Carmen at The Esplanade Theatre

Singapore’s world-famous arts venue, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay AKA ‘the durian’, needs no introduction. It is home to a state-of-the-art concert hall, Singapore’s largest performing stage, the library@esplanade, a performing arts library, and the Esplanade Jendela, an exhibition space for the visual arts.

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On Friday, we went to the Esplanade for the opening night of the Singapore Lyric Opera‘s production of my favorite opera, Carmen, directed by David Edward and conducted by Julliard-trained Singaporean Joshua Kangming Tan. This is the brilliant Mr. Tan’s first full-length opera in his hometown.

We’ve seen Carmen several times, but what we liked most about this production: mezzo-soprano Sophie Fournier as Carmen, bass-baritone Huang Rong Hai as Escamillo, and soprano Satsuki Nagatome as Mercédès; the inclusion of the Singapore Lyric Opera Children’s Choir in Act I’s Avec La Garde Montante; and Singaporean Jeffrey Tan’s flamenco-inspired choreography in Act II’s Chanson Bohème: Les Tringles Des Sistres Tintaient.

We ended our evening at Makansutra Gluttons Bay, a mini hawker center near the theater complex. It’s touristy and pricier than other hawker centers on the island, but the food is quite satisfying.

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For more about opera in Singapore and South East Asia, bookmark singapore opera blog – the mad scene.