Friday, May 18, 2018

Quick Chats with Nancy Yuen and Thomas Ruud - SLO's Aida - 1 to 6 June 2018


We have a few words with the stars of the Singapore Lyric Opera's upcoming Aida, to find out more about them as well as the upcoming production.




The Mad Scene: Hi Nancy! Thank you for chatting with us today. As SLO’s artistic director, why pick Aida to present to Singapore for this year?

Nancy Yuen: As one of the major operas in the repertory, Aida has never been featured on SLO’s calendar. It is about time this great masterpiece be presented to the Singapore audience.

The Mad Scene: When and where did you last perform the title role of Aida? What is different in assuming the role now compared to back then?

Nancy Yuen: My last visit to the role of Aida was in Dublin nearly two decades ago. Having sung it before, the big difference now is that I have twenty more years of maturity to the vocal technique and life experience. I really look forward to the continuing challenges that this demanding role brings.

The Mad Scene: Lastly, what can Singaporean audiences look forward to in this Aida production?

Nancy Yuen: There will be no fewer than a hundred performers on stage with spectacular sets, colourful costumes, mesmerizing lighting and glorious sounds to all the familiar tunes of Aida. It certainly is not something anyone should miss. I implore all Singaporeans and visitors to come for this once in a lifetime experience.



The cast of SLO's Aida

The Mad Scene: Hi Thomas! Thank you for doing this interview with The Mad Scene. Firstly, how would you describe your voice to those who have yet to hear you?

Thomas Ruud: It is difficult to describe one’s own voice, but people have described it as a lyric dramatic voice. They have said my voice is very full, with the typical Scandinavian timbre, that one can very easily recognize in Jussi Bjørling’s voice, for instance. But I think that other people should describe my voice, and not I.

The Mad Scene: When and where have you performed Radames?

Thomas Ruud: I have sung the role of Radames once, in a semi-staged production in Sacramento, California some years ago.

The Mad Scene: Having made your debut as the Rossini Count Amalviva, how did your voice go from a light lyric role like this to Radames?

Thomas Ruud: I have actually sung the role of Count Almaviva over 150 times in 8 different productions. One was with the Nobel prize winner in Literature, Dario Fo, as the stage director with the famous Rossini specialist Alberto Zedda conducting. The voice naturally matures through the years due to ageing of the body. It’s very important to never stop taking lessons, as your voice develops all the time due to the change of your muscles. I find it absolutely necessary to always work on one’s technique, so that your voice stay healthy and free. Then as you grow older you may take on more dramatic roles, and thus slowly let your voice mature.

The Mad Scene: Is this your first time performing in Singapore? Are you looking forward to working here? And why?

Thomas Ruud: This is not my first time performing in Singapore. I was the soloist in Puccini's Messa di Gloria last October. I am very much looking forward to coming back. I really like the people in Singapore. They are very polite and friendly, and the country is very beautiful. I am looking forward to performing the role of Radames. There are many very good soloists in this production. The orchestra is very good, and from what I have learned so far, this will be a spectacular production of Aida.

More information about Thomas Ruud at http://www.thomasruud.net.



Sneak peeks at the sets and costumes as well as rehearsals promise a truly exciting production to come, one that is traditional in its setting yet contemprary in its delivery. Get your tickets at SISTIC now and see you at the Esplanade Theatre from 1 to 6 June 2018!

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