COMPILED BY JOEL TAN
Published on 25 November 2014
The Drama Centre, currently co-located with the National Library at Middle Road, was initially housed at Canning Rise on Fort Canning Hill. Back in the late 1980s and early ’90s, it was a key venue for Singapore theatre practitioners, and played host to early productions of several now-classic Singapore plays like Michael Chiang’s Army Daze (1987) and Kuo Pao Kun’s Lao Jiu (1990).
Today, it is a modern performing arts centre occupying three levels of the towering National Library building, a key theatre space for Singapore practitioners and port-of-call for touring groups.
Meeting a demand for mid-sized spaces, the Centre’s main house is a 615-seater fully fitted with state-of-the-art theatre technology. The stage accommodates large productions and has played host to everything from children’s theatre to several main-stage shows at this year’s Singapore International Festival of Arts. Other Centre venues include the intimate Black Box, a 120-seater suited for small-scale shows and talks, as well as various function rooms.
Plácido Domingo is best known for being one of the Three Tenors. Before he became part of the successful trio, the Spaniard had already established himself as a major voice in the opera world, taking on lead roles in opera companies like New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Vienna State Opera.
Domingo began formal music lessons at the age of eight after his family moved to Mexico. At 18, he was accepted into the Mexican National Opera. After taking on roles in various Latin American opera companies and a three-year stint with the Israel National Opera, Domingo landed major roles to great acclaim in New York City, and grew in fame internationally. Today, he is general director of the Los Angeles Opera.
Among opera fans, Domingo is appreciated as a dramatic tenor, a vocal category noted for its ringing and powerful, even heroic, sound.
Dance Ensemble Singapore
Dance Ensemble Singapore (DES) is a professional Chinese dance company. Established in 1993 as a non-profit arts organisation, it evolved out of the Yan Choong Lian Dance Troupe headed by Mdm Yan Choong Lian, DES’ founder and artistic director.
A contemporary Chinese dance company grounded in traditional Chinese dance techniques, the company’s work incorporates multi-disciplinary art forms, often combining diverse practices like Chinese martial arts and Chinese classical dance. Western dance forms find their way into the choreography, too.
Although its repertoire is versatile and multi-disciplinary, one of DES’ main aims is to educate young dancers in traditional Chinese dance. At its four-storey Waterloo Street premises, dubbed the Arts Building, DES offers a variety of courses ranging from Chinese folk dance to martial arts, presenting numerous performance opportunities for its students.