Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Interviews with SPOT Singers - Charmaine Tan, Jeremy Koh and Evelyn Ang - 23 June 2017

We speak to Charmaine Ang, Evelyn Toh and Jeremy Koh from Singapore Pocket Opera Theatre to discuss their young company and upcoming concert, :48 - Our Gift to the Life Changers. Teachers. on 23 June 2017 at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Expect an evening of beautiful singing and unexpected audience participation activities. Check out our conversation below to find out more!

The Mad Scene: For readers who are not familiar with SPOT, please tell us what is it, who's in it and what do you guys hope to achieve with this company?

Charmaine: SPOT stands for Singapore Pocket Opera Theatre. We want to bring our performances around (hence the name) to break down barriers for the general public to learn and enjoy classical music through mostly informal settings.

Evelyn: SPOT is a portable, mobile, western opera ensemble that is started by a group of NAFA music alumni who wish to make classical music more accessible and relevant to people. We also see this as an opportunity to give back for all we've so blessedly experienced and received.

Jeremy: To add on, SPOT consists of not only the singers and pianist, but also resident string instrumentalists whom we frequently perform together when we embark on projects, and a support team that consists of composers, playwrights, photographers and volunteers. Check out www.singaporepocketopera.com to see who’s who!

The Mad Scene: You guys have performed in many places in Singapore and the region, which are your most memorable performances with SPOT?

Evelyn: Our outreach concert Opera at Twilight at the Botanical Gardens and SPOT in Kuching, a recital and fundraiser event for the Kuching Autistic Association.

Charmaine: My most memorable performance would have to be Opera at Twilight at the Botanic Gardens and the Woodlands 888 Plaza Arts in Your Neighbourhood outreach.

Jeremy: I think I would say the SPOT in Kuching concert as well. The food is great and… okay, it’s more about the fact that we managed to stage an outreach concert at a shopping mall AND the actual concert within the same day. The really warm reception from both audiences was really encouraging.

The Mad Scene: Tell us, what is your concert :48 about? How did you guys come up with such an abstract name in the first place?

Jeremy: We have a really good reason why, but we can’t say it…

Evelyn: so you'll have to come to find out! 😊

Jeremy: we wanted something that people could relate to that is not the overused theme of 'love'. We thought about it and concluded that everyone has someone who has taught them something at various points in their life (not just school teachers) that would shape them and propel them forward. That sparked a trip down memory lane and that's when we thought we have a theme!

The Mad Scene: What will you be performing in the concert?

Charmaine: The beautiful ensemble number Dirait-ton definitely has sentimental value because I have not sung it in about 10 years and it brings back a lot of memories.

Evelyn: Two duets and possibly a solo number very dear to my heart which will depend on whether I get 'balloted' to sing during the audience participation segment haha~ pick me!!!

Jeremy: I’m singing a few numbers including Lori Laitman’s composition The Apple Orchard. I would say that the programme consists of pieces that deeply matter to the performers, and… like what Evelyn said, there will also be a segment where audiences get to do a ‘lucky-draw’ and decide what goes next during the recital.

The Mad Scene: Besides your own numbers, what other highlights can audiences come to expect?

Evelyn: Le Colibri presented by Felicia and Una Furtiva Lagrima presented by Loi Seng - two of my all-time favorites! My heart melts each time I hear a good rendition of them

Jeremy: I think besides the music, we’ll be sharing quite a bit of our own stories too! This recital will leave the audience thinking when the last note sounds.

The Mad Scene: Lastly, how has managing and performing in SPOT helped each of you grow as artists?

Evelyn: I think it has made me more human.

Jeremy: It has showed me what wonders we can do with friends. Each team player has a set of skills that the others cannot do without, and SPOT has given us the chance to express ourselves, to share, and bring meaning to others through music.

Charmaine: Managing SPOT has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone and I am glad we work together as a team. It is no longer about whether something can be achieved; It is about thinking out of the box and finding a solution or another method together to get around whatever problems we face. Performing in SPOT has been a really meaningful experience. Seeing the audience joy and laughter every time we go on stage has brought me great satisfaction as a performer. It is what keeps me going. 😊

:48 - Our Gift to the Life Changers. Teachers. by Singapore Pocket Opera Theatre is on 23 June 2017. Special discounts are available for those who bring their teachers. Click on to our Events Page for tickets!

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