SINGAPORE: 7 October 2016 - Many moons have passed since we were little, enchanted by Sleeping Beauty, enthralled by the endless stories in 1001 Nights, and blown away by the adventures of Sinbad The Sailor. Blurry nights have been spent pleading with story-tellers and fighting sleep, wanting more. We have grown more than an inch or two since then, so what happens now?
Try dusting off the cobwebs on notions about classical music and seat yourself with loved ones in a concert space at the Singapore International Festival Of Music (SIFOM) this October. This year’s theme Myths & Legends will have you transported back to the land of make-believe. Into its second year, SIFOM will bring classical and contemporary music, vocal concerts and musical theatre to our shores with something for everyone in an attempt to lure new audiences. Here are 5 reasons why you should get your Festival Passes to enjoy all the concerts and great savings, or book your tickets now at SISTIC counters in Singapore or book online at sistic.com.sg before the SIFOM 2016 ‘chapter’ closes on 30 October.
1. Escape From The Daily Grind
What price to dance with Sleeping Beauty, beguile as Scheherazade cleverly did and outwit dark dangers with Sinbad once again? The audience escaped into the cradle of Mother Goose on 13 Oct (Opening Night of SIFOM 2016) and emerged with a view to catch the other concerts lined up during the Festival. Mother Goose was performed by reportedly the world’s greatest chamber orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Of Europe, alongside SIFOM Orchestra conducted by internationally-renowned Grammy-nominee Maestro Darrell Ang. There was a maelstrom of an ending to one movement and someone in the audience within earshot went wow! Aleksey Semenenko thrilled the audience with such virtuosity in his rendition of Paganini that he received a standing ovation. Music is such an elixir after office hours. There is untold solace whether it is in the rush of the music or the resonance of the final note.
2. Fill Conversation Gaps
If you feel off-colour putting aside the mobile phone to converse with someone, let dulcet melodies of The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) waft into the quiet spaces of your conversations. Then, with one of the greatest violinists of his generation Mikhail Simonyan playing up fiery Piazzolla tango-esque pieces, share tales with loved ones of how you have weathered the storms of life after the 14 Oct concert by Norway’s leading dynamic ensemble called 1B1. The Seasons may just be the desert spring in your events diary. Who knows where this may take you or how it will colour your life?
3. Get Inspired
When you need a little bounce in your step, all you need is some uplifting classical rifts. There is a dirty secret going around that hip hop producers from East Coast legends like Nas to party MCs like Ludacris take a fair share of inspiration and skim grandeur from classical Gods such as Beethoven (Fur Elise) in I Can, and Mozart (Requiem) in Coming 2 America. The verse in All by Myself - a power ballad by American singer, Eric Carmen (1975), is based on the second movement (Adagio) of Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18. The beautifully-composed bridge in Save You - a mid-tempo rock ballad by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson (2009), interpolates into a piano solo which was based on various works by Mozart. Get your dose of inspiring Mozart and Rachmaninov arias on 15 Oct by bass-baritone star Li Ao, winner of the Placido
Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and Bolshoi Theatre’s mezzo-soprano, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya. Both these stars are from the Musical Olympus Foundation which is committed to enhancing the arts and culture in Russia and around the world through the universal language of music. But first, take on the impossible Barock Lounge sounds in Baroque-meets-electro synthesised soundscapes (think Tim Exile from London and Brezel Göring from Stereo Total) created in an experimental lounge concert to be performed by the Hamburg baroque orchestra Elbipolis on 14 October at The Arts House Chamber, Singapore.
4. Get Married To Classical Music
Literally and metaphorically, get hitched to beautiful classical strains. Whether it is Schubert or Gounod’s Ave Maria aria, Air by Mozart or Wedding March by Wagner, it is all oh-so-beautiful! The mere mention of aria and I fall into a trance brought upon by memories of The Diva Dance Opera by the blue alien in The Fifth Element. A bride wanted it played at her wedding as guests arrive because she was thrilled that it was about a wedding and getting married. Akin to Mozart’s Queen Of The Night aria in The Magic Flute but somewhat spaced out, all I can say is: Plucky girl but know that it is a killer! Try catching New Music In A Mythic Landscape on 19 Oct and fall in love with Singapore instead through local composers and their music inspired by our ever-changing vista.
5. Master The Language Of The Soul
When your soul bears down on you, when peoples fight and apprehension suspends above a once peaceful globe, espirit de corp can come through music - the unifying language of the soul. Music Composer, Malcolm Arnold (1921 - 2006) said it best, “Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.” Take your BFF or someone you would like to warm up to, to watch Ikan Girl on 21 or 23 Oct. Let the magic of this musical theatre based on an ancient poem remind one of patience, kindness and love - wisdom for all ages. Alternatively, get your heart-strings pulled by powerful piano recitals by the Lady Godiva-esque Kseniia Vokhmianina on 16 October in The Sunken Cathedrals And Other Stories…; and Thomas Ang on 18 October with his presentation of Thief In The Night And Other Bizarre Tales. Incidentally, Kseniia received a standing ovation at The International Holland Music Sessions. Young Thomas, a graduate from London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music, will perform Ravel’s most terrifying piano masterpiece Gaspard de la Nuit, Chopin’s Third Ballade and finger-twisting Études.
While music lovers pack it in in October, new souls to classical music can ease in with UK-award winning Tze Toh’s …And there was N0th1ng on 16 October - a daring new performance that blurs the lines of classical, ethnic, jazz and popular music as the original story about how a machine tries to understand humanity only to find that it recognises the unpredictability and imagination of man as a pinnacle of evolution it can never achieve. Chinese music lovers will be in for a treat on the same day with Grand Prize and Audience Prize winner, Ding Yi Music Company and Vietnam’s Song Hong Chamber Music invigorating performance titled 五 + 5 = ?. Otherwise, journey with the vivacious soprano, Victoria Songwei Li, as she takes the audience through a young girl’s discovery of the excitement of love on 20 October.
The Singapore International Festival Of Music (SIFOM) 2016 runs from 13 – 30 October 2016. You can visit the music festival’s website at www.sifom-sg.com for the whole line-up of SISTIC ticketed performances, festival fringe and free community outreach programmes. Fill another page of your life with music.SIFOM Ltd in collaboration with Arts House Ltd and OperaViva Ltd presents Singapore International Festival of Music (SIFOM). SIFOM is supported by National Arts Council, Arts Fund and Victoria Concert Hall - Home of the SSO.
Tickets are now selling fast at SISTIC counters in Singapore as well as online from www.sistic.com
Check SISTIC for MasterCard, Senior Citizen, Student, NSmen/Home Team NS, NTUC member, Singapore Press Club member and Group ticket discounts, promotions and bundled Festival Passes.
About Singapore International Festival Of Music
The Singapore International Festival of Music (SIFOM) is Singapore’s first classical music festival that brings music to everyone. Internationally-renowned Conductor and Grammy-nominee, Darrell Ang, who is also Artistic Director of SIFOM, curates the Festival which aims to identify and promote local musicians, renew the concert-going experience for Singaporeans and grow in audience.
Inaugurated in 2015 when our nation celebrated SG50 – 50 years of nation building, SIFOM is focused on placing Singapore on the world map of classical music capitals and cement its reputation as the centre of classical music in the region. Through the unifying language of music, SIFOM draws people together to enjoy world-class performances by our talents alongside internationally-renowned musicians of our time. Some of these musicians are themselves mentors to youths and who have worked with legendary musicians and conductors. With SIFOM’s message that classical music is fun, energetic and inspiring, it aims to identify and connect closely with music-lovers. It also hopes to further establish the reputation of Singapore musicians locally and abroad. The Singapore brand of music-making is contemporary, invigorating and all-embracing. In a world in need of harmony, unity and peace, SIFOM hopes to achieve for Singapore a friendship, with all of us playing our parts in active support.
“Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.” — Malcolm Arnold, composer (1921 - 2006)