ben mio - Amilcare Ponchielli

Sole e amore - Giacomo Puccini
E l'uccellino - Giacomo Puccini
Lasciati amar - Ruggero Leoncavallo
Serenata - Pietro Mascagni
Check out the Events Page for ticketing details.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Be "Fearful"

One of the most popular videos among vocal enthusiasts in these parts with over 1 million views since October last year: basically what happens when a German musicologist composes a "folk song" for his virtuoso singer wife: an unstoppable wave of outright chinkiness coupled with a huge dose of irony:

And here's the perfect outfit to go with it:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shanghai Beach in Eeewnglish

Want to know how Italians feel about other folks singing their operas into English? Check out this clip and empathise:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Audition Notice for "Belle Epoque Shanghaied"

See if you would like to be a part of this company's blend of theatrre, music and comedy. Good luck!


After the success in December 2009 of “Belle Epoque! “ and the enthusiastic feedbacks on Bellepoque launching concert “A Night with Tosti & Friends”, Arts House February 2011, Bellepoque is proud to present

Belle Epoque Shanghaied

An operetta of intrigue, passion and frivolity at the turn of 20th century, on the notes from the great masters such as Jacques Offenbach, Franz Lehar, Johann Strauss II and many others

To be staged from 8 to 10 December 2011 ‐ at Esplanade Recital Studio –

Directed by Nicole Stinton ‐ Musical Direction by Francesca Lee

We are looking for 3 strong male singers/actors of various ages, and races. 2 tenors (Asian) + 1 baritone (possibly Caucasian or Indian origins)

As this show is more a concert with theatre elements, than a proper musical, the quality of the singing will be the most important.

This play is mainly in English but there are some songs in French/German/Italian and Chinese.

Rehearsal time frame is tentatively 10am to 17pm on weekends, occasionally extra week day rehearsals may occur, mostly in the evenings.

The period of rehearsal is approx.5 weeks before the week of the show, i.e from 12 November 2011.

Ø Audition Dates/Time: Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April 2011 (call back) from 2pm

Ø Venue: Theatre at Alliance Francaise, 1 Sarkies Road (by Newton Circus)

Ø What you'll be required to do during the audition:

1. ALL: Sing one number of your choice (choose a song from light opera, operetta, classical style musical theatre, or Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire.

2. TENORS: Sing “Une Grisette mignon” from “Veronique’ by A. Messeger -
No need to speak French, we just wish to check how comfortable you are with foreign languages!

3. BARITONE: Sing “I am the very model of a modern major general” by Gilbert & Sullivan

Music sheets are available on request

Saturday 16th April: You must bring your own pianist or minus one CDs.

Sunday 17th April/call back: pianist will be provided, pls bring your own music sheets

To get an audition appointment : Please e-mail at your singing/performing resume and a recent photo as soon as possible.

For enquiries, please call +65 9018 6358

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Opera Siam's Bluebeard Castle

This may be the kind of thing opera lovers should travel for:


Opera Siam and the Embassy of Hungary

with the cooperation of the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture present the Thai premiere of Bela Bartok's BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE

With Geza Gabor as Bluebeard

Grace Echauri as Judit

director Stefan Sanchez

The Siam Philharmonic Orchestra

conducted by Somtow Sucharitkul

APRIL 27th, 8 pm at the NATIONAL THEATRE

in Hungarian with English and Thai supertitles

The brooding, sensuous music of Bartok's only opera contains the seeds of all the classic horror movie scores ... but this opera is more than a scary tale of a mysterious aristocrat and a woman who pries too much into his dark secrets. It's one of the greatest masterpieces of Hungarian art, a volcano of passion packed into one bare hour of music.

To celebrate Hungary's presidency of the EU, the Embassy of Hungary collaborates with Bangkok Opera Foundation/Opera Siam to produce an original new production of this masterwork, one of the few productions of Bluebeard's Castle ever staged in Asia.

The newly refurbished National Theatre will be the venue for this production. Please note this date in your calendars!

Information about tickets and reservations will be available shortly. Tickets will be for sale in about one weeks' time.

As this will be Opera Siam's first production in the newly renovated National Theatre, the Bangkok Opera Foundation intends to organize, if demand warrants, coaches from an easily accessible central location as part of its ticket service. Information will be available shortly.

Tickets will be available from Ticketmaster outlets, from the Bangkok Opera offices, and at certain hours from the Bangkok Shopera at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (details TBA).

Bangkok Opera Foundation (02) 231-5273, or write to

There will only be one performance of BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Upcoming Events from MTL

Musical Theatre Limited (MTL) presents two original musicals hot from the oven: Casino and Madoff will be presented at The Arts House for the very first time. Entry is free so do drop by and see if the talented cast, crew and creative team will be presenting the next musical sensation of Singapore!

CASINO THE MUSICAL (Concert Style; 90mins)
by Ken LYEN and Richard LORD

Everett gets drawn into the high-stakes world of the Big Casino -
strangely resembling the world of high finance.
Will he survive the great melt-down?

2011 Mar 30 WED - Show-1 (8pm)
2011 Mar 31 THU - Show-2 (8pm)
To register for seats please email:

MADOFF THE MUSICAL (Concert Style; 80mins)
by Kate INGBER

Henry, a young trader, wants to learn the secret of Bernie Madoff”s
money-spinning “ proprietary strategy.” When he finds out, he faces
a dilemma – should he blow the whistle on Madoff?

CHAMBER at the ARTS HOUSE (2oo seats)
2011 Apr 6 WED = SHOW 1 (8pm)
2011 Apr 7 THU = SHOW 2 (8pm)

To register for seats please email (FREE Event):

Please come and bring your friends! Admission is free.
“Pay as you please” donations will be invited after the show.

Brought to you by

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"A Night with Tosti and Friends" by Belleepoque

I've had the good fortune during my short trip home in February to attend A Night with Tosti and Friends by newly formed arts company Belleepoque. Featuring a wonderful cast of singers performing Italian songs of the late 19th century, this production wove sets, costumes, characters and plots into their presentation, invoking the heady atmosphere of a party among rich industrialists of the Belle Epoque era. It was such a well thought-out production and visual treat that I thought it would be nice to share some production pictures with readers of The Mad Scene, if just to give everyone some ideas when planning our next recital. 20 images are available for viewing on our Facebook page. Belleepoque's next event will be held at the Esplanade Recital Studio, tentatively titled Belleepoque Shanghai'ed. One wonders if this classic will be part of the program?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SSO Performs Faure's Requiem this Saturday

Faure's setting of the Requiem Mass, with its imagery of divine serenity, is performed by the SSO and chorus this coming Saturday 5 March 2011. Let's hear Lucia Popp and James Morris sing their lovely arias from the piece:

Here's the last movement In Paradisum, its image of a soul ascension toward heaven seems like the perfect counterpoint to the apocalyptic theatrics of Verdi's setting. See how the SSO fares in their performance by getting tickets from the Events Page.

Veronica Villarroel Documentary

Here is a fascinating documentary about the rise of Chilean soprano Veronica Villarroel. See how she went from a working-class background to becoming the Leonora in the Trovatore recording of erm... Andrea Bocelli. I hate it when these top singers claim that they never wanted to be opera singers but somehow just ended up that way...