Best Intentions

By Jess C I don’t pretend to be an opera buff, but I have seen enough productions to know what to expect. However, watching the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s latest music production, Mozart’s The Magic Flute (subtitled ‘Selected Excerpts in Concert’) was a totally new experience for me. According to its press release, Mozart’s […]

Project Runaway

By Antares M! The Opera, staged at Istana Budaya from Thu 23 Mar to Sun 2 Apr 2006, is arguably the most ambitious and esoteric piece of music theatre ever conceived and produced in Malaysia. I’m awed by Saidah Rastam’s perseverance and stamina, and gratified that after such a protracted incubation, her monumental vision has […]

Gated Garden Variety

By Andrew Hwang Very few things romance the egalitarian Malaysian public as seductively as free gifts from public-listed companies. When YTL Corporation Berhad (YTL) celebrated its 50th Anniversary, the public was offered free tickets to a series of concerts (13-17 Dec 2005) which were held at KL Performing Arts Center (KLPac). To make it more […]

Strangled Carmen

By Pia Zain & Simon Hegarty Bizet’s music is transcendent. Once you have seen and heard Carmen, you can never forget it. It gets under your skin, haunting with the resonance of emotion. Music that hurts the soul with its purity and passion. We went to see Bizet’s Carmen, staged by the Penang Arts Council […]

Fashion Opera? What’s that?

By Shanon Shah There’s a lot to love about OPs OPHELIA: A FaShioN opeRa. First of all, it is a performance presented primarily through movement. The fact that the performers managed to create with their bodies not only a series of breathtaking images, but also a coherent underlying theme and – dare I say it […]

The Francis Yeoh Interview

By Jenny Daneels He was fed Mozart as a child. At 46 now, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh makes no hesitation in investing RM25 million of his listed infrastructure company YTL Corporation into the construction of a performing arts centre that will eventually feed everyone more beautiful music. And theatre. And dance and other performing arts. […]

Young Hopeful

By Lorien Holland Diminutive Anne James is a heavyweight in the Kuala Lumpur arts scene. The 49-year-old has been acting and dancing – and occasionally directing – for as long as anyone can remember. Last month she won the Boh Cameronian Arts Award for Best Performer and later this week she will be playing an […]

The Bangsawan Hero

By Kathy Rowland If you were in search of some rest and relaxation in 1930s Malaya, chances are you would have headed to the nearest town and got yourself some tickets to a bangsawan performance. For a few cents a piece, you would have been treated to an evening of raucous entertainment – didactic, moral […]

In The Year of The Flood

By Pang Khee Teik After the Cameronian Arts Awards, I thought there might be an outpouring of original scripts. But it wasn’t so. There was quite a number of restaging, notably: Jit Murad’s Visits and Spilt Gravy on Rice by Dramalab, The 2nd First Annual Bolehwood Awards 2003: Directors Cut by the Instant Café Theatre, Huzir […]

The RM1.2 Million Opera

By Elaine Tan Let’s face it, how many of us really know opera? If you’re honest, not that many, but we’ve all heard of Puccini and Turandot on three counts. Firstly, old Pooch was sort of an Andrew Lloyd Webber of his time (Jeremy Silver, the conductor I interviewed, was horrified at this suggestion, but […]

A Whole World Behind The Everyday Meaning

By Elaine Tan Puccini’s epic opera about the beautiful but cold-hearted Chinese princess Turandot who plays violent head games (literally) with potential suitors begins in Penang this weekend. Sponsored entirely by Texchem as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations, it has been steadily exceeding the initial budget of RM600,000. It has reportedly touched the RM1 […]