Sunday, October 28, 2018

Review: SLO Chorus in Concert - 27 Oct 2018


The Singapore Lyric Opera Chorus presented a full evening’s programme that saw many members competently performing as soloists in popular ensembles. Trained and led by chorus master Terrence Toh with detailed and layered accompaniment by pianist Dale Huang, they proved that the chorus is made of individual talents who are also skilled in performing as a whole.

Starting with the Bell Chorus of Pagliacci and the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana, the collective group of singers sang like a company of soloists – strong voices that have served as the backbone of many a large scale operatic production, while responding sensitively to the dynamic shadings of their leader as a whole. Jeth Mangubat’s strong, bell-like soprano rang through the hall in Santuzza’s solo lines in the Mascagni, setting the scene for the evening’s soloists to follow.




And measure up they did, as one after another broke ranks to stand front and centre onstage. Ng Hui-Jing, Denise Liu, Lowell Tan, Raymond Wu, Xiao Chun-Yuan, Lim Ming-Jie, Patricia Teng and Joan Baes sang beautifully in duets, trios and as choral soloists from a varied programme that includes pieces from Mozart’s Idomeneo and Don Giovanni and Verdi’s Aida.

Raymond Wu, Lowell Tan and Denise Liu

Ng Hui-Jing

Xiao Chun-Yuan and Lim Ming-Jie


My personal favourite is Ange adorable from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, performed by real-life husband and wife duo Jonathan Huang and Lin Yu-Ching. Their number soared with sizzling chemistry as their bright, full voices blending with beautiful intimacy. A close second is the number from Bernstein’s Candide, Life is Happiness Indeed, performed by host Edwin Orlando Cruz, Chng Mun-Wye and Jeth Mangubat. Their lively slapstick presentation with nifty choregraphy, clever use of props and tightly coordinated patter singing provided high quality entertainment value.

 Jonathan Huang and Lin Yu-Ching

Right to left: Chng Mun-Wye, Jeth Mangubat and Edwin Orlando Cruz

Other highlights for me are the Prisoner’s Chorus from Fidelio; this masterpiece for male chorus was sensitively delivered by the company’s virile male voices, with Jonathan Huang and bass Marcus Chan delivering the solos. Verdi’s Va Pensiero, a staple in the operatic chorus repertoire, was another highlight in a highly competent rendering.

Marcus Chan
To brighten up the evening further, members of the SLO’s Artists Training Programme (ATP) lent their talents in much of the first half. Sim Wei-Ying, Zerlina Tan, Keane Ong, Cherie Tse, Dennis Lau, Sun Zhao-Rui, Jonathan MacPherson and the lovely Chieko Sato gave a nice presentation of numbers from The Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow and more.

Chorus Master Terrence Toh

Pianist Dale Huang
After supporting the company’s international roster of stars for many a show, the company members of the SLO Chorus proved tonight that they have what it takes to be centrestage. The SLO has reason to be proud of its company of ensemble singers.



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