Thursday, 16 April 2009

THIS WEEKEND - To the Film Festival and then The Esplanade

A Grand and Celebratory Cultural Injection

How about a cultural injection this weekend? Head to The Esplanade Concert Hall at 7.30 pm this Saturday (18 April), for Romantic Fantasy Worlds, in which The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra performs two symphonic masterpieces not to be missed. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a celebration of Mendelssohn's 200th birth anniversary, while the Conservatory Orchestra closes its sixth season by bringing on stage one of the largest and grandest orchestral showcases with Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

The orchestra will be led by Wang Ya Hui, the music director and conductor of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra.

Widely acclaimed maestro Wang was the first Singaporean to enter the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as a conductor and one of the few Asians to be enrolled there.

Her talent was acknowledged by the international community when she clinched top prize in three of the world’s most prestigious conducting competitions: the 1998 Nicolai Malko Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark; the 1996 Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition in Athens, Greece; and the 1994 Tokyo Competition in Japan. 

Wang made her debut appearance at the Royal Danish Theater in Copenhagen under the patronage of Queen Margarathe II of Denmark and later led the Royal Danish Orchestra and Ballet on a national tour of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in 2000. In 1999, she conducted her first opera, Strauss' Salome, with the Danish National Opera and in 2002 conducted performances of Puccini's Madame Butterfly throughout Denmark with the country’s major orchestras. 

No stranger to working with worldclass artists, she has collaborated with notable names like cellist Janos Starker, flutist Peter-Lukas Graf and guitarist Christopher Parkening. In December 2007, she was personally invited by Grammy award-winning soprano Renee Fleming to collaborate again at the Baltimore Opera Gala Concert in the U.S. 

Since the start of her professional career, Wang has been the assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Akron Symphony Orchestra in Ohio and the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in Taipei, among her many roles.

Concert details:
Saturday (18 Apri), 7.30pm 
Esplanade Concert Hall
S$15 (excludes SISTIC fee) 
Tickets sold at all SISTIC outlets; 
SISTIC hotline: (65) 6348 5555 or

Walk A Big Road next Monday

Make Monday, 20 April ‘date-night’ and surprise your man with a pair of tickets to catch the film, A Big Road which premiers at the National Museum as part of the 22nd Singapore Film Festival. 

Shot in and around Shanghai, this 88-minute feature film is in Mandarin with English subtitles. It was produced and directed by two Singaporeans – Los Angeles-based Damon Chua, and theater director Alec Tok, who is based in New York. 

Supported by local film company, The Dream Academy, A Big Road brings you into the world of Minjie, a young woman caught between the past and the present; between life and death. As her spirit wanders about the city of Shanghai and its suburbs, we bear witness to the downtrodden existence of a beautiful daughter named Yulian, and the erotic liaisons of a virgin, Xiaofang, caught in the empty demi-monde of her wealthy older patron. 

The arrival of an infant sets off a series of events that open a new chapter for all three women, whose dreams, desires and desperate yearning soon meld into one. Hope eventually prevails in this surprising journey from death to life. But enough of the spoilers, watch it and be your own judge.

This film is a second initiative by Damon Chua, who produced the made-in-Singapore feature Perth in 2004, and Alec Tok’s first directorial effort. Alec is a familiar face in Singapore's theatre and film industry as an actor, director, filmmaker, and art director, most notably on Eric Khoo's Twelve Storeys (1997). Alec was also formerly the drama director for the Singapore Armed Forces' Music and Drama Company and the artistic director for oneKindtheatre, a Singapore-based theatre company. 

Where and when: 
Premiers on Monday, 20 April 
The National Museum 
Get your tickets at: 


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