Sunday, October 28, 2012

An Interview with Peter Ong

Publicity materials for Dream World's production of Company, opening this coming Thursday 1 November to the 11th, list a cast of well-known theatre personalities including Tan Kheng Hua, Karen Tan, Brendon Fernandez, Petrina Kow, Seong Hui Xuan 'and introducing Peter Ong'.

Those of us who follow the classical vocal music scene in Singapore need no such introduction, since he has frequently appeared in SLO concerts and lieder concerts with the Sing-Song Club. Audiences will get to see a different side of Peter as he gets ready to take on the leading role of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim's classic musical Company, . He has a chat with The Mad Scene to discuss the finer points of the musical and about 'crossing-over'.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Transformers Dance to Gangnam Style

I've been absolutely swamped with work and studies lately, which explains the recent dearth of posts on this blog. More substantial updates will come soon I promise. Meanwhile here's a hilarious video of the Transformers characters doing the latest viral dance sensation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Company" by Dream Academy

Dream Academy presents Stephen Sondheim's musical Company, directed by Hossan Leong and starring Peter Ong, Mina Kaye, Glory Ngim and Seong Hui-Xuan. Check out their hilarious trailer here:

Company runs from 1 to 11 November at Drama Centre. More ticketing info available at the Events Page.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dekada: Celebrating 10 Years of PsalmiDeo

The Fillippino expat choir PsalmiDeo will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this coming 21 October 2012, 7pm at the SOTA Concert Hall. Check out their trailer for this upcoming event:

It looks set to be a colourful, multi-cultural and multi-genre event. Check out the Events Page for ticketing details.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scholarship for Theatre Course in Russia

This mailer for a theatre/dance course in Russia arrived in my mailbox, promising at least a partially subsidised scholarship for those who are interested. Check it out here if its something that you might consider:


Scholarship for actors, dancers, directors, choreographers - 2012

Dear Colleagues,
IUGTE and ArtUniverse have announced five scholarships for the December programme 2012:

International Physical Theatre Lab and International Conference "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"

The scholarship amount is 300 EUR and it partially covers the participation fee. To apply for the scholarship, candidates should send CV/resume with photo and a brief cover letter to

Performers of different genres and techniques, actors, dancers, directors and instructors from different countries are welcome to apply for participation. The programme includes intensive practical training with the Russian theatre director and teacher Sergei Ostrenko, and workshops, presentations, lectures, performances, works-in-progress and discussions with performing arts experts and teachers from different countries. Participants can receive the Certificate of Participation. The working language is English.
Accommodation and meals are organized for the group. The Lab will take place at the 15th century castle, the international educational centre in Styria, Austria. Nearest international airports - Graz and Vienna.

Programme details:
Gallery of past events:

We appreciate if you could spread the word among your colleagues. Thank you very much, and have a great creative work in your field!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Singapore Lyric Opera Presents "Mother, Daughter, Wife and Lover – A Celebration of Women in Opera"

The Singapore Lyric Opera returns to the Esplanade on 23 November 2012 for an all-female evening, featuring Nancy Yuen, Cherylene Liew and Anna Koor in operatic excerpts from Norma, Butterfly and many others. The SLO Orchestra led by Joshua Kangming Tan will accompany the ladies. Here's more info:


Celebrating The Women In Opera
This November, Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) celebrates women and their roles in opera with highlights from some of opera’s most popular tunes, which have been specially chosen to celebrate the importance of women and their many roles and responsibilities.

The roles played by these women in opera are not simply performances on a stage; they are a compelling portrayal of the choices faced by every woman in daily life. It is through these complex characterisations that the audience is called to reflect on humanity.

So often in the world of opera, it is women who have the stellar roles, and for good reason. It is their strength of character that allows composers to create some of their most beautiful and moving works; it is these women’s resolve that propels the action forward and keeps the audience captivated, and not the men’s heroic posturings.

A Special Selection Of Classic Pieces
We celebrate these women in an evening of unforgettable arias, duets and ensembles, such as ‘O Mio babbino caro’ from Gianni Schicchi, ‘Un bel di vedremo’ from Madama Butterfly by Puccini, ‘Song to the moon’ from Rusalka by Dvorak, ‘Je ve vivre’ from Romeo et Juliette by Gounod, ‘Sull’aria’ from The Marriage of Figaro and ‘Ach ich fühl’ from The Magic Flute by Mozart, ‘Belle nuit, o nuit d’amour’ from The Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach and many more beautiful vocal works, with interludes and intermezzos.

Sopranos Nancy Yuen, Cherylene Liew and mezzo-soprano Anna Koor are the featured singers at the concert, accompanied by the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra and conducted by Joshua Tan Kangming.

Notes From The Singers
“Women‘s roles in society has always been recognised as an important part of humanity, an all inclusive one – wife, lover, mother, daughter – that need careful balancing. Our valued position has been instrumental in building up society, and hence, we cannot take it for granted,” said Cherylene Liew.

Mezzo-soprano, Anna Koor, agreed, saying, “Women have so much to give to society. As a wife and mother, we have been given great responsibilities, which cannot be taken for granted.”

Concert Programme
** Programme subject to change

Triumphant March from Verdi’s Aida

O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi

Ach ich fühl from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

Je ve vivre from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette

Song to the moon from Dvorák’s Rusalka

Intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut

Stride la vampa from Verdi’s Il Trovatore

The sun has fallen from Menotti’s The Medium

Mira, o Norma from Bellini’s Norma


Prelude to Tristan und Isolde from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde

Sull’ aria from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

Mon Coeur s’ouvre à ta voix from Camille Saint-saens’ Samson et Delilah

Intermezzo Act 2 from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Un bel di vedremo from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Belle nuit, o nuit d’amour from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann

What a movie from Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti

Final trio from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier


Early Bird discounts are availble from 24 September 2012 to 24 October 2012. 20% discounts are offered to SLO Friends, all OCBC credit cards, NTUC Union card, AlumNUS card, NUSS card. 15% discount to the general public via SISTIC. Check out the Events Page for ticketing information

Sunday, October 7, 2012

CP on Air

If you love watching or listening to celebrity interviews as much as I do, then this YouTube channel is one that you should check out: Dennis and Bing are two New York-based interviewers who bring in top-shelf artists into their studios for hour-long chats. Guests have included Dimitri Hvorostovsky, young artists Angela Meade (bel canto soprano) and Shenyang (bass-baritone), and one of my favourite singers, Bryn Terfel. Here the bass-baritone talks about his roots growing-up in a Welsh farm, his break into operatic stardom and singing Wagner.

Conductors and administrators are on the list too. You can check out their YouTube channel here:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Belle Epoque presents "Another murder on the Orient Express"

The popular comedic operetta series Belle Epoque presents its 4th installment, Another Murder on the Orient Express. The cast this round round seems more glitzy with SLO tenor and Symphony 92.4 presenter Melvin Tan participating.


Belle Epoque will present Another murder on the Orient Express, a night of French music on board of the most famous train in the world, from 28 November to 1 December 2012 at The Art House. This is the 4th show in the history of Belle Epoque and it aims at obtaining the same success of the past years’ editions.

A famous film producer finds himself stranded on board the Orient Express. One of the passengers has been mysteriously murdered in the night. Now the train’s stalled and no one is permitted to leave until the proper authorities arrive...

Our prestigious producer, together with some damsels in distress and handsome heroes, will take the audience on the musical ride of a life-time. As they sing their way through the notes of Offenbach, Messager and the French operetta at the turn of last century, the passengers will attempt to solve the crime.

Who is really the dangerous criminal?
Will the film producer uncover the truth?
How will the innocent manage to escape?

The audience will get on board the most famous train in the world and will experience a tale of intrigue, mystery and mistaken identity.

The Cast
For this production of Belle Epoque, six singers are the different characters who live and act on board of the Orient Express. Conceptualized and directed by Nicole Stinton, with  music direction by Dr Robert Casteels, the cast features:

• Kristy Griffin, soprano, Australia
• Sabrina Zuber, soprano, Italy
• Tim Garner, actor, New Zealand
• Jonathan Lum , tenor, Singapore
• Tom Ragen, tenor, Australia
• Melvin Tan, tenor, Singapore
• Sean Huan Yuh, violinist, Singapore.


Gustavo Gustavo Dudamel's "Mahler's 8 Symphony of a Thousand" on DVD

Conducting wunderkind Gustavo Dudamel combines the two orchestras under his watch, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra (Venezuela), for this DVD of Mahler's 8th Symphony Symphony of a Thousand. The soloists are:

Manuela Uhl, soprano
Juliana Di Giacomo, soprano
Kiera Duffy, soprano
Anna Larsson, alto
Charlotte Hellekant, alto
Burkhard Fritz, tenor
Brian Mulligan, baritone
Alexander Vinogradov, bass

Check out the trailer, featuring clips of an interview with young Maestro Dudamel: