First swim lesson (Dan)

Dan’s first swim lesson.

The boy’s been waiting and I’ve been procrastinating. It wasn’t until a mommy friend asked around that I got him in.

So much confidence in the water, all thanks to the experienced coach and oh well, the hubs who has been bringing the boy to the pool to play while the girl is having her swim class.

More to come, I suppose?

Advertisements

SINGAPOPERA, a truly spectacular performance

Oh, what a night. What a spectacular performance!

The much anticipated Singapopera, a celebration of the musicals of the very talented Dick Lee, was staged last weekend, to the delight of the audience. The two-hour performance by Dick Lee and his cast was received with much positive feedback (at least from the comments of the audience as they left the concert hall) and why not?

The audience was first treated to the songs choreographed from Beauty World and I thought it set our expectations with that. We were certainly mesmerised by the powerful singing by the cast. The atmosphere was light and personal as Dick and the other cast members introduced the subsequent songs and gave us a little background to them.

Some of my most memorable songs would be the ones from Forbidden City, Beauty World, Snow Wolf Lake and Fried Rice Paradise since those were the musicals that I have watched and songs which I’ve heard growing up.

Benjamin Chow and Cheryl Tan did a marvellous job with Now China Has A Son and Starting With The Eye/ My Only Chance respectively. Sitting among the audience, I felt as if I was transported back to watching the musical. Just that this time round, the set and costumes weren’t there but the singing and the facial expression remained the same, if not more powerful.

Dick Lee himself performed the Cantonese version of Snow Wolf Lake’s Love is Forever (爱是永恒’) because it was a difficult piece to sing. I could understand what he meant but Dick did a wonderful job with it. Truly commendable!

img_8508

Other songs that I personally enjoyed would be the ones performed by Denise Tan and Frances Lee. Their theatrical persona came on strongly the moment they performed and both provided so much laughter in No Class (Beauty World). Those facial expressions were hilarious and provided much entertainment. When Fun (Hotpants) was performed, I thought I shed a tear or two because I could so relate to what was sung but that emotion was quickly replaced by a sense of happiness because I was really having fun through the concert.

Sebastian Tan, as usual, charmed his way into the hearts of the audience as he candidly shared about his friendship with Dick Lee and presented Another World (Beauty World) wonderfully, amongst others. And then there was Dwayne Lau whom I got to know more through this concert and he performed Look A Little Closer (Twist of Fate) beautifully. Awesome job!

img_8500

Then there was the stellar performance by Alemay Fernandez whose powerful voice wowed the audience in the concert hall. I believe we can all agree that we were all blown away by the number, When All The Tears Have Dried (Sing to the Dawn). Is she Celine Dion of Asia?

img_8503

Apart from the awesome performance made by every member of the cast, I have come to know them a little more through their personal sharing of how they began their journey in the local musical scene. It was truly an intimate session with the cast. We are thankful that we can have our wonder boy, Dick Lee, to pave the way for the many talents in this musical industry. His perseverance has paid off and as a result, we could enjoy our very own local production of the musicals and songs, in the very uniquely Singaporean style.

img_8506

To me, that evening of performance was not only delightful and wonderful, it was one whom I feel really proud of because of our very own talented songwriter who has produced 18 musicals and many songs which we love dearly. That night, we ended with all of us singing to ‘Home’, another beloved song whom Dick Lee has composed.

Thank you for a spectacular performance. Each and every one of you, including the team of musicians led by Music Director, Indra Ismail, has made the evening truly special and memorable.

img_8507

Official Concert Photos above are provided by Dick Lee Asia.

Thank you, dear Agnes of ATMC for inviting me to this fabulous concert. Am thankful!

Getting close to nature

Nature beckons. On a day when the hubs doesn’t have to work, I would much prefer that we would head to some parks and explore that environment. Being in the nature calms my soul and today, the weather was perfect. It wasn’t burning hot like the past few days. In fact, it was cloudy with a high chance of a thunderstorm. Still, we pressed on.

We were joined by the Pangs as we entered the Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk. Interesting sights greeted us as we strolled along the path, stopping by ever so often as we spotted the mangrove swamp inhabitants. I only wish my mind still retains the information about this habitat which I had read during the many hours of Geography lessons. Alas, not much was saved in this memory bank. Thankfully, there’s always Mr Goo(gle).

These two stripey kids were busy collecting fallen sticks as branches and trying with all their might to stuff them through the holes between the planks. What’s with that? I do not know. It’s a mystery.

It’s a haven for photography enthusiasts. There’s much to view and capture, if only we stay observant. Mr Pang kept stopping in his tracks to snap beautiful shots of what nature has to offer. What beautiful creation!

Midway, it rained and thankfully, we could seek shelter at the tower. The kids wanted to be in the rain so much because in the evening, when we had our family devotion and prayer, the girl thanked God that she could have a chance to be out in the rain. 🙄

Taking every moment to play so there’s hardly any dull moments.

We headed back to Gallop Stable, another highlight of the trip. The kids scooted past hens and roosters and arrived eagerly, waiting in anticipation to feed the ponies.

The girls were thrilled, the boy was terrified. 🤷🏻‍♀️

She scored a $10 ride round the field on the pony and was mighty pleased with it. She’s truly an animal lover and went off after that to feed the bunnies.

There’s a cafe at Gallop Stable but we reckoned it would be better that we head to the hawker centre which is about 5 minutes’ drive from the park. Love such a trip and really, we should do that more often.

There’s a huge playground on the other side of the park. We love the it but decided that we could save that for another day. Again, as long as the kids have one another for company, it really doesn’t matter where they are. That’s the beauty of playmates. 😀

SINGAPOPERA

[In case you do not know]

In this month of celebration, allow me to present to you a must-watch concert ‘Singapopera’ by our very talented composer and songwriter, Dick Lee. He will be bringing to the audience an all-star alumni cast and ensemble from the past batches of his various musicals. It promises to be a nostalgic celebration of our favorite local musical numbers which  feature songs that Singaporeans will resonate with from musicals such as Fried Rice Paradise, Beauty World, Forbidden City, Sing to The Dawn, Nagraland and Snow Wolf Lake.

This concert also celebrates the 30th anniversary of Beauty World, as well as the 20th anniversary of the most successful Chinese musical, Snow.Wolf.Lake. 

Performing together with Dick Lee are our well-loved personalities in the theatrical scene, namely, Alemay Fernandez, Sebastian Tan, Denise Tan, Dwayne Lau, Frances Lee, Benjamin Chow and Cheryl Tan.  The Musical Director for this concert is Indra Ismail.

There will be two shows – 25 August 2018, Saturday (7.30pm) and 26 August 2018, Sunday (5pm) – at the Singapore Esplanade Concert Hall.

Tickets are priced at $138, $118, $98, $78 and $58 and will be available for sale from 21 July 2018 at all SISTIC outlets or via this link.

I can’t wait to go on a date with my friends for this concert!

More about Dick Lee

s_dick-lee-singapopera

The Dick Lee phenomenon started in 1971 when, at the age of fifteen, Dick participated in various talent contests with the group, Harmony, and Dick Lee and the Gang (teaming with his siblings). His first album, LIFESTORY, featuring his own compositions, was released in 1974.

He has to date, written countless songs for the top singing talents in Asia including Jackie Cheung, Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Anita Mui, Miyazawa of The Boom and Stephanie Sun amongst others.

Dick started his musical directorship since 2014 with HOTPANTS in 2014, and the fifth production of BEAUTY WORLD in 2015, and the list goes on.

 

The Cast

Alemay Fernandez |Hailed by TimeOut magazine as one of Singapore’s “best-loved entertainers”.  Known for her sultry tone, powerhouse vocals and an onstage presence, Alemay Fernandez is a rising star on the Asian jazz scene. In her illustrious 18 year career, she has performed with the likes of The Count Basie Orchestra, David Foster, Ernie Watts, Incognito, Ray Parker Jr, The Platters’ Bobby Soul, William Close & The Earth Harp Collective, to name a a few. She has sung for A-listers like Kevin Spacey, Ethan Hawke, Joss Stone, Kurt Elling, Lea Salonga, Paloma Picasso, Serena Williams as well as Presidents & Prime Ministers.

Sebastian Tan | With a series of sold-out concerts at Capitol Theatre, a Dream Artist, Sebastian Tan is one of Singapore’s most well-known multi-faceted performers, and whose directing debut was the critically acclaimed Monkey Goes West.  He toured the UK with Miss Saigon, and appeared in its 25th anniversary show in London’s West End. In 2016, Sebastian’s well-loved onstage persona Broadway Beng® celebrated his 10th anniversary.

Denise Tan | A familiar radio personality, Denise is also a regular on the local theatre scene, having acted in productions like Hansel & Gretel, The Full Monty and Dim Sum Dollies. She also does voice-overs for commercials and animated shows like Nickelodean’s Tomato Twins and 20th Century Fox’s Book of Virtues.

Dwayne Lau | Actor-writer Dwayne Lau, he is not a stranger in the world of theatre.  From “love shack” in A Date With Dwayne – Let’s Go Stead, series of love-themed comic sketches to one of the duel jesting “Record Keepers” in the recent Forbidden City, sparklingly played by Dwayne Lau and Sebastian Tan. 

Frances Lee | The LASALLE graduate made her professional theatre debut in Pangdemonium’s Fat Pig as a stout girl dating a skinny boy.  Fast forward two years and she is back to join the cast of Rent, along with Tabitha Nauser, Mina Kaye, Aaron Khaled and Linden Furnell.     Wrapping up Pangdemonium’s Season of Love, Rent is a 1996 Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway classic by Jonathan Larson that traces the lives of a ragtag group of young artists as they deal with issues.

Benjamin Chow | Newcomers to the theatre scene, actor Benjamin Chow, 26, has been stirring a storm in the local theatre scene.  He has performed in the ‘live’ show on Channel 5, Home Team Show and Festival.   A first- time nominee, in M1 – THE STRAITS TIMES life Theatre Awards 2016, he also won Best Supporting Actor in his professional debut as the left-wing political leader Lim Chin Siong in The LKY Musical.   He also played Prince Tun, in the recent Forbidden City.

Cheryl Tan | Theatre actress Cheryl Tan’s portfolio is dominated by wholesome roles – from playing Juliet in Romeo And Juliet to the innocent Ivy Chan in Beauty World.  That is about to change with the 28-year-old’s latest role in Channel 5’s new drama, Faculty.  Departing from her nice-girl image on stage, she plays Dr. Sylvia Soo.   She also played the role of Yehenara in Forbidden City, Mimi in Mama White Snake and Swee Choo in 7 Letters.

See you there!

The dreaded July

img_5239.jpg

July is over! And sickness be gone! The whole month, we were overwhelmed by kids falling sick one after another – food poisoning, fungal infection, viral fever and the persistent cough.

Life still went on. Registered the girl in the father’s alma mater and realised that this whole process was truly stressful. I’ve not monitored numbers so closely like this time round. Thankfully, we were involved in the earlier phase. I couldn’t imagine the pressure for those who had to register in the subsequent phases.

Racial Harmony Day celebration 2018 edition. Sullen faces. Tired souls.

Art piece with Teacher Heidi. During her preschool years, I’ve tried to expose her to different forms of sports and the arts, and this within my ability. I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s not into music for now but she likes art. Most probably, we will continue the art lessons for her once she enters formal school.

This is a castle that she did from another art class. She went out of the studio feeling so proud!

As part of homelearning, I had wanted to bring them out to explore the museums, parks and what not. Since they were down almost the whole month, we couldn’t. Towards the end of July, we could finally step out, to the National Gallery for some fun. It was crowded during the weekends so weekdays are still the best.

A BSF friend knew about the son’s health condition and recommended Nutritional Immunology to me. You could tell I am desperate. The boy has been taking medication every SINGLE day and this shouldn’t be the case. His appetite wasn’t good and he’s super picky about food. Hopefully, his immunity would be strengthen in time to come. It really made July a bit depressing with unwell kids.

Despite what we had to go through in a very packed July (sick kids, meetings and trainings for both the hubs and I), God remained faithful and restored my soul. It must have been the prayers of fellow believers as well and I found myself getting better towards the end of the month. In teaching the kids in Sunday school, the Lord also gave me joy through service.

We ended July with a trip to Jacob Ballas, with both of them almost completely well. I was relieved, thankful and immensely happy that we could head to the outdoors. We really can’t take our health for granted and I resolved to continue to prepare healthy meals for the family. Can’t relax in this aspect!

Welcoming August with open arms. It’s a month of celebration and it’s gonna be good!