Having come a long way since their humble beginnings, the Singapore Lyric Opera recently celebrated their 25th anniversary – a feat considering that they started as a gathering of opera aficionado. As a walk down memory lane, the gala concert featured past repertoire, featuring 20 operas into the span of three whole hours.
Beginning with a minute’s silence in respect of their founding chairman, Mr Leow Siak Fah who passed away earlier this year in April, the orchestra was conducted by Joshua Kanming Tan, opening the night with the Overtures to Mozart’s The Magic Flute before the singers and accompanying choir took over, starting with veteran soprano, Nancy Yuen, and her rendition from Verdi’s La Traviata. An enchanting and spell-binding voice, she captivated the audience as she hit the high-notes with perfection and nary of a break in her voice. Korean tenor Lee Jae Wook powerful voice took over next, filled with energy and draw captivated the audience for the acts for Puccini’s work.
As the night built up to a climax, the two singers joined together to perform the wonderful Madama Butterfly together in perfect unison and harmony. This was not the only duet section, as Nancy Yuen joined joined another singer for a duet later in the night. Korean baritone singer Song Kee Chang was next, bringing the mood of the hall up with the lively and animated roles, such as the taunting of the bull in the Toreador Song. The Singaporean singers Anna Koor and Martin Ng filled the rest of programmes lined up too, with operas from Gounod’s Faust and Leong Yoon Pin’s Bunga Mawar.
As Nancy Yuan, Anna Kor, Lee Jae Wook, and Song Kee Chang joined together to perform the rendition of Quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto, the night came to a rousing end, as the audience stood up in applause for the choir, the singers and the orchestra present. The entire cast toasted to the Brindisi from La Traviata, encored and sung with must gusto as everyone left with nothing but the fondest memory of a night well spent going through 20 operas.