Tuesday, March 24, 2015

'George and the Music Box' by Bellepoque

Bellepoque returns with a new show to be staged from 14 to 16 May at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Here's more information:

'Sound and Fantasy' - a Piano Recital by See Ning-Hui

Pianist See Ning-Hui will give a solo recital at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 16 June 2015. Here's more information:

Award-winning young pianist See Ning-Hui returns to the Esplanade after a successful debut in 2013, with the generous support of the National Arts Council and Arts Fund. A Gylla Godwin Scholar at London’s Royal College of Music, she has performed widely in Singapore and has given recitals at Steinway Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Pallant House Gallery in the UK.

The programme will have a focus on mature works of great German composers, showcasing a variety of styles and the infinite capacity of the piano as an instrument, dwelling on the themes of ‘sound’ and ‘fantasy’. Works to include Bach Toccata in D major BWV912, Beethoven's beloved Sonata in E flat major, Op. 81a 'Les Adieux', and one of the greatest masterpieces of the Romantic Era – Schumann’s Fantasie in C, Op. 17.

Find out how to get tickets at the Events Page.

More information about See Ning-Hui at http://www.ninghuisee.com.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Exclusive Interviews with MBS 'Beauty and the Beast' Cast and Crew

Hawk Liu interviews the cast of MBS's Beauty and the Beast, now running till 19 April 2015:

First up is a three-way chat with musical director Michael Borth and company manager Kristin Steward:

Hilary Maiberger who plays Belle shares with us her experience in this production:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'Singin' In The Rain' at MBS - 9 to 26 July 2015

Next up from MBS: Gene Kelly's classic musical film Singin' in the Rain brought to life, with real water sprinkled down in every performance!

And if you have enjoyed their previous run of The Sound of Music, rejoice as the production's Maria Bethany Dickson returns to Singapore in the leading female role made iconic onscreen by Debbie Reynolds. Here's more information:

Singin' in the Rain Splashes into The MasterCard Theatres
at Marina Bay Sands this July

Singapore 11 March 2015 -. Set to make a splash in Singapore is another critically acclaimed and ever-popular musical - Singin' in the Rain opens on 9 July at the MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands for a limited season. After a sell-out West End season in 2012, unparalleled praise from critics and audiences alike, four Olivier Award nominations, and a major UK tour, Singin' in the Rain is sure to delight Singapore audiences. Tickets are now on sale.

Set in 1927, it tells the story, made famous by Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in the iconic 1952 MGM movie, of the first Hollywood musical, when the silver screen found its voice and left silent movies – and some of its stars – behind.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SCO's 'Savage Land' in Review - 28 Feb 2015

I was completely swept away by the drama of the SCO's Savage Land. Its the rare opportunity to hear an opera in a language that I speak in, a stage-work that is already a certified classic but one that I'm experiencing for the first time, with a cast of internationally-established singers giving their all live in person.

Jin Xiang's opera Savage Land has been a mainland Chinese classic since its premiere in 1987, having been staged by the Washington Opera in 1992 and won compositional awards in Munich for its mix of avant garde, bel canto and traditional Chinese influences. Based on playwright Cao Yu's work, the plot revolves around themes of feudal oppression by the rich and powerful against the poor. Chou Hu (played by Zhang Feng) has escaped from jail and has arrived at the family home of the evil landlord Jiao Yan-Wang (literally translated as Jiao-Devil). He has come to seek revenge on the landlord for killing his entire family and having him imprisoned for 8 years on false charges, all to make his fiance Jin Zi (Li Jing-Jing) marry his son Jiao Da-Xing (Zhang Ya-Lin). Meanwhile, Jin Zi has to live through the indignity of an arranged marriage and putting up with the daily verbal abuse of her mother-in-law (Zhu Hui-Ling).

Saturday, February 28, 2015

SCO Savage Land - Interview with Maestro Yeh Tsung

In addition to soprano Li Jing-Jing, I got to speak to SCO music director Yeh Tsung for the Savage Land production as well. The show runs for only one day on 28 February 2015. Here is what we discussed:

The Mad Scene: This production sounds so exciting to a fan of musical drama like me. Why was this opera selected to be performed at Huayi 2015?

Yeh Tsung: As modern chinese orchestra we don't want to just play instrumental pieces. Like symphony orchestras worldwide we also want to play operatic and oratorio repertoire as well as experiment with multimedia. Since I took over we have experimented with productions either with Huayi Festival or with the Singapore Arts Festival or on our own.

But this is not the first time we are doing a Western-style opera. A few years ago we did Thunderstorm (雷雨), also based on a book by Cao Yu, but by composer Mo Fan. But this opera, Savage Land, calls for a significantly bigger production. I see it as an important step for SCO to forge, to go through a more diversified function. This is the very first opera in Chinese language in Western operatic form, with arias, recitatives, duets and Italian-style bel canto singing. It is also the very first Western-style opera from China to be performed abroad in the United States.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dream Academy and RWS's 'Great World Cabaret' in Review

Jeremy Lee gives us his account of Great World Cabaret by Dream Academy and Resorts World Sentosa, now running till 17 March 2015.

As Singapore’s 50th birthday approaches, icons of old that have made way for the nation’s inexhaustible march towards “progress” still live on in the minds of those of a certain age. (These people could be younger than we think, for example in their 30s.)

And as these people are also old enough to have accumulated some cash to spare for a night out, we are starting to see myriad efforts to recapture those lost good old days in the form of xinyao/oldies concerts, retro-themed movies, and even food courts with décor inspired by that halcyon era.

Great World Cabaret is seemingly one of them. Set in the eponymous entertainment club that was part of the Great World Amusement Park (the original site has now predictably been turned into a shopping mall), this show unashamedly targets those who remember the place— and those who would like to have.