Thursday, August 17, 2023

Quick Chats with Francis Wong and Steven Ang

Tickets for Julius Caesar in Egypt are available at SISTIC. Find a special promo code for discounts at the end of the article! (Julius Caesar in Egypt [G] (


Hong Konger baritone Francis Wong is always a pleasure to perform with - He is always a warm and friendly presence with a lovely lyric baritone voice and dramatic instincts to match. Having performed in numerous roles on stages around the world, we were fortunate enough to have him in our concerts A Musical Sanctuary (2019) and Cycles (2023). 

Franics is very excited to be making a role debut with us in Julius Caesar in Egypt, coming soon on 9 and 10 September. Here we have a quick chat to get to know him better. 

What I like about my role (musically and dramatically)?

This is one of the only true villains of this Opera. I have never played this type of roles before, so I really welcome the challenge. I am also a lover of baroque music so being able to perform Handel's work is a dream come true for me.

What is your horoscope star sign, and what does it say about you?

I am a Gemini. They say it's very witty and full of energy and ideas, they aren't wrong! 

Tell us something that we would not otherwise know about you?

Prior to becoming an opera singer, I studied to become a professional interpreter, and worked as one briefly. 

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Everyone knows I love traveling passionately. In my free time, I love to learn how to cook different exotic dishes. For relaxation, I play the harp. 

Lastly, tell us why we should watch Julius Caesar in Egypt on 9 and 10 September?

It's a rare opportunity for Singapore audiences to get to enjoy the essence of this wonderful opera in a shorter form, with dialogues in English and arias in Italian (but with English subtitles). I have also been helping with the wardrobes for everyone, so be pleasantly surprised! This "small" production packs a big punch! See u all there.


Getting to present Handel's epic opera Julius Caesar in Egypt has always been a dream of mine, so it is extra heartening that I am able to gather such an amazing team to help me deliver my vision of this opera to a Singaporean audience.

This isn't, however, my first voyage to Egypt in the world of operatic stages, as I have played the Pharoah in the Singapore Lyric Opera's production of Aida. I look forward to visiting this beautiful ancient world again, this time as one of the most well-known people of this era of all time. 

What I like about my role (musically and dramatically)?

The fact that this character is a real-life person who's entire adult life has been one adventure to another, even at the time of death, and is such a legend that every generation has it's own tribute to him. I love that the story is based on real-life events even though some dramatic liberties were taken for dramatic exposition.

I have always been a geek for historical works, which is a big reason why I'm an opera singer and classical musician. Besides works of master composers like Handel and Verdi, I have also dipped my toes in performing the works of Shakespeare. The timelessness of pieces is what attracts me the most and I'm thrilled at the opportunity to put my own stamp on them at this point in time.

What is your horoscope star sign, and what does it say about you?

My horoscope is Pisces, the water sign. ILike my star sign I am known for being easygoing while being on the intoverted side at the same time. 

In addition, I love being in water, so regular trips to the neighbourhood swimming pool or water parks like Sentosa Adventure Cove and Wild Wild Wet is how I destress after a long week.

Tell us something that we would not otherwise know about you?

I have been growing as an Italia-phile since Covid. My experience with Italian prior to lockdown has mostly been song lyrics, but since then I have developed a love for learning to speak the language, as well as understanding the various regional and popular cultures better, outside of opera and classical vocal music. Drag Race Italia, the Italian spin-off of RuPaul's Drag Race, is awesome!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

People say that when you make your passion your work, you won't work another day in your life. But the opposite is also true, in that if you make your hobby your job, you won't have hobbies anymore! Haha....

So after a long day of teaching and rehearsal, what I really like to do is simply to lie down on my queen-sized bed and watch an endless stream of YouTube videos!

Otherwise, I love to just hang out with my partner, have dinner with friends and support them when they perform. Life in Singapore is so fast-paced that it's hard to maintain friendships, so it's important to put in the time when I can.

Lastly, tell us why we should watch Julius Caesar in Egypt on 9 and 10 September?

We have asembled a great international cast and crew this time. Everything that you loved about our first production of Macbeth last year will be dialed up many times more, including more elaborate costumes, performers, lighting and so on. English subtitles will also be provided.

The music that Handel composed encapsulates every range of expression, both in human emotions and musicality. This is a sweeping musical epic with political intrigue and romance coupled moments of comedy. You would not want to miss it!

Full cast trailers

Tickets for Julius Caesar in Egypt (9 and 10 September) are now on sale at SISTIC. Use the promo code 'Julius' for 10% off. Discounts are also available for NSFs, senior citizens and students! 

Julius Caesar in Egypt [G] ( 

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