How's this for a novelty line-up? Twin tenors David and Jonathan Charles Tay return from the Manhattan School of Music where they are studying to stage a recital of Vaughan William's On Wenlock Edge and other English and Italian tunes. This concert will also feature a great line-up of guest artistes including the Artsylum Quartet, violinist Edward Tan, and pianists Rachel Teoh and Valarie Wilson.
1) Phylia Poh's wild, imaginative costumes, especially the 3 genii, Queen of the Night and Monostatos's:
2) The high quality of singing and music-making, for "La Yuen"'s famous pianisimi, Tai Hsiao Chun's pitch perfect high notes (though the lower tessitura of the first aria sounded a little iffy, but she knocked the ball out of the park with her second scene), Lemuel dela Cruz as Monostatos who sang and camped really well in his biggest SLO role so far; even the minor cast of Eric Santos, Gabriel Pang, Ruben Aldea and Ronaldo Abarquez impressed me. The chorus sang exceptionally well.
3) The 9 girls who memorised and sang all the ensemble German music and mastered all that acrobatic stagework. Keep it up girls, you get full marks from me!
4) Coherent direction of an incoherent plot: kudos to director Justin Way and conductor Alice Farnham for not only getting the huge cast through this long work but for inspiring their best performances. It was a really enjoyable evening.
Reviewer Christopher offers his opinion on the SLO's Magic Flute:
I found this evening to be one of good production values and overall high quality of music-making. Despite some opening night mix-ups with the surtitles and sets, the SLO delivered a performance rich in musical and dramatic values (though it must be said that the mix-ups are much less apparent in previous opening nights).
I'm happy to announce that the Flying Inkpot is back online with a brand new look and a new collection of articles. Many readers may know that I had my writing start from the Inkpot before going solo on this blog. Check out the new updates at http://www.inkpot.com/classical.
And so here begins a new chapter in the travails of this blog. Why the new URL you ask? I suppose this shift has been a long time coming due to many reasons. First and foremost is that I needed to find a way to cut down on maintenance work: the Wordpress Developer system that was running the original site has become too difficult to maintain. It is a huge daily effort to weed out the hundreds of spams that the previous site receives although some readers have been telling me that their comments get deleted upon posting. After screwing-up my original HTML work on the old template it has since become a mess and uninspired; also it appears differently on different computers for some reason. In addition it is not compatible with my Google Chrome browser and post layouts will go haywire when edited with it. With Blogger's more stable, user-friendly system and spam filters, hopefully these problems will become a thing of the past.
Another advantage of Blogger's that I wish to exploit is its ability to publish Chinese text, something that the old site will simply turn to question marks when published. Note though that this blog will still remain an English blog, just that the odd titles and names may come with their original Chinese characters. Its ridiculous that an ethnic Chinese currently living in a Chinese society can't even write Chinese characters on his own blog. At least with Blogger I will have more freedom to widen my range of writing.
So what will become of the old site? Well it will still be online so you (and search engine users) can still access your favourite articles. Still, it is with some apprehension that I decided to leave the old site, as it has contained so many classic articles from the past 3 years, and that it ranks so highly on Google. Nonetheless I believe that one must not be afraid of change when the need arises. And since we are moving addresses, why not get a new look as well? My special thanks to my good friend Justin for re-designing his original banner which has in turn inspired this new look.Do give him a ring if you need design work done. Meanwhile, here's to a brand new start for The Mad Scene, and to many more years of great reportage of opera and vocal concerts in Singapore and the region!