Saturday, April 28, 2012

Opera Flash Mobs

What a novel way to promote locally produced opera productions! This Korean company actually sets up no less than a full orchestra in the middle of a busy train station! The final chorus of tenors is quite interesting too.

As for some real impromptu operatic singing, Opera Holland Park's (a UK-based company despite its name) supermarket surprise concert features a leading man and lady and a little more.  How cool is that?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Instrument Quiz

Ever wondered if there is an instrument that fits your unique personality? Take this quiz to find out. I followed the directions and answered all the questions on the top left, and to my surprise it led me straight to 'opera singer'!

Click to enlarge

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Opera in the Park 2012

This year's edition of the Singapore Lyric Opera's popular Opera in the Park takes place at 6pm on 9 June, featuring Melvin Tan, Cherylene Liew, Anna Koor and a thus far unconfirmed baritone soloist, as well as the SLO Orchestra conducted by Joshua Kangming Tan.


Rossini’s Barber of Seville -­‐ Overture (SLO Orchestra)
-­‐ Largo al factotum (solo: baritone)
-­‐ Una voce poco fa (solo: mezzo soprano)

Dvorak’s Rusalka -­‐ Song to the Moon (solo: soprano)

Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi -­‐ O Mio Babbino Caro (solo: soprano)

Saint -­‐Saëns’ Samson and Delilah
-­‐ Bacchanale (SLO Orchestra)
-­‐ Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix (solo: mezzo soprano)

Puccini’s Manon Lescaut -­‐ Donna non Vidi Mai (solo: tenor)
-­‐ Tu, tu, amore (duet: soprano and tenor)
-­‐ Act 3: Intermezzo ( Orchestra)
-­‐ Sola, perduta, abbandonata (soprano)

E Morricone’s Nella Fantasia

*The programme and artistes are subject to change

Here's a quick description from their press release:


Celebrating its fifth year, Singapore Lyric Opera’s annual Opera in the Park returns to the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Saturday, 9 June 2012 at 6 pm at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage.

Opera in the Park has seen people from all walks of life come forward to embrace what opera has to offer. Setting Opera in the Park at the Singapore Botanic Gardens has made the art form more accessible to the general public, with a dynamic audience enjoying classic opera songs performed in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Said Miss Ng Siew Eng, General Manager of SLO, “Opera in the Park started in 2008 as our outreach programme. It has been five good years of opera music in the park. We have seen the number of audience increasing over the last five years. When we first started, we were nervous about the audience that will come and also if anyone would come at all. People say opera is boring but time has proven that people love opera and how familiar tunes are. We are heartened to know that opera is no longer seen as boring. I believe our audience just loves the music and all those singing. I believe Opera in the Park has a place in the social and arts calendar here.

We have been very fortunate to have our partners, National Parks Board, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Press Holdings, Totalisator Board and Arts Fund, and the Lee Foundation, to partner with us to bring such beautiful music to the people.

Opera in the Park has also become our platform to provide opportunities to our young musicians in the SLO Orchestra, conductors like Joshua Tan Kang Ming and Darrell Ang, singers like Melvin Tan, Reuben Lai and Cherylene Liew amongst others, to captivate audience with those lovely voices and melodies. We have no great plans to mark the fifth anniversary Opera in the Park but will continue to make it a household name in the performance circle.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ROH "Madam Butterfly" in 3D

Good to know that Cathay Cineplex's presentation of Carmen 3D must have been reasonably successful enough for them to take-on a follow-up: "Madam" Butterfly 3D stars Zhang Liping and James Valenti in the leads. Zhang is probably one of the leading singers of the role today so this is something that even die-hard voice lovers can look forward to.


Calling all fans of Opera, Madam Butterfly 3D will be screening at The Cathay Cineplex from 18 Apr till 28 Apr. This is an exclusive showcase so you would not want to miss it.

Be mesmerized by the elegant and powerful Royal Opera House production, Madam Butterfly 3D. Beautifully filmed in Real D 3D and featuring a supremely talented cast performing this gripping drama to Puccini's haunting score. (Sung in Italian with English subtitles)

You can book your tickets at:


What you need to know about James Valenti:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

SSO Carmina Burana - Free Open Rehearsal 10 May 2012

The SSO seldom gives out freebies so its great that this one is on offer: a free open rehearsal on Thursday 10 May, one day before the actual performance. Scroll down for details:


11 May 2012 (Friday), 7.30pm
Pre-Concert Talk: 6.30pm,
Library @ Esplanade
Open Rehearsal: Thur 10 May, 6.30pm-10.15pm (Open to members of the public on a first-come-first-served basis) (Ed: emphasis by The Mad Scene)
Esplanade Concert Hall

Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Lim Yau, conductor
Son Jihye, soprano
John Zuckerman, lyric tenor
Markus Eiche, baritone
Singapore Symphony Chorus
Hallelujah Chorus
The Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir

STRAVINSKY Apollon Musagète (30’)
ORFF Carmina burana (65’)

Carl Orff’s 1936 setting of 24 medieval poems from a 12th-century collection has become a popular staple of the choral repertoire, not least because of the extraordinary popularity of one movement, “O Fortuna”, used in films, television series and even beer advertisements.  

On May 11, this glorious masterpiece will be performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, joined by soprano Son Jihye, lyric tenor John Zuckerman, baritone Markus Eiche, the Singapore Symphony Chorus, Hallelujah Chorus, The Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir.

Conductor Lim Yau will open the concert with Stravinsky’s neo-classical ballet in which the god Apollo is visited by three muses representing poetry, rhetoric and dance.


Or perhaps you would prefer to fork out cash to attend the final product instead? Then check out the Events Page for ticketing details.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists

We don't really feature instrumentalists as often as we should, but this one looks like an interesting thing to check out. Yuri Bashmet is one of the top star volists in the world (really one of the few violists who has attained the star-status that is more often granted to their violinist colleagues...). Accompanying him is his very own Moscow Soloists chamber orchestra, an ensemble that he has founded. Check out their accompanying press release:



Eminent Russian conductor and violist Yuri Bashmet will return to Singapore for a one-night performance at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Friday, 25th May, together with his award winning-ensemble, the Moscow Soloists.

The charismatic maestro will perform classics from Mozart, Paganini, Rossini, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Audiences can expect an exquisite performance by Bashmet, who has been hailed as “the greatest viola player of the modern times” by The New York Times and “the world’s best living musician” by the British Times.

Bashmet has inspired many to write music for him, including famous Russian composers Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina. Other concertos composed for him include works by Poul Ruders, Alexander Tchaikovsky and Alexander Raskatov.

In 1992, he founded the Moscow Soloists, an ensemble he has performed with and directed on several world tours since inception. This celebrated chamber orchestra has been warmly received in Moscow, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, New York, and the BBC Proms in London. As the only Russian Chamber Orchestra to have ever won a Grammy Award, the Moscow Soloists, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, will provide the perfect accompaniment to Bashmet’s showcase in Singapore.

The concert is part of a cultural exchange programme sponsored by Gazprom, the world’s largest gas company by asset base. The Asian tour includes performances in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. Proceeds from the Singapore performance will be donated to the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT) Student Education Fund, which will be channelled to offering children from underprivileged families the opportunity to attend SRT’s theatre productions, exposing them to cultural arts experiences that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy.

Tickets are now available from Sistic and are priced at $50, $80, $110, $115 and $200
(VIP box).

Date: Friday, 25th May 2012
Time: 1930 to 2120 hrs
Venue: The Esplanade Concert Hall


Here's a video of Maestro Bashmet and orchestra in action. You can also check out this interesting interview that Bashmet has done with one Bruce Duffie. Also do visit for more information on their Singapore concert. More ticketing information at the Events Page.

Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists' concert is sponsored by global energy company, Gazprom, and for more information, please visit