Thursday, February 27, 2014

More Cast Interviews from SLO's 'Cosi fan Tutte'

The Singapore Lyric Opera's production of Cosi fan Tutte starts its run tomorrow 28 February, 1 and 3 March 2014. Here are two more interviews of its leading ladies Du Qin and Rachelle Gerodias. Guess who did the translations in the first video? ;-)

You may get your tickets for Cosi fan Tutte at SISTIC via the link below:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

FREE SSO and Children's Choir Concert at Paragon: 1 March 2014, 3pm

Step out of the Gucci store for a moment at 3pm and enjoy this free concert by the SSO and its associate children's choir. Here's more information:

A gift of music at Paragon; SSO and SSCC to give free concert on 1 March 2014

Come on down to Paragon on Orchard Road on March 1, and be in for a musical treat as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir bring you a free performance in the SPH Gift of Music series. This will be the orchestra’s first time performing in the Paragon Shopping Centre. The concert will feature familiar favourites such as music from the movie Star Wars and the opera Carmen, as well as well-loved songs such as Summertime and When You Believe from The Prince of Egypt.

The Second Prize winner of the 2008 Dimitri Mitropoulos International Competition, Singaporean conductor Joshua Tan has won numerous awards and scholarships, including the Shell-NAC Arts Scholarship, SSO/MOE Scholarship and is the first-ever recipient of the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize from the Juilliard School. He received the Young Artist Award of Singapore in 2011. After a successful stint as Resident Conductor of Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra from 2009 to 2012, Joshua was appointed Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Director of the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra from the 2013 season.

The Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir gave its debut performance in 2007 at the SSO's Christmas Concerts and have performed with the SSO in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Berlioz’s Te Deum and Orff’s Carmina Burana as well as in the Christmas concerts every year.

Please contact the Media Officer for photographs and interviews.

SPH Gift of Music Series: SSO @ Paragon

Date & time
1 March 2014 (Saturday), 3.00pm

Main Atrium
Paragon Shopping Centre
290 Orchard Road

Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Joshua Tan, conductor
Singapore Symphony Children's Choir
Lim-Quek Soo Hiang, conductor

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sound of Music - Children Casting Call

Paging all you Star Moms out there! Here's your chance to be a real life Mama Rose! Base Entertainment of MBS is bringing in The Sound of Music and they are looking for local kids to play the Von Trapp children! Check out details here:

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity for Singapore Children to Star in International Production of The Sound of Music

Singapore, 19 February 2014 - The world’s best-loved musical, The Sound of Music, is coming to The MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands in July 2014. This critically acclaimed West End production features seven children that form the Von Trapp family, and the producers are looking to cast six of these children in Singapore. Auditions will be held next month for two male and four female roles, ascending ages from 4 to 12 are invited to register.

SLO 'Cosi Fan Tutte' Interviews with Rachelle Gerodias and Director Tom Hawkes

Hawk sits down for a chat with Rachelle Gerodias, who plays Fiordiligi.

And really, you couldn't find a better person to interview director Tom Hawkes; turns out that the two of them go way back to the early days of the SLO in the late 80s. Here they discuss the good ol' days and the concept for the upcoming production.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'Doctors in Recital' - 14 Feb 2014 at Steinway Gallery

Its great that doctors are performing a programme of classical music, but really the draw in my opinion is to see esteemed Straits Times critic Dr. Chang Tou-Liang put his words into action; we've all read his reviews, want to hear his playing? This free recital is your chance to do so!

14 February 2014, Singapore: Steinway Gallery Singapore presents a unique afternoon recital by medical practitioners showcasing their passion for music on 22nd February. Titled Doctors in Recital, music aficionados can look forward to classical piano repertoires played by family physicians Dr Chang Tou Liang, Dr Au Kah-Kay, and Dr Lin Xiu-Min at Steinway Gallery Singapore. The pianists will be accompanied by medical advisor and violinist Dr Ronald Ling and professional cellist Brandon Voo.

Celine Goh, General Manager of Steinway Gallery Singapore, says “We are excited to present this unique event showcasing a wide-range of musical pieces by our local medical practitioners. Steinway Gallery Singapore is dedicated to supporting the local arts scene in Singapore and we believe that one of the best ways for us to do that is to reach out to music enthusiasts who dedicate a good part of their time above their professional careers in a different field.”

Apart from their day jobs in the medical field, the doctors have dedicated their lives to music extensively. Once a tenor in the Singapore Symphony Chorus, Dr Chang is an active classical concert reviewer for The Straits Times and also has a weekly classical music CD review column since 1997. At age 11, Dr Lin Xiu Min was the world's youngest Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, London (FTCL) and received mentorship from renowned musicians including Polish classical pianist Stefan Kutrzeba and Russian pianist Dmitri Bashkirov. Dr Au Kah Kay have won prizes in piano competitions, obtained the LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) diploma in piano performance at age 16 and performed a full recital at the Alliance Francaise Auditorium in Singapore in 2002.

Originally planned by Dr Lin Xiu Min, this is the second time the doctors will be collaborating since 2010 and they have added more instruments to the mix. Light repertoires were also chosen this time round to appeal to a wider audience.

Dr Lin Xiu Min says, “I would like to showcase the versatility of a Steinway piano, not only in solo but also in chamber repertoire. Hence I have invited two guest performers, a violinist and cellist, to collaborate with me and instil variety to the programme. We are privileged to perform on a Steinway grand piano which will surely enhance our playing to an optimum performance.”

With busy work schedules, the doctors have been practising as much as they can for the upcoming recital. Dr Au Kah Kay says, “I practice as often as my schedule will allow. Even if it means just playing through the pieces once a day, it's better than nothing.”

To those who struggle to balance a hectic work schedule and their passion for music, Dr Chang Tou Liang advises, “Always make time for the piano or music. If you truly love playing the piano or just listening to music in concert or on a CD, that time can easily be found!”

Doctors in Recital will take place at Steinway Gallery Singapore in Palais Renaissance on Saturday, 22nd February at 4pm. Seats for this event are limited and are on a first-come-first-served basis. To register, email or call 6838 0256.

Sumi Jo Masterclass - 19 Feb 2014 at YST

The title and brochure say it all don't they? Download the images below to see clearer:

My Fair Lady Cast Interviews

I had a great time with Hawk Liu interviewing the cast of My Fair Lady. Check out what we discussed!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Thoughts on MBS's 'My Fair Lady'

This Singapore production, first premiered in the US and featuring a New York-based cast, retains much of the original cast as well as sets made for a 'proper' theatre instead of a reduced touring version; it aims to evoke old fashioned aesthetics with brightly coloured, seemingly hand-painted sets and direction that aims to please rather than overwhelm. After seeing a number of productions that has the actors singing to prerecorded music, it is refreshing to hear a live orchestra in the pit; while small in size (often one a part), boosted with synthesizers and suffering the usual intonation problems with brasses, it did plenty to liven up the atmosphere.

Personally having last seen the film over a decade ago, it's just a delight to see and hear these familiar songs brought back to life. Seeing the story anew, it struck me that it's a rather lucid play that would work just as well without the songs (though it wouldn't be half as fun of course). if one does find it implausible that a poor girl can become the model of elegance as Eliza did, one only needs to look at our own Zoe Tay who left the family pig farm to become the queen of TV. Also while we can't really relate to cold winters, who hasn't spent a boring day in the office or classroom wishing he were somewhere else as Eliza does in Wouldn't It Be Loverly?

So really this production is a throwback to simpler times, before producers traded in the orchestra for topless dancers, when musicals simply meant songs with catchy melodies that told the story, as performed by nice characters. Give this show a chance, and you will leave delighted and charmed.

My Fair Lady runs till 23 February 2014. Ticketing information can be found on the Events Page. Exclusively take photos, as usual, can be found on our Facebook Group

Thursday, February 13, 2014

'Bane' in Review - 9 Feb 2014

A man in a thick trenchcoat steps onstage, followed by a guitarist sitting nondescript on the right side of stage. A square shaped light about 3 metres wide scales down the performance area at the centre of the stage, and we're off!

In the space of over an hour, actor Joe Bone reenacted the action movie-like story of assassin Bruce Bane as he attempted to escape attempts on his own life and leading a secret identity as a family man with a wife and baby on the way. Throughout the show, Bone played every character including extras such as hot dog sellers with schizophrenic frenzy, even voicing every sound effect such as gunshots and doors opening. No sets, no costumes, just one actor enacting an entire script with his voice and body.

Five minutes into the show it seemed like an adult/well-packaged version of a primary school skit. But as the show progresses, one is taken by how tightly the show is run, how incredibly well-rehearsed and detailed it is. Before long, we are caught up in his story as it took a serious turn, even with the occasional joke interpolated in it. While the story was predictable, the delivery was certainly unusual; a low-fi, no-tech action movie that engages our imagination more than any expensive highway car chase sequence.

Ben Roe on guitar provided an immersing live soundtrack, switching between styles and playing from memory with nonchalant ease. He did much to increase the emotional tension of the characters in addition to playing suitable background music of a scene setting.

At the end, we in the audience were duly impressed, and Bone ended his Singapore debut with a success.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Bilingual Policy - TONIGHT!!!

All engines are ready and raring to go. Tickets are still available at The Arts House's box office. See you guys tonight? 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dream Academy's Henderson Project - the Last Five Years

This run of Jason Robert Brown's off-Broadway musical The Last Five Years and Robin Goh's concert Happy Robin marks the start of Dream Academy's The Henderson Project, an initiative to convert their studio into a proper performance venue. I was told that a thorough refurbishment had taken place just for the occasion, with lighting, seats and a better looking exterior installed. The results, once you've found your way there, are quite impressive, resembling a nightclub atmosphere where food, drinks and booze are sold and can be consumed in the theatre mid show.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Joseph Alessi and the Singapore Wind Symphony - 23 Feb 2014

The Singapore Wind Symphony with conductor Adrian Tan welcomes trombone virtuoso Joseph Alessi as their guest soloist on 23 February 2014. Featuring the world premiere of Singapore composer Terrence Wong Fei Yang's Trombone Concerto Empire and other virtuoso works for solo trombone. Tickets available at SISTIC.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mad Scene Redefined

Ok I know there's much more important news going on in opera world (such as Renee Fleming's singing of the National Anthem at the Superbowl) but I just have to share this: this is how I imagine my fantasy mad scene will play out:


OMG Renee's on The View!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

'Voices of Brilliance' Stars on Time Out Singapore

Time Out Singapore features the three stars on the Huayi Arts Festival's Voices of Brilliance concert, Shenyang, Yu Guanqun and Zhu Huiling, taking place this coming Saturday 6 February 2014. Check out the feature here: