Tuesday, August 30, 2011

À Tout le Monde in Review

Hawk Liu reviews young flautist Jasper Goh's recital À Tout le Monde. The recital is published late due to miscommunications. Our apologies to Jasper.

27 June 2011, 8pm
1 Commonwealth Avenue, One Commonwealth Building #03-01

Jasper Goh - flute solos
Teo Shaoming - flute (the duets)
Loh Wan Shan - piano

Fantasia No. 2 for Solo Flute – Georg Philipp Telemann
Flute Sonata in D, Op.94 – Sergei Prokofiev
Concertino for Flute and Piano, Op.107 – Cecile Chaminade
Duet No. 3, op.10 for Two Flutes – Friedrich Kuhlau
Rigoletto Fantasy for Two Flutes and Piano, Op.38 – Franz Doppler

A Review - written by Hawk Liu

I first heard Jasper playing a short Debussy flute solo just a few months ago and now i am hearing a whole concert. I was treated to a good range of repertoire in terms of classical periods. I seldom listen to recorded flute music because the flute doesn't record well. Even in a concert hall, its beautiful sound is lost among the other instruments and in the large spaces concert halls usually are. So, it was certainly great to be able to sit in this small venue of nearly-30 capacity to be able to hear all the nuances and glory of the instrument. Jasper certainly provided much of the beautiful sound from his playing. The tone was sweet, his technique was sure, and interpretation generally idiomatic.

In terms of skills, Jasper, barely 20, really had to show it all in the very demanding Prokofiev. The virtuosic writing in the last movement was exciting and Jasper really brought it home with the much of the runs and I did notice how very secure the low notes were in those runs. He certainly showed he could bring on the power in the sound of the instrument in especially that movement - amazing! The second movement had some short scalic runs that didn't work though. It did sound like he blew straight into the flute for those. But the Prokofiev was really demanding and the slower passages needed a more matured reading.

I love the Chaminade piece. Jasper brought out the song element really well. Both piano and flute worked exquisitely together to bring out all the beautiful things in the piece. The coloratura was delicious and very clean, and the cadenzas just right. Of all the pieces, I feel this was musically and technically the most successful!

Alright, the bad news before I get to the duets. The piece I felt didn't work was the Telemann. There is always the danger of playing baroque with 'late romantic' leanings in especially rubatos and dramatic phrasing. Yes, there were some questionable rubatos. The pace needed to be more consistent and the tone more intense especially in the slow movements. There appeared to have been some less graceful breathing, probably due to nerves.

Now in constrast, the Khulau duet was such a delight. The pair gave a very tight performance - and I mean very tight! They were matching each other well, taking turns in the music to accompany and then play the main themes as the composer weaved the material in many clever ways. Jasper, especially showed his skills and understanding of the contrast in playing accompaniment and and playing solo lines within the same piece. Here, I am witnessing good music making.

I should make mention of the accompanist before I get to the 'Rigoletto'. Loh Wan Shan was competent pianist in term of music making - the intentions were clear and provided a great musical canvas for Jasper to weave his music on. There were some really exquisite piano work in the 3rd movement of Prokofiev. However, I did wish care was taken not to overpower the flute in the dramatic sections of the finale. There was also the danger of overpowering in the 'Rigoletto', though not as much as the Prokofiev.

Now the 'Rigoletto' - what a joy. Aside from Liszt's Rigoletto paraphrase, I was now delighted to add to my treasure this double flute paraphrase of a few of the main themes from the opera. The piece started with the 'La rà, la rà, la la,' theme of Rigoletto in despair. This was where I wish there were lots of rubato! It was too straightforward and didn't imitate Rigoletto's anguish enough for me. However, the crowning glory were the several variations of 'caro nome'. There were surprising twists and turns in the writing and also a waltz variation. The flutes gave full justice to the score as a finale to the concert.

Solo flute and piano duly gave an encore in the form of Tambourin by Francois Joseph Gossec. A great finish to a night of beautiful flute sounds!
I do wish Jasper the best in his study of the instrument. With more years of music making, the maturity in interpretation should come and I look forward to hearing him again and again.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Ever Audio Interview with Martin Ng

So we at The Mad Scene has been doing interviews in writing for like the four years we've been around, so I guess its time enough to try something new. Hence allow us to introduce our new audio interview format! Joining me for the first time is Martin Ng, last seen in Salome and soon to be seen again this coming Saturday as part of the Lieder Festival.

What happened was that we decided to meet up for dinner at Orchard Road, and after our meal we got to doing some Q-and-As and taped it down (so please excuse the surrounding ambiant noise). Its only natural to pick Martin for this experiment, being such a close friend and all. But then this being the first attempt for both interviewer and interviewee, there are bound to be some hickups which might just be as interesting as what's intentionally communicated; hopefully things will become more polished with experience. Please feel free to offer any comments. So eh, enjoy!

Martin Ng Interview

The second installment of the Singapore Lieder Festival runs from 2 to 4 September 2011. Check out the Events Page for more information.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Singapore Lieder Festival - 19 to 21 Aug 2011 in Review

Our reviewer Christopher shares his opinion on the recent Lieder Festival (Schubert Complete Song Cycles):

The art song genre is often neglected in Singapore; while we have no shortage of  performances of symphonies, operas and instrumental recitals, song recital is still rare. Kudos to the Sing Song Club and The Arts House for taking on the task of organising the first ever Singapore Lieder Festival, both to offer a performing platform for the young (and not so young) vocalists as well as to expose the audience to this genre of music. This year's festival comes in two installments: the first on Franz Schubert Complete Song Cycles (19 to 21 August) and the second on Robert Schumann Song Cycles of 1840 (from 2 to 4 September).

The first installation featured Franz Schubert's Die Schoene Mullerin (19 Aug), Schwanengesang (20 Aug) and Winterreise (21 Aug), performed by Peter Ong, Daniel Fong and Adrian Poon respectively. All three vocalists are well prepared and well rehearsed. Both Peter and Daniel possess a large voice with a darker hue, while Adrian had a sweet lyrical voice. All three singers are able to grasp the content of the pieces, and bring out the lines and diction well and clear. One can also sense a certain enthusiam (or anxiety) and perhaps inadequate breathing spaces were allowed in between individual songs, this is particularly obvious in Winterreise, when that space is very important to colour the depressed mood.

All three soloists sang with scores, this had been an acceptable performance practice. However, Peter Ong seems to be over-reliant on the scores, what a pity, he could have had more interaction with the audience. Comparatively, Daniel and Adrian only refer to their scores sparingly, taking advantage of the small hall to allow more eye exchanges with the audience.

One could not say that the soloists are perfect in their vocal techniques; however, their conviction in their interpretation  largely overcame their technical deficiencies. Ultimately, German lieders are more than mere singing, they are tone pictures that convey a certain atmosphere, a certain mood. One can sense the amount of preparation in their earnest attempt to interpret the songs (sometimes perhaps too much details was focused on such that the big overall picture was lost).

Throughout all three nights, Shane Thio give his usual supportive accompaniment and complimented the performers well.

The Arts House Living Room is a perfect venue for song recital. It is intimate, and not overbearing as it would be in a larger concert hall. Acoustics are warm and complimentary for setting lieder performances. One would certainly like to have more of such perfomances in the future.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Xu Shu-Ming Vocal Recital in Review

Concert Review Of Soprano Recital By Xu Shuming

Reviewed By: Xiao Chunyuan

Performed at Singapore Conference Hall on 14th August 2011, this recital showcased various genres of music such as Chinese, German, French and English art songs and three operatic arias. From what I understood, the soloist, Miss Xu Shu-Ming was born of China and studied under various teachers such as Miss Stella Zhou Ming Lun, Madam Nancy Yuen and Mr Lim Shieh Yih, just to name a few and this concert was to help her support her studies in the USA. She is currently a vocal student from the Department Of Vocal Studies at Longy Conservatory Of Music at Boston, United States.

Frankly speaking, I heard her singing during another concert which was organised by Hsinghai Arts Association. She was invited by the organisation as a soloist. I did not really enjoy that previous performance so when I heard that she was giving a solo recital, I decided to hear her because I wanted to see if she had made any improvements this past year.

Upon looking at the program booklet, the list of songs did not match the ones that was printed on the ticket. Some pieces were changed at the last minute. The accompanist was Mr Su Heng, one of the best accompanists in Singapore Chinese art scenes. I must say the host for the concert was very horrible, speaking in Chinese-style English and did anybody hear of the word 'Interval' being called 'Internal'? Here’s the evidence:

As a vocalist, Miss Xu was introduced to the audience as a singer with a voice that encompasses three octaves. Three octaves! To me, to have this wide a vocal range is a rare jewel if you are a singer with good singing voice. But that is not the case for Miss Xu. On the singing, her voice is small and very weak. This can be seen when she tells the audience what she was singing as her encore, cannot be heard at all! Performance wise, I must say the whole first half of the programme was very horribly done. I couldn't understand a word of what she was singing, whether it is English, Italian or Chinese. The operatic aria Signore Ascolta, taken from the opera Turandot by Puccini, was sung half in Italian and Chinese. This meant the singer both did not know the words, and worse still, did not respect both the composer and the librettist, and for that I did not applause during the first half. Besides the performance, the host is also one horrible fellow. Do not know how to speak, and still claims he done hosting before. The second half was slightly better, although I still did not understand her singing of the Western pieces and underwhelmed by her lack of vocal power.

In summary, I must say I was very disappointed with the performance and I hope that the next time I hear her again, it will not be so horrible!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Taiwan NSO's Elektra

This was sent to me only a moment ago and seems a good fit to our on-going  Strauss themed discussions: an excerpt of Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra's performance of Richard Strauss's Elektra that I attended earlier this year, with Australian Claire Primrose in the title role:

À TOUT LE MONDE - An Interview with Jasper Goh

This interview of flautist Jasper Goh's concert by Hawk Liu came to me at a really busy time and I simply forgot to publish it. My apologies to Jasper and Hawk for the oversight.


Our contributor Hawk Liu interviews Jasper Goh, a young flutist who was part of the LANXESS Singapore National Youth Orchestra concert reported here not too long ago. Here is a closer look at one of our rising young musicians:

A Solo Concert by Jasper Goh (flute)
27 June 2011, 8pm
1 Commonwealth Avenue, One Commonwealth Building #03-01


Fantasia No. 2 for Solo Flute – Georg Philipp Telemann
Flute Sonata in D, Op.94 – Sergei Prokofiev
Concertino for Flute and Piano, Op.107 – Cecile Chaminade
Duet No. 3, op.10 for Two Flutes – Friedrich Kuhlau
Rigoletto Fantasy for Two Flutes and Piano, Op.38 – Franz Doppler

The concert is sold out.

An Interview with Jasper
(By Hawk Liu)

I met Jasper while reporting on a bloggers' session that explains some myths of classical music.

Jasper Goh started learning the flute at the age of 13, and subsequently auditioned for a Summer Festival in North Dakota when he was 15, where he received tutelage from renowned flutists Laurel Ridd and Deborah Harris. Subsequently, he auditioned for the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and was awarded a scholarship to study under Brokmiller Evgueni (Associate Principal Flute, Singapore Symphony Orchestra), Wang Tong, and currently Roberto Alvarez (Associate Principal Piccolo, Singapore Symphony Orchestra). Jasper has also participated in various master classes by Andrea Griminelli, Hiroshi Matsushima, Anders Norrell, Michael Hasel (Associate Principal Flute of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra), Paul Edmund Davies (Former Principal Flute of the London Symphony Orchestra), as well as Mihi Kim. Jasper was named the Winner of the Open Division Category in the Flute Competition organized in conjunction with the Flute Festival 2010.

These were my questions for Jasper:

The Mad Scene: How did you get interested in music?

Jasper: When I was in Primary School, I joined the Maths Club as my CCA, but for some reason I was really attracted to the recorder. I managed to play the chromatic scale of two octaves on the recorder, whereas the other kids were struggling with a simple three-note melody. This inspired me to continue reading music and try to play everything on the recorder. It also helped that my brother was from the symphonic band in ACS(I) as a clarinettist, but he also taught himself the flute.

The Mad Scene: How did you come to choose the flute as your instrument?

Jasper: My brother told me to pick up the flute as it was more expressive and had more repertoire compared to other instruments in the band. I followed his advice when I joined the band in Maris Stella High School. However, for almost an entire year I couldn't really produce a real sound on the flute. This was rather demoralizing and I was almost transferred to the euphonium section. However, the second year was a good year for me and I improved really quickly and managed to get a scholarship to study in a summer music camp at North Dakota, sponsored by the Ministry of Education. Subsequently, I passed the audition for the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and attained a Distinction in my Grade 8 in Flute Performance, Trinity.

The Mad Scene: What do you hope your musical journey will be in the future?

Jasper: Upon completion of the National Service two years later, I hope to pursue music education in France, to achieve my aim into being a professional musician. I hope to become an orchestral musician, occasionally holding solo recitals such as the one that I will be having on 27th of June.

The Mad Scene: Which composers do you like? Why?

Jasper: I like many composers - ranging from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel, Mozart and Prokofiev. There are too many to name, but the primary reasons why I am drawn to these composers, other than Mozart, is because of their orchestral works. Although Mozart didn't like the flute at the time he wrote the two flute concerti, I still like both his flute concerti as well as all the flute quartets which he composed.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

SLO Salome Review

You've  read all our pre-performance features, you've seen the pictures and read my immediate post-performance thoughts; now Hawk Liu shares his opinion on how the evening went yesterday:

R Strauss - Salome
Esplanade Theatre, Singapore
19 August 2011

Salome - Janice Watson
King Herod - Hubert Francis
Herodias - Bernadette Cullen
Jokanaan - Dawid Kimberg
Narraboth - Kota Murakami
Page - Anna Koor
First Jew - Melvin Tan
Second Jew - Raymond Lee Pei Khoon
Third Jew - Ruben Aldea
Fourth Jew - Antoine Garth
Fifth Jew - Brent Allcock
First Nazarene - Martin Ng
Second Nazarene - Reuben Lai
First Soldier - William Lim
Second Soldier - Huang Rong Hai
A Cappadocian - Martin Ng
A Slave Girl - Su Yi Wen

Director - Andrew Sinclair
Conductor - Peter Selwyn
Assistant Conductor - Timothy Carey
Set Designer - Justin Hill
Costume Designer - Phylia Poh
Lighting Designer - Lim Yu-Beng
Choreographer - Gani Karim

Review - by Hawk Liu

I like operas that jump straight into the action without a 'formal' overture and Salome is one of those. The music elements take one straight into the mood of the piece. The stage is quite bare except for the huge entrance to Joknaan's dungeon at stage right and a stark, giant palace entrance at stage left. The singers made very good use of the stage and all stage business was interesting to watch.

All the leads were vocally wonderful. Even every one of the smaller roles was in good voice. Salome had an even voice from top to bottom and enough stamina to spare for the whole opera and another one after that. It's a difficult role, demanding full acting abilities throughout. I did believe her when she repeatedly demanded Jokanaan's head on a platter. Herod was a delight to watch as it was quite a bit of an acting role and his diction was excellent, though that did interfere with a few high notes. Herodias was a solid mezzo throughout and did play her play well. Jokanaan had a reliable solid tone too. The thing that bothered me about Jokanaan was his appearance. I was too conscious of his wig, his make up and his costume as being less than real compared to the rest. All the other roles were taken well. The difficult mob scenes were strong and the first Jew (Melvin) did stand out in the aspect of acting.

A highlight was the dance of the 7 veils where six well defined, muscled, bare-chested male dancers came on and showed us how R Strauss' sexy music could be very sexy....anyway, my eyes were glued to my binoculars for a while and I didn't fall asleep....

The orchestra did a great job with the score. All the nuances were there and the music certainly true to the R Straussian style. However, there were quite a few moments where I truly, truly wish they would swell in volume WITH the singers and not OVER the singers.

The overall production was true to the spirit of the opera and one does go off feeling the music of Strauss in this idiomatic work. I am not quite sure if the head of Jokanaan shocked me as I expected it to, maybe if Salome were to make a bigger deal of reality of the blood being everywhere on her, it might make it more real for the audience.Nonetheless it was a really enjoyable performance, one that I would recommend readers to watch.

SLO Salome in Review

Phew... just got back from quite an exhilarating experience. The cast of singers were fantastic, all four leads sang wonderfully. Apart from a colourful Dance of the Seven Veils, the stage was rather bare, but it was the dramatic cohesion and involvement by the entire cast that made the evening worthwhile. Janice Watson and director Andrew Sinclair created an innocent little child, rather spoilt, ignorant to the ways of the world and very capable at thinking of harebrained schemes to get her way. The wry smile she directed at Mommy Dearest before beginning the dance was that of a sly little girl keeping some naughty tricks up her sleeve, a small gesture that spoke loudly. While she wisely saved her voice for the difficult finale, dramatically she went full-out in response to the energetic cast. The voice in full-bloom was quite a sound to behold, a full lyric soprano with lots of room for dynamic outbursts. In contrast, Dawid Kimberg's and Hubert Francis' full masculine voices rang out solidly across the hall. Bernadette Cullen as Herodias has comparably less music to sing but built a strong rapport with her cast-mates. The supporting roles were luxury casting featuring many SLO leading men and ladies, and the results speak for themselves.

About 15 minutes into the show there was some cock-up when the conductor literally stopped the performance and asked Watson to go turn on the lights in the orchestra pit. No wonder the orchestra playing sounded scrappy. But this turned out to be a good thing as the entire performance was started again and audiences were treated to an impromptu 'encore'. Orchestra playing sounded a little small by my admittedly limited impression of what 'chaotic Strauss' should sound like, but they played expressively and blended well with the singers. Too bad the audience turnout was not that strong, and during curtain calls the enthusiastic applause from a half-full theatre did not create much of an effect. Perhaps, contrary to what we diehards have been saying, what Singaporeans really needs is yet another Carmen. But then there are still another three performances in this run so if you haven't made plans to watch this production, please do make the effort to check it out, it really is quite an enthralling experience.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Salome in Pictures

Photo Credit: Singapore Lyric Opera

Consider this our most breaking news item yet. Here's the Singapore Lyric Opera's Salome opens in four hours time but you can catch a first glimpse here. Check out the complete set of 18 pics on our Facbook Page!

If you haven't already bought tickets for this exciting run, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Singapore Lieder Festival - 19 to 21 Aug, 2 to 4 Seep 2011

The first ever Singapore Lieder Festival will be held at The Arts House from 19 to 21 August 2011, and then again from 2 to 4 September 2011. If the immoral cacophony of Salome is too much for you, perhaps you would like to check out these recitals instead? Here's a list of the performances:

August Performances:

19 Aug Fri | Die Schöne Müllerin

- Peter Ong, Tenor
- Shane Thio, Piano

20 Aug Sat | Schwanengesang
Part songs for male chorus

- Daniel Fong, Baritone
- Adrian Poon, Tenor
- Peter Ong, Tenor
- Wilson Goh, Tenor

21 Aug Sun | Winterreise

- Adrian Poon, Tenor
- Shane Thio, Piano

September performances:
2 Sept Fri | Liederkreis Op. 24
Kerner Lieder Op. 35

- Adrian Poon, Tenor
- Shane Thio, Piano

3 Sept Sat | Liederkreis Op. 39
Frauenliebe und Leben Op. 42
Myrthen Op. 25 (excerpts)

- Rebecca Li, Soprano
- Daniel Fong, Baritone
- Martin Ng, Baritone
- Shane Thio, Piano

4 Sept Sun | Sechs Gedichte von Reinick Op. 36
Dichterliebe Op. 48

- Peter Ong, Tenor
- William Lim, Baritone
- Shane Thio, Piano

The Mad Scene speaks to singers Adrian Poon, Peter Ong and Daniel Fong about the event:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Time Out Singapore Feature plus Leftovers

So like if you haven't already read my exciting feature on this month's issue of Time Out Singapore, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?!?!?!?!?!?! (there's no online version this month for some reason but please please please check out the print edition...) Anyway, here are some excerpts with director Andrew Sinclair and 'Salome' Janice Watson  that did not make the final article due to length considerations, but are too valuable to go unread. Enjoy!

The Mad Scene: You have had a long and fruitful relationship working with the SLO in Singapore, how do you find working in Singapore?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Liebeslieder (5 Aug 2011) in Review

Guest contributor Alvin Koh attended SOTA's Liebeslieder on 5 August, featuring singers Jeong Ae-Ree, Ralph McDonald, Phua Ee Kia and Reuben Lai as well as Shane Thio and Hye-Son Choi on the piano. In his second review with us he shares with a few thoughts about the concert:

Liebeslieder was an ideal way for me to end my day (or rather the start of the evening). This year, I have seen 3 song concerts, 2 at Yong Siew Toh Recital Hall and last night's concert.

Besides the endearing favourite german songs I knew such as Ganymed by Schubert, Widmung by Schumann and Zueignung  by Strauss (which I enjoy listening to more than singing it), the lesser known songs, (at least not in my vocabulary) such as Talismane, the Witches' Song and the Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltz Songs were, together with the more well known ones mentioned, indeed an aural feast, an ambitious attempt to represent the spirit of the art of the german Lied with a small selection from the pantheon of songs by these important composers.

The singers, of diverse backgrounds, each focusing on two to four songs and coming back together for the exquisite Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltz Songs for a quartet, did an admirable rendition generally. The evening was started off by Mr.Reuben Lai whose rendition could not be spoken unkindly of, given his precarious situation as a consequence of a most pernicious cold. I have great admiration for his commitment and he cleverly employed a lighter tone and finta in his singing. His vocal tone, though not in top form, hinted at a great potential to render art songs with appropriate colour and virtuosity when aided with a healthier disposition.

Mr. Phua Ee Kia's countertenor did not lend itself well to most of the lieder repertoire, I dare say, and certainly not in the songs he sang. Widmung ideally requires colourful medium low notes (which he struggled with) and needless to say a good medium high full voice to sing this exciting lied.The choice to sing Zueignung, of a slightly similar theme, is more forgiving. Unfortunately, the necessary piano (some singers might have had even taken the risk to sing it pp) in the first one and a half lines and crisp diction required are lacking and failed to do justice to the sensitive treatment by pianist Hye-Son Choi on the pianoforte. The grand and glorious "Heilig, heilig an's Herz dir sank" is indeed not easy to produce by a countertenor voice but Mr. Phua did not do a bad job at all.

Ralph McDonald's delightful and informative introduction of the theme of the concert was very helpful in perpetuating the musical mood and helping the audience to appreciate the hoch art form of vocal recitals. His excellent choice and rendition of songs were commendable, as was his steadfast vocal technique, although I would prefer that he went straight ahead to the 'Or' vowel in "Wie im MORgenglanze.." in Ganymed instead of slowly sliding between the consonant "m" and the proceeding vowel.

Miss Jeong Ae Ree stole part of the glamour of the evening not only with the superb musical treatment of her songs (a set of Mendelssohn lieder) but also by the drama created intentionally and not at all unaptly. The Witches' Song was daringly played and dramatised and yet without crossing the boundary between operatic acting and art song showmanship. Although Miss Jeong's petite leggerio soprano voice may be considered 'small' for this song, she used it quite well to create the suitable dramatic effect. Seldom has a light voice created such a 'ringing' in my ears and though Miss Jeong's was not the first to do that, my ears were certainly 'ringing' amidst her solos and her singing in the quartet ( FYI,the great Dilber was the first.). Mr. Shane Thio and Dr. Hyeu played with much musicality and sensuality in their collaboration with the lovely singers.

Indeed, I was very pleased to have participated as part of the audience and as I walked down the treacherous steps proceeding away from SOTA, I told myself I had to dig up my old german song cds and revisit the charming experience I had at Liebeslieder.

Quick Chat with Hubert Francis (Herod)

Name: Hubert ‘Hugh’ Francis

Nationality: Australian

Role: Herod

SLO debut? Yes

I love my role in Salome because…
Because of the broad spectrum of emotions in the character.

The characters of Salome are such a frightening bunch, why does your character deserve our sympathy and support?

We are all a product of everything which has happened to us until this moment. These characters are products of their time and circumstances, just as we are in our contemporary world. There may be some differences in how we live today, but also many similarities.

What can audiences look forward to in your performances of your role?

I hope that I can do justice to the music of Strauss and to my portrayal of the character.

My favourite recordings of Salome are:

Haven’t listened to any!

What I love about working in Singapore:

The weather and food! The steamed and roasted chicken rice at Waterloo Centre Food Court is strongly recommended!

The Singapore Lyric Opera's production of Salome opens on 19 August and runs till 23 August (no show on 21st). Get your tickets now at SISTIC.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What I'm Doing Tomorrow

Its quite an honour to be invited by my friend Iris Koh of Athenarts to be a guest performer at her student concert, happening tomorrow at 3pm at Marina Square's Yamaha recital hall on the third floor. With a cast of kids I will unfortunately be the oldest one in the group once again (as usual). Tickets are at $10 each, do drop by if you have the time!

Quick Chats with Dawid Kimberg and Bernadette Cullen

Our series of SLO exclusives continue with Dawid Kimberg (Jokanaan) and Bernadette Cullen (Herodias). these short interviews are commissioned by the SLO to be published on their website, but are first published here with kind permission from the SLO. Do check out their website to find biographical information about the high-profile cast. Meanwhile, here's some trivia information about the supporting cast:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Quick Chat with Andrew Sinclair

The Singapore Lyric Opera's production of Salome opens in two weeks time on 19 August! Here's the start of a slew of exclusive coverage from The Mad Scene. We speak to director Andrew Sinclair and get his take on what we can look forward to when the production opens:

Name: Mr Andrew Sinclair

Nationality: British/ Australian.

Previous SLO Experience:

La Boheme, Cavalleria Rusticana and i Pagliacci. Yes, Salome is my third production for SLO, although I suppose if you count Cav and Pag as two operas (which they are), rather than a double bill, it’s my fourth.

Why did you choose to work with the SLO on Salome?

First of all because they asked me to do the piece and I was extremely keen to do it. Next, because it’s a very exciting new departure for this company and I wanted to be part of that. I don’t think people here realise how lucky they are to have an opera company - and particularly one that does Salome.

What are the directorial challenges of Salome?

Well, some people regard it as sensationalist, so I suppose the challenge is to overcome that aspect and get to the heart of the piece - the tragedy of an unhappy teenager and what makes her the way she is.

What can audiences expect to see when this production opens on 19 August?

Many people who have not been to an opera have a misguided perception that they are too long with plots that take place over several years. Not Salome! It lasts for just over an hour and a half and the action takes place in “real time”, from the time she meets Jokanaan to the tragic end when they are both dead. It’s action packed. People who have never been to the opera will know the music to The Dance of the Seven Veils. All the music is exciting, beautiful and dramatically fascinating. If you want action you’ve got it all in Salome!


Coming up are more quick chats with star Janice Watson and Dawid Kimberg. Meanwhile check out ticketing and other information on the Events Page.