Opera in the Park 2017: Interview with Conductor Joshua Tan

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. 

Joshua Tan

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
Competition 2016

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

Programme

Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore
Overture
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

Verdi’s Aida
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

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[Listing] Winter Wonderland by Singapore Lyric Opera’s Children’s Choir

Winter Wonderland

With a bit of sparkly tinsel and a sprinkling of snow, the beautiful merry voices of the children from SLO, proudly present- Winter Wonderland! Under the baton of choral conductor Ms Rose Loh, and accompanied by pianist Aloysius Foong, this year the SLO Children’s Choir together with Project W, a Singaporean musical ensemble of 20 musicians, are all set to entertain you with an eclectic mix of songs.

What is a Winter Wonderland concert without tunes from the famous “Frozen” phenomenon, popularised by Disney? Highlights of our programme include the enchanting Frozen theme song, Eatnemen Vuelie by Norwegian musician Frode Fjellheim and not forgetting, the global musical epidemic, “Let It Go”. The children will also be singing traditional favourites that reflect the wonders and emotions of the winter season, both sacred and secular. These include Italian carol Dormi Dormi, Mary Where Is Your Baby, composed by Dan Edwards and This Little Babe a movement from Benjamin Britten’s, A Ceremony of Carols. In support of our local talent, SLOCC will also be presenting two Singaporean compositions.

So do join us for a fantastical paradise as the children spread festive cheer and herald the good tidings of Christmas!

Programme List

A Cuckoo Flew Out of the Woods              arr. B Wayne Bisbee

Dormi Dormi                                                       arr. Mary Goetze

Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow                     arr. Mark Hahn

Mid-Winter                                                          Bob Chilcott

This Little Babe                                                   Benjamin Britten

O Great Mystery                                                 Nancy Telfer

All Things Bright and Beautiful                    Phillip Silvey

Land of Joy                                                            Zechariah Goh

Little Tree                                                               Daniel Drewbaker

Gonna Catch That Santa                                Andy Beck

For the Beauty of the Earth                           John Rutter

INTERVAL

Special Item by Project W Sin Jin How

When All the World Is Full of Snow          David V Montoya

Hanget Soi (Singing Snow)                            arr. AuvoSamanto

Let It Go                                                                  arr. MacHuff

Frozen (Choral Suite)                                        adapted by Roger Emerson

In Summer                                                             arr. Alan Billingsley

Christmas Is (Sing-along)                                arr. MacHuff

 

Catch Winter Wonderland on 5 December 2015 at SOTA Concert Hall. For more ticketing information, visit Sistic.