Wagner Weekend at library@esplanade (20-21 August)



Mark 20-21 August on your diaries! That’s when library@esplanade will host a two-day event Wagner Weekend in partnership with Richard Wagner Association (Singapore) and OperaViva Limited.

Apart from the screening of Wagner operas and an exhibition of related books, Director Glen Goei will share his and his co-director Chong Tze Chien’s vision for The Singapore-made “Flying Dutchman” and his experience of directing his first opera; while members of the Richard Wagner Association (Singapore) will speak about the genesis of “The Flying Dutchman” and the influence of Wagner on popular culture.

Wagner Weekend is part of “The Flying Dutchman in the Community” outreach programme, leading up to the staging of “The Flying Dutchman” opera on 23-30 October at Victoria Theatre.


Wagner Weekend Programme at Open Stage,  library@esplanade

Sat 20 August 2016

  • 12pm – 3pm: Opera screening – Der Fliegende Holländer by De Nederlandse Opera and NTR.
  • 3pm – 4pm: Wagner’s Music and the Flying Dutchman in Pop Culture
  • 4:15pm – 5:15pm: Stormy Weather: Shipwrecks and Seafarers in Opera and Song

Sun 21 August 2016

  • 12pm – 3pm: Opera screening – The Flying Dutchman
  • 3pm – 4pm: Sacrifice and Assertion: Women in Wagner’s Operas
  • 4:15pm – 5:15pm: Glen Goei – On a Wagnerian’s Couch


Notes on Operas, Talks & Speakers

Der Fliegende Holländer by De Nederlandse Opera and NTR. De Nederlandse Opera and NTR presents Richard Wagner’s classic opera “The Flying Dutchman,” about a ship’s captain who is condemned to sail until the Day of Judgment. Directed by Martin Kušej. Recorded live at the Amsterdam Music Theatre in Feb 2010. (167 mins). Please click here for more information.



“Wagner’s Music and The Flying Dutchman in Popular Culture” by Natalie Ng 

From Bugs Bunny and Spongebob Squarepants to more serious films such as Apocalypse Now, find out how Wagner’s music and stories prevail in today’s culture and influenced those after him.

Natalie Ng plays the piano, oboe, and violin, but preferably not all at the same time. She holds a Masters’ in Musicology from the University of Leeds, and is currently reading a PhD in musicology on scholarship from Cardiff University. She has given recitals and collaborative performances in various parts of the UK, and is interested in multi-disciplinary collaborations in music, literature, art, and photography. Her research interests include analysis of early piano recordings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She has had a lifelong fascination for Wagner’s music, and currently holds the position of secretary in the Richard Wagner Association (Singapore).


“Stormy Weather: Shipwrecks and Seafarers in Opera and Song” by  Dr. Katherine Wallace

The sea has a music all its own—a rhythm which echoes the rhythm of life, and of death.  For centuries, the sea-faring life has inspired a vast array of music and poetry, from the folk-ballads of out-port villages to the high art of Wagnerian opera.  Join musicologist Dr. Katherine Wallace as she explores songs of shipwrecks and seafarers, culminating in the operatic legend of the Flying Dutchman.

Founding RWA(S) President Dr. Katherine Wallace is an accomplished scholar and performer who is passionate about the intersections of music, art, and literature. Currently lecturing at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Wallace has published internationally on topics ranging from Shakespeare and music to music iconography, and is a frequent presenter at conferences worldwide. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in Music and an M.A. in Comparative Literature. In addition to her academic work, she is an active performer, voice teacher, and choral clinician.


“Sacrifice and Assertion: Women in Wagner’s Operas” by John Gee

A wide variety of female roles can be found in Wagner’s operas. While they are influenced by the values and expectations prevailing at the time that Wagner was composing these works, they often break through these constraints, as active and well-rounded characters. Senta, in “The Flying Dutchman”, may, at first sight, seem like a traditional heroine who sacrifices herself out of devotion to a man, but deeper consideration suggests that she is a complex and assertive character.

John Gee came to Singapore to join his future wife in 1999. Since then, he has worked as a freelance writer and volunteered with the migrant worker advocacy group, Transient Workers Count Too. His interest in Wagner and Wagner’s works goes as far back as his school days in North Wales. He is a member of the Richard Wagner Association (Singapore).


Glen Goei “On a Wagnerian’s Couch” with Dr. Ong Yong Lock

Get up-close and personal with theatre, film and “The Flying Dutchman” co-director Glen Goei, as he shares the vision, creative process and artistic approach behind staging Singapore’s first Wagner opera production. Dr. Ong Yong Lock, a retired psychiatrist, a Wagnerian and author of “Singapore On The Couch”, will moderate this lively, interactive discussion followed by an audience Q&A.

Glen Goei’s broad body of work embraces the full gamut of performing and visual arts from film, theatre, musicals, large scale shows, World Expos, dance, music to architectural design.  In his artistic endeavours, his intense passion is to illustrate how art must connect with wider audiences and is a crucial pillar in the national dialogue. Underpinning this has been his constant and substantial contribution to the theatre, principally as Board Member and Associate Artistic Director of the acclaimed Singapore company W!ldRice (a non-profit company) and frequent director for the most commercially successful company Dream Academy.


(Story by Juliana Lim & Pearlyn Cai. Poster by ZoMedia)


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