Saturday, December 8, 2012

Goodbye Mr. Lim Shieh-Yih!

It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of tenor Lim Shieh-Yih, one of Singapore's best singers and a beloved teacher of many students. In an era where the Chinese community was divided into English and Chinese speakers, Shieh-Yih crossed these social boundaries with his art, earning degrees first from China's Central Conservatory, then from the Juilliard School of Music before heading home.

I remember attending his homecoming concert in the early 2000s and was struck by how sweet and full the voice was, despite being down with a flu and had to cancel a few numbers. He has came a long way since, being highly sought after as a recitalist, concert performer and teacher. He sang the highly-prominent role of Emperor Altoum in SLO's highly acclaimed 2008 production of Turandot. As a teacher, he has taught at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts for many years, eventually being promoted as head of vocal studies.

As Emperor Altoum, with Jessica Chen as Turandot and Lee Jae-Wook as Calaf
For some strange reason The Mad Scene has never done an interview with Shieh-Yih; I usually feature interviews in conjunction with upcoming performances, and being in Taiwan I guess there are a few events that I've missed out on. However he's not entirely absent from social media: you can check out his performances on his official YouTube channel, including a complete Dichterliebe and excerpts from Songs of Travel. Its good to know that his art will live on for many voice lovers to admire. 

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