Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BHSO's 'Pirates of Penzance' in Review

The Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra turned in a really fun evening in their operatic debut, presenting a semi-staged production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. It is such a treat to be able to see and hear this popular comic opera live, from its witty plots and lyrics to the jaunty music that is at once inspired by and yet a parody of Italian bel canto styles.

This semi-staged presentation was conducted and directed by BHSO music director Adrian Tan, combining his experience in theatre and music in a single presentation. A raised platform behind the orchestra served as the playing area for the ensemble of nine singing-actors, while the chorus joined in the fun from the choral stands. Colourful handcrafted sets reminiscent of primary school projects and equally colourful costumes and makeup did much to add a visual context and brightened up the atmosphere. Light amplification was used to give the soloists an added acoustical advantage.

Friday, June 26, 2015

BHSO Presents 'The Pirates of Pulau Penzance' - 28 June 2015

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The Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra presents a concert performance of of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance this coming Sunday 28 June 2015.

The Pirates of Pulau Penzance is the orchestra’s first foray into opera. It adapted the famous duo, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operatta, The Pirates of Penzance, for the Singapore community by setting it in the Straits Settlements in the 1880s, with characters and themes that a modern day Singaporean audience can relate to.

Staying true to bringing classical music to the community from the community, The Pirates of Pulau Penzance is truly a community effort - from amateur musicians to choristers coming together to put up this performance and even to the creation of the props.

The details of the concert are -

Date: Sunday, 28 June 2015
Time: 5pm
Venue: School of the Arts (SOTA) Concert Hall

Come, witness for yourself the coming together of the Singapore community to present The Pirates of Pulau Penzance! Find out how to get tickets at the Events Page!

OMM's Mahler 8 'Symphony of a Thousand' - 10 and 11 July

Taken from the Orchestra of the Music Makers's official press release:

Singapore’s Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) will be performing one of the most ambitious pieces of classical music, Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony or “Symphony of a Thousand”, live in Singapore as a tribute to SG50.

Featuring no less than eight local and international vocal soloists, four large choirs (including three from Australia), a children’s choir, large symphony orchestra, separate brass ensemble and an organ, this is only the second time the symphony will be performed in Singapore’s history.

The monumental piece starts with a medieval Pentecost hymn and culminates in the closing scene of Goethe’s Faust, drawing together fundamental philosophical ideas of Western history. Mahler wrote this immensely moving and spectacular symphony as a “gift to the entire nation” for his beloved Germany, which is fitting for OMM in its tribute to SG50.

The Orchestra's Executive Committee envisioned bringing Mahler 8 to Singapore four years ago. Since then, the group has been working towards this collective vision, laying the ground for the idea to become a reality to make this performance a gift to the nation on its 50th birthday.

OMM’s music director Professor Chan Tze-Law, a leading Singaporean conductor and Associate Director of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, remarked, “This concert is five years in the making and easily our most ambitious project to date. It is a fitting tribute to the progress Singapore has made in its short history, including the development of a classical music scene. I could never have imagined a few decades ago that a home-grown symphony orchestra whose members donate their own time would perform at this calibre.”

Comprising 140 accomplished musicians, OMM was established in 2008 to provide an outlet for talented orchestral players, many of whom have developed careers outside of music. For the Mahler 8 concert, OMM will be joined by professional vocal soloists from around the region including sopranos Hyon Lee, Ariya Sawadivong and US-based Singaporean prodigy Janani Sridhar. Other international soloists include mezzo sopranos Deborah Humble and Songmi Yang, tenor Dongwon Shin, baritone Warwick Fyfe and bass Joshua Bloom.

The symphony requires a chorus with impact, so OMM will be partnering with Vocal Associates Festival and Children's Chorus from Singapore, and the Perth Symphonic Chorus, The Winthrop Singers and the Queensland Festival Chorus will travel from Australia specially for the concert.

In order to hone the skills necessary to perform Mahler’s most difficult symphony with artistic flair and precision, OMM tackled the composer’s 1st, 2nd and 5th symphonies in performances in recent years. OMM’s performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony garnered international recognition in notable publications such as Gramophone (UK), Mostly Classic (Japan), the American Record Guide (USA) and Fanfare (USA).

Link to tickets available at the Events Page.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

'Songs of Love and Dreams' - THIS Saturday 20 June!

Songs of Love and Dreams, the latest concert by the Basso Canaries, take place this coming Saturday at Goodman Arts Centre Black Box! This concert will feature baritones Steven Ang and Xiao Chunyuan, tenor Randy Tan, soprano Lin Ziying and pianist Winnie Tiopan, five our exciting young talents presenting a very varied programme. Find out more about us on our Facebook Event Page, and buy tickets at our Ticketmash page! Feel free as well to buy your tickets at the door!

Monday, June 15, 2015

W!ld Rice's 'Another Country' - 25 June to 11 July 2015

W!ld Rice presents their upcoming play Another Country from 25th of June till 11 July at the Drama Centre Theatre, with contributions from numerous Singaporean and Malaysian playwrights. Here's more information:

Join W!ld Rice on a funny yet insightful journey to Another Country this June from 25th to July 11th at Singapore's Drama Centre Theatre!

The second of five productions in the year-long imagiNATION season, Another Country takes inspiration from 'Peace' a value represented by one of the five stars on our national flag.

Curated by acclaimed local playwright Alfian Sa'at and renowned Malaysian playwright Leow Puay-Tin, provocative texts from both Singapore and Malaysia will be performed to depict life in each country. Featured works from Singapore include a short story written by Catherine Lim and a play by Michael Chiang, and from Malaysia, excerpts from a Jit Murad play, Mark Teh's toast, and more.

A highly collaborative project between fine theatre talents from Singapore and Malaysia, Singapore cast will be directed by well-known theatre personality, Ivan Heng, and will perform works by great Malaysia writers. Meanwhile director Jo Kukathas and cast from Malaysia will present exemplary works of Singapore literature.

Amongst this multi-racial, multi-talented cast are some of theatre's finest actors such as Lim Yu-Beng and Siti Khalijah Zainal from Singapore and Ghafir Akbar and Sharifah Amani from Malaysia.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Singapore Lyric Opera Children's Choir in Concert -10 July 2015

Get your fix of cherubic cuteness as the Singapore Lyric Opera Children's Choir presents their annual concert led by conductor Rose Loh and accompanied by Aloysius Foong on 10 July 2015. Local composers Bernard Tan, Kelly Tang, Zechariah Goh and Liong Kit-Yeng make contributions to the varied programme. Find out more details on the SLO's website!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Interview with Fleur Mino, Recital on 3 and 4 June 2015

French soprano Fleur Mino's concert of Broadway showtunes happens this week on 3 and 4 June 2015. This is a versatile singer who's professional credits range from Pamina in The Magic Flute and Maria in The Sound of Music. I have a chat with her to find out more:

Click here to read our earlier feature about Fleur Mino's debut concert.

The Mad Scene: Why pick a programme of Broadway songs for your debut concert in Singapore?

Fleur Mino: I have been working on Broadway songs for a few years. I was studying Classical repertory at the conservatoire de Paris when I saw The Fiddler in the Roof... it was a very emotional experience and I became a fan of Broadway music. This repertory is for me a beautiful balance between art music and popular music. I wish to express the same emotions in my singing that I receive from these songs.

The Mad Scene: Why do you wish to do a concert here?

Fleur Mino: It´s my first time in Singapore. I was very curious to discover this amazing town, full of energy, focused on the future. In France, we learn our history and here in Singapore, they're writing their history! I'm very impressed by the strength of this people!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sing'Theatre's 'La Vie en Rose' in Review

From left: Linden Furnell, Leandra Leandra, Lim Kay-Siu, Sebastian Tan, Rani Singam, Robin Goh and L.A. Benjamin
Sing'Theatre presented a loving tribute concert of songs by Edith Piaf, featuring the vocal talents of seven theatre mainstays: Sebastian Tan, Lim Kay Siu, Linden Furnell, Robin Goh, jazz chanteuse Rani Singam, big-voiced Canadian belter L.A. Benjamin and Singapore Idol alumnus Leandra Leandra.

The stage was presented like a high-class nightclub, with rising cream-coloured curtains revealing strings of crystal as a backdrop. Black formal wear were the dress code for the day – suits for the men and understated gowns for the ladies adorned with fuchsia accessories; neckscarfs, ties or tanktops for the men and light costume bling for the women.