The 2015 Singapore International Festival of Arts dazzles with confidence and diversity. Here are our fortnightly festival favourites.
BY JO TAN
Published on 31 August 2015
BY JO TAN
4 & 5 September, SOTA Concert Hall
Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter’s Journey) gets a timely resurrection in a harrowing reminder of how history can repeat itself. In 1820, Schubert set to melody the poems of Wilhelm Müller, telling the tale of a wanderer toiling through a frozen landscape of death, as an analogy for the repression individuals suffered during the restoration of the European Empires. In this performance, Schubert’s music is accompanied by films and images created in South Africa almost 200 years later. A powerhouse production from the illustrious Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
5, 6, 12, 13 September, open houses all over Singapore
Twenty-five Singapore homes are transformed into theatres this month — but is it really that dramatic a transformation? Our houses are private, personal spaces, where pictures on the wall, or even the dishes in the sink, reveal stories and secrets. In this most intimate of theatre experiences, enjoy the hospitality of neighbourhood residents and artist-mentors, including Ebelle Chong, Jalyn Han, Sharda Harrison, Serena Ho and Ian Loy. “I’m directing three women in three different Open Homes
pieces, and one of them is my mother, in my home,” says Harrison with a laugh. “I’m fine with welcoming people into a space very personal to us because I believe in the concept of Open Homes. It’s bringing people back to the very root of theatre: we invite you into a space to tell a story. That root can get lost among other things in bigger productions, but with these real people telling honest stories in authentic spaces, inviting the public into their private world, I think the audience will take away something very special.”
17-19 September, National Museum of Singapore Exhibition Gallery 1 & 2
The line between artists and artworks blur in this six-hour durational performance where audiences can come and go as they please. At once installation, karaoke and fashion runway, The Incredible Adventures of Border Crossers sees real-life immigrants, wanderers, drag artists and other border-crossers use their individual ways (like music, live video, fashion, documentary, performance) to tell their own everyday stories as if they were incredible adventures. Performed in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, French, German, Burmese, Lao, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Hindi and other languages of the border-crossers.
Tickets are available via Sistic. Open Homes is free with registration at