Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: West Side Story at MBS, till 30 Sep 2017


Jeremy Lee gives us his review of West Side Story, now running at MBS's Mastercard Theatres till 30 September 2017.



Racial divisions in the heart of America. Ordinary people torn apart by discrimination and prejudice against people who look different from them -- a state of affairs that permeates all levels of society. And uncaring authorities that not only don’t stop the hatred but exacerbate and even encourage the bigotry.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Hawk Interviews Cast of 'West Side Story', at MBS till 30 Sep 2017


Our video correspondent Hawk Liu was live at the MBS Mastercard Theatres to speak to the cast of West Side Story, now running till 30 September 2017. 

First up is Keely Beirne and Waldemar Quinones Villanueva who plays Anita and Bernado respectively. 



Next up is Lance Hayes who plays Riff:



Lastly, Marc Koeck and Natalie Ballenger share the challenges and rewards of playing Tony and Maria respectively:



The videos above can also be found on Hawk's website http://hawkliuh.wixsite.com/singing/interviews-2017.

Check out the official trailer for this Singapore production, the dancing is no mean feat and then having to sing Leonard Bernstein's and Stephen Sondheim's virtuosic score is a huge undertaking taking in itself, which the cast, crew and orchestra pulls off with aplomb.



Most importantly, don't forget to get your tickets here via the Events Page!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Gordon Crosse's 'Purgatory' by L'arietta - 27 Oct to 5 Nov 2017

Press release from L'arietta Productions:



“Before my son I stand, holding the knife used to kill my father”

L’arietta Productions, the Singapore-based chamber opera company opens box office for the Asian premiere of Purgatory, an Immersive Operatic Experience coming to you this Halloween. Composer Gordon Crosse’s setting of the text by literary giant W.B. Yeats will have you trembling in your seats. Walk into an old Peranakan house and witness one family's tragedy guided by the spirits trapped between worlds. Is the house haunted? Is the family cursed? L'arietta Productions bring you a hair-raising unforgettable multidisciplinary experience October 27th-November 5th at the Theatre Practice Black Box Theatre.

Written in 1966 by British composer Gordon Crosse, the opera utilizes Yeats' original text in its entirety. Directed by theatre veteran Eleanor Tan, this production will depart from its original Irish setting to an old Peranakan household filled with matriarchs of the past. On the anniversary of the mother's wedding night, remorseful spirits of the Old Man's parents appear in the house where unspeakable horror unfolded when he was 16 years old. He brings his son to the ruined house and reveals the darkness that haunts this family; the drunken father, the mother who died giving birth, and the Old Man who stabbed his own father... Now the Boy is the same age as he was when the curse was set. What grim choices face this family? Will there be redemption for the dead and the living?

Purgatory will be Singapore’s first immersive experiential opera, where live painting, devised theatre, poetry, visual art, and opera will merge for an hour of macabre spectacle. This production is a proud in-conjunction event with the Singapore Writers Festival, celebrating SWF’s country focus: Ireland.
“Deconstructing Yeats” Educational Talk October 30th, 2017Led by award winning poet Aaron Lee and the creative team, the audience will dive into the rich text of W.B. Yeats. The process of bringing such intense piece of literary work will be revealed through a panel discussion. This is a rare opportunity for literary and opera lovers alike!

Incorporated in 2015, L’arietta Productions produce high quality bite-sized operas in English that are cozy, entertaining, and relevant. Collaborating with award winning artists such as Namiko Chan, Wan Xiang Lee, composer Chen Zhangyi, and poet, Aaron Lee; Straits Times regards L’arietta’s approach “vital in conveying the message that modern opera could be unstuffy, accessible and even fun.”

What: Purgatory by Gordon Crosse
When: 27 October to 5 November
Where: Theatre Practice Black Box Theatre (54 Waterloo Street)

Director: Eleanor Tan
Music Director: Aloysius Foong
Set Designer: Grace Lin
Set Consultant: Eucien Chia
Lighting Artist: Eugene Soh
Visual Artist: Namiko Chan
Boy: Peter Ong
Old man: Reuben Lai
Female Spirits: Ethel Yap, Ava Madon, Melissa Gan, Venytha Yoshiantini, Patricia Ginting, and Inch Chua



Check out the Events Page for tickets!

World Premiere: John Sharpley's Grand Oratorio 'A Moment of Rest Upon The Wind' - 1 Oct 2017


A message from Singapore-based composer John Sharpley:



My new large-scale oratorio, A Moment of Rest Upon The Wind  (based on Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’) for bass-baritone, soprano, actor and symphony orchestra will be premiered on 1st October, Sunday, 5 pm, SOTA Concert Hall here in Singapore.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1930, Lebanese-American) is arguably the third best-selling English-language poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. The simple yet profound messages behind ‘The Prophet’ are timely yet universal beacons of light.

‘The Prophet’ tells the story of Almustafa, who resided in the city of Orphalese for 12 years. About to board a ship that will take him home, a metaphor for his impending death, Almustafa is approached by the people of Orphalese and especially Almitra, the Seeress. He shares his wisdom regarding life, death and spirituality, which form the basis of the book. It is widely accepted that Gibran saw himself in Almustafa and his patroness and beloved, Mary Haskell, in the Seeress.

Ochiai Francesco Yohei, bass-baritone solo
(opera singer from Japan)

Akiko Otao, soprano solo
(opera singer from Japan based based in Singapore)

Zachary Ibrahim, storyteller
(Singapore actor)


Braddell Heights Symphony

Adrian Tan, conductor



Check out the Events Page for tickets!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

From Bel Canto to Can Belto - 30 Sep 2017


From Bel Canto to Can Belto is a vocal recital featuring Steven Ang, Edwin Orlando Cruz, Chieko Trevatt and Jeth Mangubat, with Winnie Tiopan on the piano and appearances by Jeremy Lee and William Chua. Check out the programme via the link below, and don't forget to get your tickets!

http://frombelcanto2canbelto.peatix.com

Brahms Requiem by ADDO Chamber Orchestra - 18 Aug 2017


Johannes Brahms
Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45

Presented by ADDO Chamber Orchestra

Clarence Tan, conductor
Sharon Frese, host
Wendy Woon, chorus-master
Wendy Woon, soprano
Alvin Tan, baritone
Leslie Theseira, piano
Abraham Alinea, piano



“Perfect music has its cause. It arises from equilibrium. Equilibrium arises from righteousness, and righteousness arises from the meaning of the cosmos. Therefore, one can speak about music only with a man who has perceived the meaning of the cosmos.” - Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

In a total break from the Latin texts of the traditional Requiem mass, Ein deutsches Requiem is a psychological poem, using 16 different passages from the Lutheran Bible to make emotional points of Death; what it is to be human; a humanistic approach to the inevitable end.

Baritone Alvin Tan
Inspired by Love, this requiem marks the landmark shift of attitudes towards traditional ideas of death. It marries the grand architecture of a large scale religious work, with its various movements and complex harmonic language; to the more human emotional intimacy and introspection of the Romantics.

Whether this work is the Light for furthering humanistic ideals, Brahms laid bare his uniquely defenceless expression of grief and loneliness, and was perhaps only in search of comfort and equilibrium, and meaning of the cosmos.

Join us this 18 August, Friday, at 8.00pm at the Victoria Concert Hall as we bring to you Brahms's original soprano, baritone, chorus, two piano and timpani version of his magnum opus.

A theatrical take:
In addition to the traditional concert format, Sharon Frese will be performing the role of Clara Schuman, sitting at a writing desk and narrates.  She introduces the piece with brief biography of Brahms, her relationship with him, the stimulus for the work and shares a letter.



(**Excerpted from press release)



Check out the Events Page for tickets!

Nidaros Cathedral Men and Boys Choir - 20 and 21 Oct 2017


Licha Stelaus Productions, a young Singapore-based presenter of classical music concerts, is proud to present the Nidaros Cathedral Men and Boys choir (Nidarosdomens Guttekor) as they take the stage in their Singapore public debut at the Esplanade Concert Hall on the 20th and 21st of October. Be enchanted by their wide repertoire of traditional and classical works, including major pieces such as Giacomo Puccini’s classic Messa di Gloria, which will be performed in its entirety for the first time in Singapore.

As the first young artists under the Licha Stelaus Productions umbrella, Nidarosdomens Guttekor is one of Europe’s most successful choirs with a history that dates back to the 11th Century when Norwegian and English stonemasons were building the Christ Church, Nidaros Cathedral’s predecessor. The choir will take on the rarely performed Messa di Gloria, a famous piece by one of Italy’s greatest opera composers, Giacomo Puccini. Audiences will also be treated to a shining jewel of Norwegian culture right on our own shores when Nidarosdomens Guttekor performs Den Fyrste Song eg Høyra Fekk (First Song My Mother Sang to Me), amongst other Norwegian folk songs for the night.


The talented choristers will be led by the current and artistic director of the choir, Bjørn Moe, who was a former choir boy himself, starting out as a boy soprano at the age of 8 and later singing both tenor and bass. For the first time for the choir, the Director of Music and organist of Nidaros Cathedral – Magne Draagen, will visit Singapore and perform with the choir for the first half of the programme for both nights. A rare treat for all, be enthralled with the melodious tones from the Esplanade’s magnificent pipe organ.

In the 2nd half of both evening performances, Nidarosdoments Guttekor will be accompanied by Singapore’s very own re:SOUND Chamber Orchestra as they perform Puccini's Messa di Gloria. The orchestra is Singapore’s professional chamber orchestra and has four widely successful performances to its name.

(Excerpted from press release)



Check out the Events Page for tickets!