Friday, March 28, 2014

LASALLE Musical Theatre Dept's 'The Wedding Singer'

LASELLE's Musical Theatre department presents their excellent annual production of a recent Broadway musical, this time of The Wedding Singer from 11 to 16 April 2014. More details here:

LASALLE’s Musical Theatre programme is proud to present the Singapore premiere of The Wedding Singer, one of the most popular romantic comedy films of the 1990s. This charming family musical involving a group of friends who fall in love and fall out of love will be performed by all the Musical Theatre students, as the graduation musical for 2013-14.

Music: Matthew Sklar
Lyrics: Chad Beguelin
Book: Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy
Director: Tony Knight
Choreographer: Nikki Snelson
Musical Director: Ben Kiley

Date: 11 to 16 April 2014
Venue: The Singapore Airlines Theatre, Basement 1
Time: 8pm, including a 3pm matinee on 12 April 2014
Address: LASALLE College of the Arts, 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940
Ticketing: Standard $15, Concession $10

Tickets available on the Events Page.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Singapore Youth Steinway Piano Competition

This year's edition of the Singapore Steinway Youth Piano Competition includes a first ever voting category. Watch these young contestants' performance and, after a simple registration, vote for your favourite contestant. Contestants with the highest wotes win the 'Most Popular Pianist' award and gets to attend a complimentary masterclass at Steinway Gallery. Voting runs till 17 May 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

FREE: Vox Camerata's 'Vita Dolorosa', 6 April 2014

Vox Camerata presents an evening of sacred music from the renaissance to the contemporary,  as well the world premiere of a newly commissioned work Tryptica Mater. More details via the flyer above and at their Facebook Invite Page:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jenny Lin's Keyboard Odyssey

US-based Taiwanese pianist Jenny Lin presents her debut concert in Singapore. Here's more info:

A Keyboard Odyssey with Jenny Lin
16 May 2014, Fri, 7.30pm
Esplanade Recital Studio

The Washington Post praises "Lin's confident fingers... spectacular technique... " and Gramophone Magazine has hailed her as "an exceptionally sensitive pianist".

Pianophiles are in for a treat this May with a piano recital by Taiwan-born American pianist Jenny Lin who has been drawing rave reviews for her adventurous programming, charismatic stage presence and scintillating brand of pianism.

Having wowed listeners both in concert and on disc with programmes that range from Broadway show tunes to music by pre-Soviet and early Soviet composers, Lin brings to Singapore an evening that compares and contrasts the turbulent complexities of Russian 20th century music in works by Shostakovich, Stravinksy and Arthur Vincent Lourié with the ideals of the Baroque and Romantic periods.

Lin’s recital will see her juxtaposing a selection of Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 with those by Bach before she traverses a popular selection of Chopin, Liszt and Debussy and close the night with Italian pianist Guido Agosti’s technically demanding and dazzling transcription of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Lin’s recording of Shostakovich’s Op. 87 was voted the “Best of 2009” by The Washington Post.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Austria, Jenny studied with Noel Flores at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, with Julian Martin at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and with Dominique Weber in Geneva. She has also worked with Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, Blanca Uribe, Dimitri Bashkirov and Andreas Staier. Lin holds a bachelor's degree in German Literature from The Johns Hopkins University and currently resides in New York City where she also serves on the faculty of the 92nd Street Y.

More information at SISTIC.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

An Interview with Jeremy Koh

I first became familiar with Jeremy Koh at New Opera Singapore's inaugural production of L'elisir d'amore in the baritone role of Belcore. Soon to graduate this year from NAFA's vocal music degree programme, he will take on the tenor role of Bastien in Mozart's childhood opera Bastien und Bastienne on 26 and 27 March 2014. We discussed the previous New Opera production, switching voice types, his mentors and the upcoming Mozart production.

The Mad Scene: Congratulations on landing the lead role of Bastien und Bastienne. How's rehearsals coming along?

Jeremy: Thank you! Rehearsals are intense! Not because of the long hours, but the amount of thinking and character study that our director, Andy Pang, puts us through. He makes sure there's a reason to everything that's said and done. I really admire his work.

The Mad Scene: Did having to sing in a foreign language call more more of this character work?

Jeremy: Hmm... not really. translations is a must like always, It's more about figuring out what's happened before the opera. That way, the things that happen in the opera fit together as a believeable story.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Time Out Singapore Feature on T'ang Quartet

I interviewed Lionel Tan and Ang Chek-Ming of the T'ang Quartet for the April issue of Time Out Singapore in time for their appearance at the NUS Arts Festival. Check out my feature here:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Donkey Dies Father Cries - A Stand-up Comedy Act

This English stand-up act is imported from India by Evam Arts and has already met with great success back home. It will play at the Goodman Arts Centre from 4 to 6 April 2014. Tickets can be bought at SISTIC. Here's a sample of what we'll get to see:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me Official Trailer (2014)

I came across this trailer for a documentary about Elaine Stritch. Its bound to be interesting for the musical queens among us. Funny how there's not one younger musical theatre star among the list of guests appearances.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Expert Advice with Martin Ng: Stage Fright

So I've been thinking of reviving my Expert Advice column, and while chatting with Martin on some work projects I sort of broached it to him. Martin was very keen to get started, provided that I include the usual caveat that he doesn't consider himself an expert by any means.

Nonetheless, having spent many years living and performing in Italy, Singapore and starting a burgeoning career in Taiwan, I'm sure he has some experiences to share that most of us will find useful. Think of the conversation below as a chat between two performers, one working on a international scale and another on a mostly regional one (me!)

Martin's performance season this year includes performing Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Sevile at the Teatro Comunale Ruggero Ruggeri di Guastalla in April, performing a role in the Taiwan Philharmonic's Salome in July and an appearance in Singapore.

Stage fright is a topic that is close to my heart, having the personality of a nervous nature. But Martin, while admitting to feeling some pre-show jitters as well, is made of stronger stuff. His advice is generally down-to-earth: practice and perform often enough, you will soon accumulate sufficient experience so that it doesn't get the better of you. Agree? Why not chip in your two cents in the comments section? Here's what we discussed:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Short Chat with Jazz Musician James Morrison


James Morrison, 51, is one of the greats of the contemporary jazz music scene. Having already achieved stardom in his native Australia for playing a breathtaking number of instruments including soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, clarinet, flugelhorn, bass trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, double bass, guitar and piano, he left for the US in search of greater success and found it, making waves by collaborating with bigger legends like Ray Charles and BB King. In town for the first ever Singapore International Jazz Festival in which he will be playing on a Steinway Concert Grand Model B, James Morrison discusses why it is the ideal piano for an evening of spontaneous jazz playing.

Hi Mr. Morrison, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is this your first time performing in Singapore?

Nope, I've been to Singapore many times for the Brass Explosion! Festival, but this is the first time I'm performing in Singapore in an international jazz festival.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

SLO's 'Cosi fan Tutte' in Review

It was an absolutely delightful presentation of Mozart's comedy of mistaken identities, one of the company's most successful productions, displaying excellent music making and ensemble acting. Director Tom Hawkes and conductor Joshua Kangming Tan ran a tight ship that held dramatic tension high, so that one number segued effortlessly into the next as if it were a through-composed piece. Not even for celebrated numbers did the action stop for the performers to bask in applause. Hawke's direction was detailed enough that it kept the action going without distracting the performers, while Tan's generally brisk tempi and clear textures, coupled with excellent harpsichord playing from Shane Thio in the recitatives, kept the music lively and interesting. The cast shared great chemistry, interacting like a genuine ensemble.