|Suzhou's latest skyscraper located in the |
Industrial Park looks like a pair of jeans!
Day 6 (Wednesday, 21 May 2014)
|A Singapore Chinese Orchestra family photo.|
|A bridge over a canal in the|
river town of Tong Li.
Day 7 (Thursday, 22 May 2014)
Another free day for me but I did not feel guilty making that trip to the river town of Tong Li, a venture well worth the time to experience what it is life in the “Venice of the East”. The city of
and its neighbouring
villages have taken on that title, and it is well deserved. My evening is spent
in the famous Master of the Suzhou , in the company of Nets Garden ’s fabled musical arts,
with performances of kunqu opera, pingtan, instrumental solos and
ensembles by talented students and wizened veterans. Suzhou
|Suzhou pingtan performance|
at the Master of the Nets Garden.
Day 8 (Friday, 23 May 2014)
SCO’s concert in
was in celebration of
the 20th anniversary of the Suzhou and how this venture in
investment brought the two nations together. This was held at the modernistic
Suzhou Arts and Culture Centre, the impressive horseshoe-shaped edifice of
glass, chrome and steel. This is Suzou’s Esplanade, only bigger and arguably
grander. Suzhou Singapore Industrial Park
|The concert hall foyer at|
Suzhou Arts and Cultural Centre.
The programme conducted by Yeh Tsung began with Law Wai Lun’s The Voyage and Yii Kah Hoe’s Buka Panggung, and included a segment of kunqu opera, from the epic Peony Pavilion, called Broken Dream. The two singers, Shen Fengying and Yu Jiulin, who earlier sang in
were now dressed in the
traditional finery of costume and make-up. They looked and sounded magnificent,
and the performance the added dimension of surtitles in both Chinese and
English. One would blush at the risqué words, R-rated for certain, but how
artfully these were concealed by their formidable but discreet thespian skills! Singapore
|Masters of Suzhou kunqu opera.|
|Concertmaster Li Baoshun earns the plaudits.|
SCO Concertmaster Li Baoshun starred in Liu Xijin’s Legend of the Merlion, a gaohu concerto with a surfeit of fine melodies. He is a true virtuoso, one belying an unassuming and undemonstrative surface, and how his instrument sings. In closing, Monteiro and Company ruled the house in Kelly Tang’s Montage, and how this performance varied from the last. Now it took on a more leisurely air in the slower bits but a greater swagger in the furiously-paced finale. There have been three performances of the concerto on the tour, and this one was unequivocally the best. The audience agreed whole-heartedly and were rewarded with three encores.
|Jazz legend Jeremy Monteiro gets to close the show.|