Sunday, August 15, 2010
Did anyone catch the lip-synchtastic fest that was the YOG Opening Ceremony last night? Among many thoughts I have, the one that stuck-out most (and somewhat relevant to this blog's content) is how all the singers were lip-synching through piped music instead of performing live. The strangest bit is during the "World Youth Orchestra"'s segment where conductor Darrell Ang appeared to wave the baton to(hopefully) his own recording.
Are our performers really so terrible that such precautions have to be made to ensure perfection? I'm hardly the first person to say this but live music, for all its inherent flaws, is an essential element in heightening the atmosphere of a live event; performers feed off the energy generated by the live audience and in turn magnify and give back this energy a hundred-fold. Music recorded in a studio, polished for easy-listening on home stereos, can hardly match the excitement that skilled live performers can give.
And judging by our many years of Idol competitions and their channel 8, Suria and Vasantham equivalents, as well as the many many live concert reviews on Pianomania, Singapore is hardly lacking in musical talent, only in the opportunities available in exploiting them. A global event like the YOG, first of its kind and on a viewership scale larger than anything that we have ever done, would have been a great opportunity to exploit these talents. You'd think that creative director Ivan Heng and musical director Iskandar Ismail, with their many years in live theatre, would be sympathetic to this every essential element, but as usual our government chose to play safe and take the boring way out.
And its not like we lack the experience in producing such large-scale performances; if previous NDP parades using multiple orchestras and performing in multiple genres could provide live music, why should the YOG be any different?
So that's my two-cents worth on the opening ceremony. Though I must say that the new arrangement of our national anthem is wonderful. And the torch relay segment with that fancy dragon boat, walking on water bit and the physics-defying cauldron, was nothing short of spectacular.