Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Germany-Based Singaporean Baritone Eng Meng-Chia's Vocal Recital - 23 Jan 2016

Germany-based Singaporean baritone Eng Meng-Chia will be presenting a recital at the Japanese Association Auditorium on 23 January 2016. Meng-Chia has performed in almost every season of the Bayreuth Wagner Festival since the mid-80s, so you can expect a wealth of performance experience in his concert. Tickets on sale at $25 each, please call producer Eunice Ng 6717 6081 or 9730 7261 for bookings or more information.



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Additional Zubin Mehta/IPO Concert Tickets for Sale - 7 Jan 2016


Tickets for Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's concert on 7 January 2016 at the Esplanade Concert Hall are selling fast. Due to overwhelming demand, additional seats at the choral gallery behind the stage are now available for sale at $150 each. Here is your chance to see the Maestro in action from the same vantage point as the orchestra! Check out the Events Page for details!

Here is a short documentary about the founding of today's Israel Philharmonic, a story that started in the time of Nazi Germany that saw a mass emigration to the Middle East and their part in the founding ceremony of the State of Israel.


Friday, December 11, 2015

RWS 'Cinderella' in Review - 10 Dec 2015


Belgium-based Music Hall's new retelling of the Cinderella tale is high-quality entertainment for families. A great cast of talents sang, acted and danced beautifully around simple but detailed sets, filling up the huge RWS Theatre stage with lots of energy. This production, directed by Karina Mertens with mostly original music by Ad van Dijk and Matt Dunkley, was first produced in Belgium where it was a hit. The version now playing in Singapore has its lyrics translated to English from its original Flemish. Its a mish-mash of cultural references, starting from its fairytale scenery to its dance numbers in pop and jazz styles, punchlines referencing British royalty and a fiery ending that is reminiscent of Don Giovanni.


The Cinderella story holds no surprises for its viewers, and this retelling is mostly faithful to what we know (from Disney or elsewhere). While lots of physical humour kept the audience entertained, what sets this production apart its focus on the protagonist's relationship to her Mother. This time, 'Mama' (played by Deborah de Ridder) is no mere passing whisper but is an active participant of the plot in a spiritual form. Her exchanges with Cinderella  (or Louise in this production, played by Charlotte Campion) is the true heart of the show.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BHSO's "A Not-so-Classical X'mas!" - 13 Dec 2015, 5pm


The Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra presents an unusual Christmas concert, with a segment of Christmas carols set to popular Hokkien tunes. More traditional seasonal offerings include a set of songs from Home Alone, The Reluctant Dragon by John Rutter, a medley of tunes from Frozen and Christmas carols arranged for orchestra and choir. Vocal soloists are tenor Leslie Tay and baritone Alvin Tan (coincidentally my colleagues at Madison Academy of Music, hehe...) and boy soprano Samuel Yuen.


Concert is this coming Sunday 13 December 2015, 5pm at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Check out the Events Page for more information!


Fun with Christmas Carols Performance Workshop



My friend Iris Koh is conducting a workshop in Christmas caroling for children, with an actual live performance at the end! Let your child learn to sing and perform this holiday season, and put his or her new skills to good use right away. Check out the link below for more information.

https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/fun-with-christmas-carols-performance-workshop-tickets-19795996358

Cinderella - A Fairly True Story


Resorts World Sentosa presents a new adaptation of the Cinderella story, Cinderella - A Fairly True Story, is an original musical already a big hit in Belgium. The Singapore run features a professional cast and crew from Belgium and will also be the premiere on their English version set to tour the region. In the cast are locally-based girls taking turns to play young Cinderella. Check out the video below to find out more, and get your tickets at the Events Page!




Saturday, December 5, 2015

FREE: Cappella Martialis's 'The Christmas Project' - 19 and 20 Dec


Cappella Martialis, Singapore's only dedicated early music choir, presents two free concerts on 19 and 20 December at two local churches. Here's their write-up about the concerts:




Cappella Martialis, Singapore's only vocal group dedicated to early music, supported by King's College London Alumni Society Singapore, presents 'The Christmas Project', an Advent and Christmas recital of music for the season from the Mediæval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

The recital will include motets and anthems by Victoria, Morales, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Tallis, Vaughan Williams, Prætorius, and JS Bach, as well as ancient chants from the Eastern and Western Churches. Cappella Martialis will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble that includes strings, recorders, dulcimer, harp, lutes, renaissance guitar, and period percussion.

Cappella is proud to announce this will be the world premiere performance of 'Advent', a new piece by Canadian-born London-based composer Kathryn Rose.

KCL has possibly London's best college chapel choir, and no less than three of their alumni are in Cappella Martialis, along with some alumni of Oxford and Cambridge chapel choirs, so expect a recital in the best English style. Admission is free, and music-lovers are invited to make a contribution in a box toward charities.

P.S.: look out for a brief singalong of familiar Christmas carols!



Check out their events pages on Facebook for more information!

19 Dec - https://www.facebook.com/events/932652070104868/

20 Dec - https://www.facebook.com/events/144269795934822/

Thursday, December 3, 2015

SLO Children's Choir - "Winter Wonderland" - 6 Dec 2015


The SLO Children's Choir presents their second concert this year on 6 Dec 2015. On the programme are pieces and arrangements by local composers a medley of songs from Frozen. Wind band Project W Musicians will also be accompanying the kids in some pieces. Conductor Rose Loh will lead the evening with accompaniment by pianist Aloysius Foong. Check out the SLO's website for more information:

http://singaporeopera.com.sg/currentseason/1516/slocc-concert-2.php?menugroup=0

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PsalmiDeo Chorale's 'Cantate!' - 30 Nov 2015


PsalmiDeo Chorale's 2015 offering is a hallmark of sorts. Their 13th concert full-length concert is described by the first of the evening's many emcees as the choir entering its 'teenage year', a growing up of sorts that saw their debut at the Esplanade Recital Studio among many firsts. Standing in mixed formation and performing their 2 hour programme entirely from memory, the collective group of singers along with their conductor Eric Santos were well-prepared and ready to impress.


Programme-wise, contemporary religious works provide a challenge to test the ensemble's maturity. Works by Josu Elberdin, Ola Gjeilo, John August Pamintuan and a secular work of sound effects by Eric Whitacre (The Seal Lullaby). Standouts in this segment are Morten Lauridsen's setting of O Magnum Mysterium, with beautifully floated pianissimo singing by the choir, followed by a collective rousing belt in Charles Villiers Stanford's Beati Quorum Via. Indeed, Lauridsen's version of renaissance sacred music remains my stuck in my mind days after the concert, especially the hushed yet floated voices in the final chord.


Balancing the evening's presentation are choral arrangements of pop and folk songs from Singapore and the Philippines. Pianist Danny Imson was a generous accompanist to the proceedings. Violinist Cho Myung-Sik gave the evening much colour with his romantic playing in You Raise Me Up. A handful of vocal soloists (John Rae Cortes, Joan Baes, Pearl and Divine) showcased the ensembles strong individual voices supported by their fellow singers behind.

All in all, the choir came ready to impress and impress they did. It was a very successful evening of music making, ending with a standing ovation. Bravo Psalmideo, can't wait to see what you guys have in store next year! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Free: Voices - A Festival of Song by the Esplanade



Voices - A Festival of Song is a music festival that celebrates vocal ensembles in every form - from traditional choral to a capella groups, show choirs and solo singers. Workshops in vocal technique and choral conducting are also available.

Best of all? Its FREE! On the bill are the Singapore Men's Chorus, choir Evokx, crossover group Singerporean Cantate, Taiwanese a capella group Sirens and Singapore Idol alum Mathilda d'Silva.

Voices - A Festival of Song runs from 5 to 7 December. Click on this link for the full line-up of performers and events:



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Interview with Cast Member of Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem'


Cirque du Soleil introduces two new acts in the remaining shows of Totem in Singapore, with kind sponsorship from DHL Singapore. Hawk Liu speaks to acrobat Gael Ouisse (who also developed the new scenes) to find out his journey to becoming a performer with the illustrious circus.



Read our review of Totem here:

http://the-mad-scene.blogspot.sg/2015/11/cirque-du-soleils-totem-at-mbs-in-review.html

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interview with SLO Artistic Director Nancy Yuen


To say that Nancy Yuen is no stranger to Singapore's operatic stage is simply putting it mildly. She will be performing in the Singapore Lyric Opera's upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala Concert this coming Friday, 13 November with Lee Jae-Wook, Song Kee-Chang, Anna Koor and Martin Ng with our friends in the SLO Chorus, Children's Choir and Orchestra, led by Joshua Tan Kangming.

More importantly, she has been appointed the company's new Artistic Director this year. We speak to Nancy to find out her plans for the company:





Sunday, November 8, 2015

Exclusive Interviews with Cast and Crew of Ghost


I was actually quite skeptical at first, but I really enjoyed Ghost the Musical tremendously. A beautiful love story married nice songs and amazing stage craft. Its amazing how the various elements of acting, costuming, lighting, set design, sound effects and illusions come together with such exact precision to create a supernatural world of ghosts among humans.

Hawk Liu interviews the cast and dance captain of this American touring production so you can find out what to look forward to.

First up are the leads Lucie Jones and Liam Doyle, who play the iconic roles portrayed be Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the movie:



Next, Hawk  drools  talks to dance captain Robert Knight to find out how a film can be adapted for the stage:



Lastly, Wendy Mae Brown and David Roberts talk about their roles in the musical:



Ghost the Musical runs till 15 November 2015. Check out the Events Page for tickets!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' at MBS in Review



Our correspondent Jeremy Lee attended Cirque du Soleil's Totem, now running at MBS till 6 December 2015. Here are his thoughts:



Spellbinding. Gravity-defying. Superhuman.

These are the adjectives that one might use to describe Totem, the latest show of Cirque du Soleil, now playing in Singapore again after so many years, next to the Marina Bay Sands.

But I’m sure they will be used in other reviews, so I shall choose another word: Gratuitous.

According to Cirque du Soleil, Totem is about “humankind’s incredible journey” from amphibian to flight. From the astonishingly intricate costumes, we can see how it’s supposed to show that: In one sequence, performers clad in quite realistic ape costumes monkey around on stage and mimic the Darwin’s evolution of man line up; performers dressed in skin-tight colourful “amphibian” togs swing around on high bars and a trampoline. And of course, trapeze artists soar high above our heads.

The real star of the show though, costume-wise, is a magnificent glittery-from-top-to-toe number, whose lucky wearer ascends on a trapeze to become a human disco ball. Though I couldn’t tell how this fit in into the theme of evolution, it was certainly stunning.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

'Landscapes' by Eric Watson and the Conservatory New Music Ensemble - 1 Nov 2015 (Sun)


Landscapes, a concert by the Conservatory New Music Ensemble led by conductor and composer Eric Watson, takes place this coming Sunday, 1 November 2015 at 5pm at the Esplanade Recital Studio. On the programme are works by Watson as well as pieces by Arvo Pärt, Chen Yi and Bright Sheng. Check out the interview video with Watson below, and visit The Esplanade's website for more information!




'Five' by the Graduate Singers


The Graduate Singers (a choir consisting of NUS alumni) celebrate their 5th anniversary with a concert entitled Five on 10 November at Chijmes Hall. On the programme is the premiere of a piece by Chen Zhangyi specially commissioned for the occasion. Other songs in the concert repertoire include pieces by Grammy-winning composer, Eric Whitacre, Toru Takemitsu and Se Enkhbayar. Check out their website http://www.thegraduatesingers.com/#!five/c207y for details.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ding Yi Chamber Music Festival - 23 to 25 Oct 2015

Click to enlarge

If you haven't made plans for this weekend, check out the Ding Yi Chamber Music Festival taking place at the Esplanade! It features ensembles from Singapore, Taiwan and China in a three day festival. Check out their website below for more information:

http://dingyimusic.com/component/content/article/155.html 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

SRT The Little Company Audition Notice

From my inbox:



SINGAPORE REPERTORY THEATRE (SRT)
Audition Notice
SRT’s The Little Company is a professional theatre company that produces quality plays and musicals for children. You are invited to audition for our exciting and fun-filled 2016 season.

Audition Information
Date and Time:
Sunday, 1st November 2015, 1800-2100
Monday, 2nd November 2015, 1400-1900

Venue:
The Loft @ SRT
11 Unity Street, Robertson Walk
#02-08, Singapore 237995

Requirements:
· Age 20 and above
· Able to commit to a full time schedule for 8-10 consecutive weeks (daytimes and evenings)

Audition materials:
a) 2 Contemporary monologues: 1 comic and 1 dramatic
· Must be from published plays
· No longer than 1 minute each

b) 2 Contrasting Songs: 1 Ballad and 1 Uptempo
· Must be from published musicals
· Must be performed with minus one backing tracks. SRT will provide speakers and a CD player.
· Alternatively, you may bring a piano accompanist. SRT can provide a keyboard provided the request is made at least 24 hours in advance.

All audition material must be memorised.

Registration deadline : Monday 26th October 2015
To register for an audition, please email the following to audition@srt.com.sg mailto:audition@srt.com.sg:
Subject heading: TLC Audition 2015, (your name)
• CV (2 page maximum)
• Good quality headshot
• preferred date and time of audition (please list two options)

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted with confirmation of an audition timeslot.

About Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company

The Little Company is a professional theatre company that produces quality plays for children. We aim to enthrall children from ages 2 to 12, with theatre that is written, designed and performed specifically for them by professional adult actors. We strongly believe that theatre can help children develop socially, mentally and emotionally. The Little Company was founded in 2001 by Singapore Repertory Theatre based on the belief that children deserve the same quality of theatre as adults.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

FREE: 'Sayang Singapura!' by the Asian Contemporary Ensemble - 13 and 14 Nov



The Asian Contemporary Ensemble with artistic director Wong Kahchun (recently appointed to the team of the Berlin Philharmonic to lead their music education activities) present a free concert programme entitled Sayang Singapura! They will present 2 performances targeted at family audiences, combining music by local composers with storytelling, dance and animation, as well as the introduction of their signature mascot, Ace the Mer-cat!



Trace the footsteps of King Rajasuran and his descendant, Sang Nila Utama, together with the Asian Contemporary Ensemble! Perfect for family audiences, the concerts promise to be a multi-sensory experience, with live storytelling, animation and dance alongside compositions by local musicians Phoon Yew-Tien, Bernard Tan, John Sharpley, Jonathan Shin, Christopher Clarke, Joyce Poh and Anne Choo.

The concert is on 13 and 14 November at the Arts House Chamber. Check out the Events Page for details!

Opera Recital Fundraiser for Nepal - 18 Oct 2015

Click or download to view full size

Check out this opera recital this coming Sunday (18 October), featuring locally-based professional soprano Satsuki Nagatome and tenor Jonathan Charles Tay pianist Vincent Chen. It features an exciting programme featuring extended excerpts from La Traviata, La Boheme, Macbeth, Carmen and The Merry Widow. Proceeds will go to help victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Find out how to get tickets via the Events Page!

Sing'Theatre's 'Take Me Along!' with Robin Goh - 11 to 14 Nov 2015


Sing'Theatre presents a tribute concert to legendary French singer Charles Aznavour, featuring Robin Goh. Judging from the recent La Vie en Rose concert, I must say that Robin Goh is quite a specialist in this French chanson repertoire, so you guys have a great show to look forward to. Here's more information:



Join the charismatic Robin Goh for 4 magical evenings as he showcases the music of the legendary master of French Chanson, Charles Aznavour, for the first time ever in Singapore!

From November 11 - 14, the newly renovated theatre of Alliance Francaise will be the setting for an intimate, acoustic concert showcasing Goh’s authentic and moving renditions of his favourite ballads and uptempo songs by France’s most famous singer.

Brought to you by Sing’theatre, who captivated audiences with the wonderful concert “La Vie en Rose” this past spring, “Take me along” is sure to be an unforgettable introduction to the music of Aznavour for Singaporeans.

Says Sing’theatre founder Nathalie Ribette, “As a French national, I think Aznavour is one of our most beautiful living treasures and I can’t wait to share his phenomenal music with a Singaporean audience”.


More information at the Events Page!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

'Landscapes' by the Conservatory New Music Ensemble - 1 Nov


The Conservatory New Music Ensemble from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music presents a special evening of works by composers Arvo Pärt, Chen Yi, Bright Sheng and locally-based Eric Watson. Check out the programme and find other related information on Esplanade's website.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Paris-Based Pianist Wang Congyu's Concert in Singapore - 15 Nov 2015


France-based local pianist Wang Congyu will be staging his comeback recital at the Alliance Francaise on 15 November 2015. He will also be launching his new CD Charme at the event. Please call Neville at 9649 0524 or Abdul at 8200-0433 for tickets.


Check out http://www.congyuwang.com to find out more about Wang Congyu and his many accomplishments abroad!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Chanticleer's 'Over the Moon' - 4 Oct 2015


American choir Chanticleer's concert Over the Moon this past Sunday 4 October sealed their reputation as one of the world's premier vocal ensembles. Their beautifully clear vocals blended beautifully, singing and moving in perfect synchronisation, performing intricate pieces and arrangements from a broad variety of styles.

Their varied programme had segments in pieces by standard classical composers, renaissance works, cycles by contemporary American composers, arrangements of classic pop and jazz songs and American spirituals.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pappano's Aida - Available from Oct 2015


Warner Classics presents a brand new studio recording of Aida, conducted by Antonio Pappano with Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Netrebko's baby-daddy Erwin Schrott in the leads. As usual it takes a Greek soprano to do Italian opera well. Check out the making of video here, and more information via the link below:




http://www.warnerclassics.com/release/550718,0825646106639/antonio-pappano-verdi-aida?eml=2015October2/2766873/6225064&etsubid=83092297

Thursday, October 1, 2015

SLO 25th Anniversary Gala - 13 Nov 2015


This year's SLO Gala Concert is on 13 November at the Esplanade Concert Hall, and will feature soprano Nancy Yuen in her first appearance as artistic director. Also on the bill are baritones Song Kee-Chang and Martin Ng, tenor Lee Jae-Wook and mezzo-soprano Anna Koor. Check out their website for details on programme and tickets.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dream Academy's Crazy Christmas 2015 - 10 to 19 Dec



Dream Academy presents their annual Crazy Christmas revue, poking fun at recent events including SG50 celebrations, elections and the haze. The company will also be celebrating their own 15 year anniversary. Acts performing include the Dim Sum Dollies, Pam Oei, Broadway Beng, Petrina Kow, Karen Tan Michaela Therese, George Chan, Robin Goh, a capella group Vocaluptuous and drag legend Kumar. They will also be joined by a choir specially formed by kids from Nanyang
Primary School and seniors from the Henderson Senior Activity Centre. Check out the Events Page for more information!


Friday, September 25, 2015

'Sleeping Beauty on Ice' at MBS (till 27 Sep 2015)


Russia's Imperial Ice Stars presented their touring production of Sleeping Beauty on Ice. I found a most stunning production with the most graceful cast of skaters/dancers. In addition to top-notch routines set to Tchaikovsky's sweeping music, this production went beyond the expected ballet performance on skates to include fiery pyrotechnics and aerial acrobatics with dancers swung from wires or grabbing on pieces of cloth. At one point the dancer playing Princess Aurora (Olga Sharutenko) even traded in her skates for a pair of pointe shoes and danced the entire scene on her tippy-toes - ON ICE! Playing the maniacal villians, Alexandr Kazakov and Maria Mukhortova stole the show with their campy theatrics, as did Yahor Maistrou in his energetic routines as the butler Carabosse. A superbly energetic encore closed the show.

Tickets are available at SISTIC, do catch it before its run finishes on 27 September!



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Interview with Chanticleer (SG Concert on 4 Oct 2015)


The San Francisco-based, Grammy Award-winning all-male choral group Chanticleer returns to Singapore as part of their 2015/16 tour. This is the first season that is curated by their new artistic director Fred William Scott, and will also see them perform in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Macau. The Mad Scene speaks to Kory Reid, Chanticleer's Assistant Music Director and countertenor with the ensemble, to find out what we can look forward to on 4 October:


Monday, September 21, 2015

Victoria Chorale's 'In Song '15' - 27 Sep 2015 (Sun)


Victoria Chorale will be staging their annual In Song concert series on 27th September at Victoria Concert Hall. They will be performing a diverse range of music including arrangements of American folk songs such as Deep River (Philip Lawson) and Shenandoah (Donald Cashmore), contemporary settings of hymns - O Salutaris Hostia (Ēriks Ešenvalds) and O Lux Beata Trinitas (Kerry Andrew) among many other numbers.

Tickets are priced at S$20.
Group discount at S$18, available with minimum order of 10 tickets.

Please contact tickets@vc.org.sg for tickets.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wild Rice's 'The Emperor's New Clothes' - 20 Nov to 12 Dec


Here's more information about Wild Rice's annual year-end pantomine, this time presenting their localised spin on The Emperor's New Clothes running from 20 November to 12 December:


Wild Rice returns this November for a local spin on Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale, The Emperor's New Clothes.

Directed by Pam Oei and written by Joel Tan, the Emperor would be celebrating the most extravagant National Dress Parade to celebrate his 50th anniversary of his reign. His narcissism has left him to neglect his citizens unless they complimented his appearance. Two troublesome tailors decide to teach him a lesson in light of his conceit.

This musical will see the likes of Lim Kay-Siu as the Emperor, with musicians, Benjamin Kheng of the Sam Willows and Singapore Idol alumni Sezairi Sezali, who will play the role of the mischievous tailors, and will be accompanied by the talented Siti Khalijah Zainal- all of whom will be playing musical instruments live on stage.

Catch Wild Rice's final production for their imagiNATION season, as we close this year with a light-hearted musical in light of our nation's 50th birthday.

Cast : 
Lim Kay-Siu as Emperor
Audrey Luo as Empress
Benjamin Kheng as Tailor
Sezairi as Tailor
Andrew Lua as Grassroots Leader
Benjamin Wong as Grassroots Leader
Siti Khalijah Zainal as Grassroots Leader
with
Benjamin Chow
Andrew Mark Ong
Candice de Rosario
Seong Hui-Xuan
& The FIRST STAGE! Kids

Venue : Drama Centre Theatre


Find out how to get tickets at the Events Page!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dick Lee's Beauty World - 13 Nov to 12 Dec 2015


Dick Lee's landmark musical Beauty World returns to the stage from 14 November to 12 December this year. It will star TV actresses Jeanette Aw and Janice Koh in their first ever stage musical. Check out the Events Page to find out more!





Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Interview: SLO Young Divas Sachika Ito and Marlena Devoe



We have a chat with the two new leading ladies of the Singapore Lyric Opera's upcoming double bill of Pagliacci and Gianni Schicchi. Young, beautiful and talented, Japanese Sachika Ito and New Zealander Marlena Devoe look set to sparkle on the stage of our Esplanade Theatre when the production runs next week (10 to 12 Sep, Thursday to Saturday). Here's their respective introductions, followed by what we talked about:


Sachika Ito
Nedda / Nella (soprano)

Sachika Ito graduated in opera singing and chamber music with a certificate of honour. She won the 3rd prize in the Competition for Young Singers of Foggia and the 2nd prize at the Concorso G.Poggi in Piacenza, the Certaman New Voices Ciudad de Sevilla.

She has performed with soprano Maria Laura Groppi in Conservatiorio Nicolini in Piacenza since 2004. Her notable main roles include Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Norina in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Elvira in Rossini’s L'Italiana, Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen, Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Serpina in Paisiello’s La Serva Padrona, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sofia in Rossini’s Bruschino Signor, Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme, Adina in Donizetti's Elisir d’amore and Countess of Folleville in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims. Sachika has recently started singing modern and contemporary music with various composers.

The Mad Scene: Tell us, in your own words, which character in this doublebill production are you playing, and what does she do in the opera?

Sachika Ito: I’m playing Nedda in Pagliacci and Nella in Gianni Schicchi. Nedda is a traveling actress, wife of Canio (Pagliacci) but is in love with Silvio, a farmer from the village where they will perform at. She decides to leave her husband and her career for a new life with Silvio, but her desire is not realized because Canio discovers their secret.

Nella is the wife of Gherardo, mother of Gherardino. She is concerned about her inheritance from of her recently deceased uncle Buoso Donati, just like all her other relatives. They ask Gianni Schicchi (a trickster) for help in rewritting the will of Buoso.

Friday, August 28, 2015

SLO's Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci - Preview and Exclusive Interview with Director Tom Hawkes


Our special thanks to the Singapore Lyric Opera for allowing Hawk Liu to film rehearsal footage of their upcoming Gianni Schicchi production (running 10 to 12 September along with I Pagliacci) as well as having a conversation with director Tom Hawkes about what we can expect. Hope you enjoy these videos, and remember to get tickets at the SLO's SISTIC page!





Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: 'Dreams' by Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra


Dreams by Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra
Music Director - Adrian Tan

School of the Arts Concert Hall
23rd August 2015, 5pm
Piazzolla - Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
soloist - Gabriel Ng

Low Shao-Ying and Low Shao-Suan - Dreams (premiere)
Dvorak - Symphony 8

A Review by Hawk Liu


The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Piazzolla was a great choice for the concert as it was romantic and very attractive. The main motives from Vivaldi's Winter and Summer were heard in a few places, as well as hints of Piazzolla's own Adios Nonino. Gabriel Ng brought out the romantic elements quite well. There were a number of pitch problems that unfortunately stood out a little more, just because there were so many glissandi to stand next to notes which had to be pitch perfect. Nevertheless, that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the program.

Gabriel Ng tackled the technicalities quite well, especially in the most virtuosic fourth movement. With a little more flair, Piazzolla would be happy too. The orchestral ensemble was beautifully played, blending well and sounding lush, players decked with red flowers in their hair! After four curtains calls, we were treated to a spirited encore of Paganini's caprice no. 19 by the soloist.


Dreams, a 2-movement short programme, was delightful from start to finish, sounding a little John William-ish in the happy parts of the original Jurassic Park. It was a feel-good fix. Dvorak was the piece that would test the orchestra. The piece was played with authority and confidence throughout. Yes there were intonation problems here and there, especially from the trombone section (sorry, folks). That being said, the orchestra has come a bit of a way to being the much tighter orchestra today. Good job, Adrian. I have to add that the woodwinds did not make a false move in the entire symphony!

After, the symphony, we were given a surprise encore with Dvorak's Romance in F minor, played by concertmaster David Loke. He coaxed full perfect tones from every bow and I enjoyed the piece very much. Dvorak's Symphony 9 next round, please??