Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dream Academy's The Last Five Years and Happy Robin

Dream Academy presents two productions: The Last Five Years and Happy Robin at the unusual location of  their Henderson Industrial Park studio. Click on or download the flyer below for more information:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Interview with Steven Ang (ME!!!)

I guess that after interviewing so many local and foreign acts in this blog, its finally time for me to take the hot seat now that I have my own stuff to plug. So I enlisted Hawk Liu's help in the interrogation. Here is the transcript:

Hawk: Good afternoon, Steven, would you like to tell us the repertoire you will be singing? and who else would be singing in the concert?

Steven: Hi Hawk! For this concert I will be singing Vaughan William's Songs of Travel, which I will attempt to sing it entirely from memory, in addition to a local and foreign art song in Chinese. My Basso Canaries partner Andrew Xiao Chunyuan will be presenting a number of works by local composers, including those by Quek Yong Siew, Phoon Yew Tien and his own. Our guest Alvin Koh is also singing three English numbers. In addition we have Beatrice Lin back on the piano and Cheryl Lim on flute.

Hawk: tell us how you guys went about choosing this repertoire?

Steven: well Andrew and I decided that for our next concert we would like to perform songs in languages that we actually speak, hence the title of The Bilingual Policy. I was exploring the Songs of Travel during my last months in Taipei and absolutely fell in love with it. It is so beautifully written and fits the baritone voice so well, bringing out all kinds of colours and interpretive ideas.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'Bane' - An Edinburgh Fringe Sell-Out One-Man Show

This play looks like an entertaining and rather schizophrenic night out. It holds the Guinness World Record for most number of roles played by a single actor in one evening. Sounds interesting right?

Bane is an Edinburgh Fringe sell-out one-man one-musician comedy drama. With no props, or set, Joe Bone plays all the 140 characters and Ben Roe plays all the music in the thrilling fast paced production. It holds the Guinness Record for ‘Maximum characters played by a single actor’. Gun for hire, Bruce Bane, is the central character and he must find out who is trying to kill him before it’s too late. Bane combines Hollywood motifs with sharp theatrical techniques, live music, and hilarious physical action, to create an hour of comedy storytelling like no other.

Show date: 8th Feb 2014 Saturday (8 pm) and 9th Feb 2014 Sunday (8 pm)

Venue: Drama Centre Theatre

Language: English

Ticket pricing: S$90, S$70, S$50 (excludes booking fees)

Check out tickets at the SISTIC Website.

R.I.P. Maestro Claudio Abbado (1933-2014)

Just sharing some in a treasure trove of clips from the recently deceased Maestro. Thank you for all the beauty you have brought to the world.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Fair Lady, Grease and Peter Pan at MBS

Most of you would have seen the ads for My Fair Lady by now, but do you know what's coming up after? Check out our exclusives right here!

My Fair Lady - 11 Feb 2014

Henry Higgins, Eliza Doolittle and the rest of the iconic characters from My Fair Lady will transform the Master Card Theatres at Marina Bay Sands to 1912 London in this Broadway Classic. Hailed as the standard by which all other musicals are judged, BASE Entertainment Asia and MediaCorp VizPro International brings this international treasure, upon which the classic 1964 Audrey Hepburn movie was based, to Singapore on February 11 for a limited season. Tickets are now on sale.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

NAFA's Presentation of Mozart's 'Bastien und Bastienne' - 27 Mar 2014

Click on this link below to the 'Happenings' page on NAFA's website and scroll down to the entry for 27 March 2014. There you will find an entry for Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne by the vocal music department, featuring Jeremy Koh as Bastien, Su Yiwen and Yin Yue as Bastienne and William Lim as Colas. Best thing about it? Entry is free!

Broadway Stars Unite!

The stars of Broadway meet to discuss the current industry crisis of waning ticket sales and closing shows.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sumi Jo SSO Gala - 20 Feb 2014

The title just about says it all doesn't it?

Praised for the remarkable agility, precision and warmth of her voice, Sumi Jo has established herself as one of her generation’s most sought-after coloratura sopranos. She returns for a one-night only gala concert with the SSO and Jason Lai on February 20, performing a selection of breathtaking arias from famous operas such as The Merry Widow, Romeo et Juliette and The Tales of Hoffman, as well as the deeply beautiful Vocalise by Rachmaninov.

Sumi Jo is in great demand as a concert artist, including special events such as the World Cup, an Asian tour of gala concerts with Andrea Bocelli, and a programme of Viennese favourites with the celebrated Cincinnati Pops. Sumi Jo has been heard in recital in major festivals and concert halls worldwide. Sumi Jo currently has over 50 recordings to her credit. Among them are a Grammy-winning Die Frau ohne Schatten with Sir Georg Solti for London/Decca, Un Ballo in Maschera for Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan, and a highly successful crossover album Only Love which has sold more than 1,200,000 copies worldwide.

Get your tickets at the Events Page!

FREE SCO Concerts - 18 and 19 Jan 2014

Music Oasis – Greetings of Spring
Date: 18 January 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 6pm
Venue: Gardens by the Bay – Super Tree Grove

Keppel Land - SCO Outdoor Rhapsody: Greetings of Spring
Date: 19 January 2014 (Sunday)
Time: 6pm
Venue: Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Free admission

The SCO will perform in two free concerts with conductor Moses Gay. The programme will feature Li Huan Zhi’s Spring Festival Overture, Gu Guan Ren’s Sturdy Steeds Gallop, Leroy Anderson’s Horse and Buggy, Johann Strauss’s Voices of Spring, Lo Leong Fai’s Spring, Li Min Xiong’s A Well-matched Fight, Huang Yi Jun’s Full Moon Blossoms and Spring Festival Suite.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Macau Chinese Orchestra Traditional Quintet (15 Dec 2013) in Review

Andrew Xiao attended the last day of the Ding Yi Chinese Chamber Music Festival and returns with this report. My apologies to Ding Yi for the late update:

Organized by Ding Yi Music Company, the Ding Yi Chinese Chamber Music Festival is the first Chinese Chamber Music Festival organised in Singapore. The festival showcased three different chamber groups from China, Taiwan and Macau, playing alongside with the Ding Yi Music Company on three different days.

The last day of the festival featured the Macau Chinese Orchestra Traditional Quintet, performing traditional Chinese instrumental music for quintet called Wu Jia Tou (五架头 ) which comes from the Canton region. This style of music is originally called San Jian Tou (三件头) because the music is in trio form. The three instruments are Canton hu (粵胡), better known as Gaohu. According to the Gaohu-cum-erhu musician Zhang Yue-Ru who heads the quintet, the style of playing the standard orchestral Gaohu and Canton hu are completely different though they are basically the same instrument. Orchestral Gaohu playing does not use the legs and a cloth to hold the instruments while playing, whilst Cantonese style does.

Besides using Canton hu as its primary instrument in the trio, the other two instruments are Yangqin (杨琴) and Qinqin (秦琴) in which their main function is to accompany the Canton hu. The decision to use these instruments to form San Jian Tou is because the Yangqin is very popular in Guangzhou, and Qinqin is used because of its sound matches the colour of the Yangqin, though it is primarily used in Teochew traditional music. Later other instruments namely Dong Xiao (洞箫) and Yehu (椰胡, literally Coconut hu because its base is made of coconut) are added to make up the traditional quintet of Wu Jia Tou.

The Macau traditional Cantonese music quintet is made up of Gaohu-cum-erhu musician Zhang Yue-Ru, Zhonghu-cum-Yehu musician Li Feng, Dizi Dong Xiao Qian, Qin Pipa musician Miao Xiao-Zheng and Yangqin musician Chan Hio-Long. The works performed were all well known traditional music works such as A Walk in Gusu《姑苏行》,Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake《平湖秋月》 and Drought Thunder《旱天雷》 . The musicians did a splendid performance and there was thunderous applause after the concert was over. I did take a glance on the concert audience and it seemed to be around 85 percent full with important guests such as the Singapore Chinese Orchestra General Manager Mr Terence Ho.

The showcase by Ding Yi Music Company featured two new works composed by Malaysian born composer Chow Jun-Yi, who won First Prize in the First Chinese Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition organized by Ding Yi Music Company, and Singaporean composer Phang Kok-Jun who is currently Ding Yi's Composer-in-Residence.

Jun Yi's 7 minute work, called Momentum《炎之舞》 is an interesting work. Before the performance, conductor Mr Quek Ling-Keong gave a short introduction of the work. The composer basically uses minimalist styles to compose this work and the main theme is just a few notes. The music started off with a canon and then slowly developed. The beauty of the work was the dance like momentum that led me to imagine the scenes of the dance and what the composer is trying to say through this artistic work.

As for Kok Jun, his work titled Ripples《水戏》 is another work that I should say is really worth the ticket to come and listen. The work is played by Chua Yew-Kok, winner of numerous Pipa competitions for young people, accompanied by a small ensemble. The piece draws out sound images that represent water ripples from the pipa. Through the wonderful playing of the soloist, the audience can imagine water rippling around, and through the colour and textures, the scenes and mood behind it.

In short, the performance is an overall success and I enjoyed the music thoroughly and I hope to listen again to such concerts if there is a chance. Well Done, Ding Yi!

SSO Strauss Festival

This month's Time Out Singapore features the SSO's Strauss Festival, four concerts that include the composer's legendary orchestral scores and international and local soloists. Check it out here:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from The Mad Scene!

The Chinese Red Army rings in the New Year by performing Michael Jackson's Beat It. Happy New Year Everyone!