Wednesday, November 26, 2014

W!ld Rice's 'Monkey Goes West' (till 13 Dec) in Pictures

I was invited to attend the opening night of W!ld Rice's children's pantomime Monkey Goes West but a bad bout of food poisoning prevented me from doing so (lost quite a bit of weight by the way). Nonetheless, check out these production pictures from that evening (click to enlarge). Looks like a fun production doesn't it? The show runs till 13 December 2014 and tickets are available on the Events Page.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Audioimage Wind Ensemble's 'Sound Paints Music Across Silver Screen' - 16 November 2014

Contemporary Spanish composer Oscar Navarro's Concerto for Clarinet, as performed this past Sunday by clarinettist Colin Tan and conductor Clarence Tan leading the Audioimage Wind Ensemble at NAFA's Lee Foundation Theatre, blew me away with its cutting edge yet completely accessible freshness.

Sandwiched among a programme of movie soundtrack and musical theatre arrangements, its dark, moody opening developed into a series of virtuosic turns, from high pianissmi to demanding runs at breakneck speed, incorporating upbeat jazz and folk influences. Despite a few flubs, the music was delivered with high and infectious energy from the soloist and largely young players, their collective love for the score is evident. It was a success for all involved.

MBS 'Mamma Mia' in Review

Truth be told I'm not a big fan of jukebox musicals, they are usually more of a song-and-dance cabaret than musical storytelling, plots are reduced to set-ups for the next number as opposed to story telling, and the music is meant to elicit excitement from audience members at hearing familiar tunes than to move the plot along and heighten emotions with beautiful melodies.

And yet, watching Mamma Mia, the mother of the genre that started it all, I felt that everything flowed in a very smooth manner. The song and dance of ABBA's music was very much present, but the plot was actually quite interesting and engaging. The songs segue into the drama in the most natural way, and storyline advance while the songs go on.

And what a good looking cast we have here! Lots of handsome faces and toned pecs and abs, from young adults to more mature fellas. In the lead role of Donna, Sara Poyzer gave a highly energetic performance in a long and demanding role. Her voice tends to get screechy at times with flat high notes when she gets carried away, but later on she showed us her formidable vocal chops packed with emotional charge in The Winner Takes it All. Niamh Perry as her teenage daughter also had her share of screechy moments but turned out what is in total an energetic and charming performance.

Monday, November 17, 2014

'The Way North' by 92steel&guts

Piano and violin duo 92steel&guts presents a free concert at the Esplanade Recital Studio, presenting sonatas by Grieg and Respighi. Here's more information:

92steel&guts presents THE WAY NORTH
Sunday, 4th January 2015 || 4:30pm – 6:15pm (incl. Intermission)
Esplanade Recital Studio
Free Admission – Registration Required! || Donations welcomed, post-concert

Gelato and pizza by the Leaning Tower, a scorching 40°C;
Star-gazing under the Aurora Borealis at a freezing –40°C.
Mamma-mia! Basta! ; Uff da! Så spennende!!!

Join 92steel&guts as we journey north in search of what really embodies Italy and Norway – is Respighi really the award-winning pasta chef? Is Grieg that capable seafarer from your last sailing holiday? Find out more at The Way North!

92steel&guts comprises violinist Tang Tee-Tong and pianist Wong Yun-Qi, Singaporean musicians who are currently based in USA and Germany respectively. The duo will be joined by guest singer Choy Siew-Woon for their debut concert.

A selection of norwegian folksongs and folkdances, transcribed and improvised for Voice, Violin and Piano || Edvard Grieg - Sonata for Violin and Piano, Nr. 3 || Ottorino Respighi - Sonata for Violin and Piano || A selection from Ottorino Respighi´s 5 Pezzi

TICKET REGISTRATION - reserve your tickets through one of the following channels"
1. Do a reservation through this form -
2. Send us an email –

3. Send us an SMS – +65 8494-9723
We will send you a ticket confirmation through the same channel.

Opera Siam's The Magic Flute - 25 tyo 27 December 2014

Opera Siam in Bangkok will present a production of Mozart's The Magic Flute on 25 to 27 December. Here's more information:

Opera Siam's The Magic Flute
25 to 27 December 2014

2 for 1 sale until 1 December 2014
Tickets available at all THAI TICKET MAJOR OUTLETS
or call (02) 2626-3456
for information or special group rates call (02) 231-5273

Have a magical Christmas this year at the Thailand Cultural Center with a world class production of Mozart's family classic "The Magic Flute". See this dazzling Thai-Sci-Fi production before it goes off to a run next year with Hawaii Opera Theatre in Honolulu!

14th Season Opens with MAGIC!

When Trisdee na Patalung conducted The Magic Flute in Opera Siam's 2006 production, London's "Opera" Magazine called him "a genius". He returns eight years later in the same opera having embarked on a brilliant international career in which he has conducted the Scottish National Orchestra, the R.A.I. Orchestra, and numerous other world-renowned ensembles.

International opera stars include Mexican-German tenor and Mozart specialist Emilio Pons and German baritone Falko Hönisch. Thailand's talent includes the ravishing Nadlada Thamtanakom, whose burgeoning worldwide career is based in Belgium. Members of the cast also include the up and coming Young Soloists of Opera Siam, and the Orpheus Choir.

Somtow Sucharitkul has revived his much-lauded "Thai-sci-fi" production, first presented for HM The Queen and HRH Princess Chulabhorn in 2003, but it will be much updated and filled with delightful new touches and new visual makeover by San Francisco designer Dean Shibuya, and new costumes courtesy of Thai fabric wizards the Pasaya company.

The music will be sung in German, but the spoken dialogue will be in English and Thai.

Surtitles in English, Thai, and Japanese.

Christmas Day - 7.30 pm
December 26 - 7.30 pm
December 27 - family matinee - 2 pm

Tickets available at:

FREE: Vox Camerata's Christmas Concert 'Adventure!' - 7 December 2014

Vox Camerata presents their Christmas concert Adventure! on 7 December (Sunday) at 7pm in Serangoon. Here's more information on their publicity poster:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Interviews with 'Mamma Mia' Cast and Creative Team

Mamma Mia is now running at MBS's Mastercard Theatre till 14 December 2014. Hawk and I speak to some members of the cast and creative team. First up is leading man Richard Standing, on the stress of taking on a role made famous by Pierce Brosnan (no not James Bond but...)

Resident director Nick Evans shares with us the differences between the film version and the live experience:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

International Festival Chorus' '40 Years of Song' - 15 November 2014 (Saturday)


So excited to be singing the bass solo of Bach's Magnificat with the International Festival Chorus this Saturday at SOTA, 7:30pm. Tickets are at $25 and $10 for concession, please email for yours!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Zubin Mehta in Review - 11 Nov 2014

Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
11 November 2014
The MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Vivaldi’s Concerto in B minor for Four Violins
Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 (Linz)
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5

A Review by Hawk Liu

This was my first live encounter with Zubin Mehta, after years of listening to his wonderful interpretations of so many works on record, my favourite being the Turandot with Sutherland, Pavarotti, Caballe and Ghiaurov. I came to the concert with anticipation and I wasn’t disappointed with his leadership of the orchestra. The man himself was looking physically tired. He looked as if he could only stroll onto the stage and he even tripped on the podium in the second half. It was surreal. Everyone was amused. But once the man started conducting the energetic passages, he was like a man less than half his age!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ma Vie avec Mozart - My Life with Mozart - 7 to 8 Nov 2014

Ma Vie avec Mozart - My Life with Mozart returns to Singapore for a second run, this time at the Yong Siew Toh Music Conservatory Concert Hall, with musical performance by its students. The video above is a trailer compiled from its original run at the Alliance Francaise. Tickets via the link below:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Psalmideo Chorale's Encore - 2 Nov 2014

Celebrating 12 years of singing, Psalmideo Chorale put on another outstanding concert with a wide-ranging programme, impeccable harmonies sung entirely from memory and mostly without accompaniment, giving lots of voice and tons of charisma. On the programme are sections of classically-set religious texts, Fillipino folk and pop songs and songs by the Beatles, The Lion King and Frozen. A handful of bright-voiced soloists livened up the evening in numerous numbers. Eric Robert Morales Santos conducted the team, while pianist Aditya David Permana accompanied in only two numbers.

LANXESS SNYO's 'Musical Virtuosos' - 27 Nov 2014

The SNYO with the support of technology company LANXESS will put on a concert on 27 November 2014, led by conductor Jason Lai and cellist Natalie Clein. Here's more information:

Musical Virtuosos Concert at the Esplanade
A concert by the LANXESS SNYO CLASSIC with famed cellist Natalie Clein

Concert Venue
Esplanade Concert Hall

Thursday, 27 November 2014


S$10 per ticket
For ticket purchase and other information, please visit

Bringing you timeless renditions from musical maestros, the “Musical Virtuosos”, is a dedication to talents long before our time. Presented by the LANXESS SNYO CLASSIC – a collaboration between German specialty chemicals company LANXESS and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO), the concert will feature guest soloist, acclaimed cellist, Natalie Clein and guest musicians from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under the baton of conductor Jason Lai. This ensemble of youth will dazzle you with Berlioz's The Roman Carnival, Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1, Faure's Élégie and Bizet’s Carmen Suite at this one-night only concert.

Jason Lai

Guest Soloist:
Natalie Clein (Cellist)

Concert Programme:
Berlioz, The Roman Carnival Overture
Fauré, Élégie for cello and orchestra, Op. 24
Saint-Saëns, Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
Bizet, Carmen Suite 1 and 2