Over 80 guests were present at the “sneak peek” event on 10 June when the names of the Asian leads who will perform in “The Flying Dutchman” in October were announced and to applaud three of those leads for their performance of three excerpts from the opera.
The exclusive event was organized for supporters and individuals who have signed up as Friends of “The Flying Dutchman” and was held at the Ion Art Gallery. A few more “Friends” joined that very night.
The Asian leads, of whom five are Singaporeans / Singapore Permanent Residents will be performing in “The Flying Dutchman” at the Victoria Theatre on 27 October 2016. They are
- Senta: Nancy Yuen (soprano)
- The Dutchman: Martin Ng (baritone)
- Daland: Julian Lo (bass)
- Erik: Kee Loi Seng (tenor)
- Mary: Candice de Rozario (mezzo soprano)
- Steersman: Jonathan Tay (tenor)
Candice de Rosario and Jonathan Tay will appear in all five performances, between 23 and 30 October.
Candice was the MC for the evening, introducing speakers and performers and delivering a dramatic retelling of the opera’s storyline, in the course of which, Martin Ng, Nancy Yuen and Kee Loi Seng sang three excerpts from “The Flying Dutchman”.
The flow of the evening
The evening opened with introductory speeches by Juliana Lim and Dr Ronald Ling, on the background to and thinking behind the production.
Members of the creative team were then introduced: conductor Darrell Ang, chorus master Albert Tay and co-directors Glen Goei and Chong Tze Chien. Following the announcement of the leads, they sat as a panel and took questions about the production and their own roles in it. For those, who heard them, here was an assurance that the forthcoming production will be truly innovative and a ground-breaking event for opera in Singapore. (An article reporting their comments will be published on this site shortly).
Then followed the presentation of the excerpts from “The Flying Dutchman”, given context by de Rozario’s retelling.
Martin Ng, sang the excerpt beginning “Die Frist ist Um” (“The time is up”), in which the Dutchman recounts how he has desperately sought death to escape his condemnation to wander the world’s seas, but in vain. Only one faint hope exists for his deliverance.
In the second excerpt, Ng and Nancy Yuen sing the duet that ends in each declaring the hope that the Dutchman will find his redemption through Senta’s love.
The third excerpt was from the final scene of the opera, bringing together Ng, Yuen and Kee Loi Sing. This is when the Dutchman overhears what he thinks is confirmation of an existing commitment by Senta to Erik, and thinks that he has been false to him – an assumption Senta strongly contests.
The three singers gave performances that well conveyed the emotions of their characters. The audience showed its deep appreciation with its enthusiastic applause and by complimentary remarks afterwards.
The evening concluded with cast, creative team and guests mingling informally over food and drinks.
It seemed that the evening was enjoyed by all, and it was reckoned a success by those who came together to stage the first production of “The Flying Dutchman” in Singapore: the Richard Wagner Association (Singapore) and OperaViva Limited in association with The Finger Players.
Among the guests who attended were the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Singapore HE Dr Michael Witter, Ms Chew Gek Kim from the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, Ms Lee Chor Lin from The Arts House, Angela Chau from Binjai Tree Foundation, representatives from ZoMedia, Hotel Jen and Aureus Academy, as well as Friends of The Flying Dutchman.
On the same day as the “sneak peek”, tickets for the opera went on public sale. They are priced at S$46, $66, $106, $146 (excluding handling charge) and are available at all SISTIC outlets and through SISTIC.com.
(Article written by John Gee, Photos taken by Dr Ngiap Heng Tan)