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!

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!