It has been 20 years since the Esplanade’s spiky domes became a symbol for Singapore’s growing art and design scene as well as a hub for creative talents to share their gifts with the public. To celebrate this anniversary, the arts centre is launching In New Light — A Season of Commissions from 12 October to 31 December, bringing together a slew of new works and collaborators from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
Five of these commissions will also be inaugurating the all-new Singtel Waterfront Theatre, with themes that explore nature, family, violence and cross-cultural conversations. Playwright Chong Tze Chien has reimagined the epic Indian tale of The Mahabharata for a contemporary audience while Indonesia’s Papermoon Puppet Theatre spins a story of vanishing rivers in Stream of Memory.
You can also immerse yourself in the sonic and visual experience presented by musician Safuan Johari and the RATA Orkestra, or contemplate the sound-based autobiographical performance by Cultural Medallion recipient Margaret Leng Tan in Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep. For a visual feast, expect to be entranced by holographic projections, 3D sound and live performances by The Human Expression (T.H.E) Dance Company.
Needless to say, the beloved Esplanade Concert Hall will also be graced by stellar performers. The Singapore Chinese Orchestra will present Daybreak, an exploration of the Chinese mythological figures Pan Gu, Nu Wa and Huang Di in a musical journey composed by Cultural Medallion recipient Law Wai Lun and composer Chong Kee Yong.
A second concert will be performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Led by award-winning conductor Lien Boon Hua, it will spotlight two up-and-coming talents: pianist Abigail Sin and violinist Loh Jun Hong as they play Medelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, before the rest of the orchestra join in for Illuminations, an original composition by Jonathan Shin and Phoon Yu.
The anniversary festivities extend to the Esplanade’s public spaces, too, in the form of engaging exhibitions, tours and installations. From 12 to 30 October, the walls of the Esplanade Courtyard will come alive with its first-ever projection mapping show, Dancing with Light, while accompanying dancers move to the hypnotic choreography of Samantha Kan. A new “Garden Tour” will also allow visitors to experience the waterfront and gardens with a fresh perspective.
Over at the Esplanade Concourse, Home Grooves will share the eclectic history of Singapore’s live music scene over the last 60 years using archival objects, images, video interviews and playlists. Meanwhile, the Lights On exhibition and audio tour will share insider stories of how this incredible arts venue came into being in 2002. The peek into the past will continue at the Singtel Waterfront Theatre and its facade, where the Building Dreams photography exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes look at the people and passions that helped make the theatre a reality.
“Both then and now, the steadfast support of artists, crew, staff, audiences, as well as our partners, sponsors, donors and funders has helped us to not only keep the lights on, but to entertain, move, inspire and transform lives through the arts,” shares Yvonne Tham, CEO of The Esplanade Co Ltd.On behalf of the Esplanade team, I thank you. And as we look beyond to the future, we welcome everyone to experience In New Light.”
In New Light – A Season of Commissions
Oct to Dec 2022