With this year being the tenth iteration of Opera in the Park, Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) has curated a programme which celebrates the talent and energy of our youth. Featuring winners from the Open and Junior categories of the SLO-ASEAN Vocal Competition 2016, together with the SLO Chorus and Children’s Choir, Opera in the Park promises a selection of classical favourites that will entertain and delight the whole family.
I contacted conductor Joshua Tan to find out more about this year’s programme.
Could you explain the process of coming up with the programme for Opera in the Park?
Ms Nancy Yuen (Hon. Artistic Director) spoke to the singers, and discussed what will be suitable for their voices. Then we came together and agreed on the overall suitability of the program.
With this being your seventh Opera in the Park, how has the show evolved over time? Any fond memories that stand out?
The SLO has always tried to showcase young talents for Opera in the Park, and my fondest memories or experiences have always been marvelling at how far all the previous singers have come.
If you could only pick one favourite piece from this year’s programme, which one would it be and why?
That’s an extremely difficult question! I like all of them. It’s almost impossible to choose a favourite. I love Puccini so you can put O Mio Babbino Caro on the list. At the same time, I love listening to other genres, so the selection from Phantom of the Opera also features. The Verdi selections showcase wonderful chorus writing, so that has to be in too!
You were one of the judges for the SLO-Asean Vocal Competition 2016. What are your impressions of the winners? Is there anything interesting that you’ve learnt about music from rehearsing with them?
They were all very deserving winners, but it’s a long arduous road ahead for all of them. I did not rehearse with them for the competition, but listening to such fresh interpretations of familiar works certainly gives me some other ideas!
With this iteration being geared towards a celebration of youth, what do you think are some of the promises and challenges that the future will hold for upcoming opera singers and orchestra players?
I don’t think that the challenges have changed so much throughout the years. There has always been immense competition for orchestral jobs, and professional engagements for opera singers are hard to come by for anyone who’s just starting out. For those on the cusp of a professional career, there are many sacrifices to be made since the very nature of the job demands one to be constantly on the move.
Opera in the Park
Conductor Joshua Kangming Tan
Featuring winners from the Open and Junior categories of the SLO-ASEAN Vocal
Open Category Winner Izen Kong
Open Category Winner Zhang Jie
Junior Category Winner Lauren Yeo
Junior Category Winner Melissa Hecker
With the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Children’s Choir
Chorus Master Terrence Toh
Children’s Choir Mistress Rose Loh
Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore
• Bel conforto al mietitore
Rossini’s La Gazzetta, O lusinghiero amor
Bellini’s La Sonnambul , Ah! Non credea mirarti
Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Voi che sapete
Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Com’è gentil
Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, O mio babbino caro
• Gloria all’Egitto
• Egyptian March (Overture)
• Vieni, o guerriero vindice
This concert is subject to weather conditions. Programme may not be in order of performance. Artistes and Programme are subject to change.
Opera in the Park is on Saturday, 17 July 2017, 6 p.m., at Singapore Botanical Gardens. Free admission. For more details, please visit Singapore Lyric Opera.