Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts produces its first-ever opera in celebration of its 80 anniversary

21 October - 23 October 2018
Lee Foundation Theatre, NAFA Campus 3, 151 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189656

Directed by internationally renowned director David Edwards, the production involves students, alumni and faculty from NAFA’s eight disciplines across three schools

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) will be presenting an opera production for the first time in its 80 years of illustrious history. Die Fledermaus: The Revenge of the Bat will run for three nights at the Lee Foundation Theatre, NAFA Campus 3 from 21 to 23 October. The production is directed by renowned director David Edwards, who works internationally as a stage director, writer and presenter in the UK, USA, Europe, Japan and Singapore, and conducted by Singapore’s preeminent conductor and Cultural Medallion recipient, Lim Yau, who is also Dean of School of Music at NAFA.

Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus was premièred in 1874 at the Vienna Theater an der Wien, and is arguably the world’s most performed operetta. For this production, the operetta has been contemporised to a modern Singapore context. While the music will be sung in German with English and Chinese surtitles, dialogues will be in English and Chinese. Jasmine Teo, a Singaporean playwright, has customised the script and language style for the dialogues by the different characters in the show. Hot topics are also included in the script to relate to the Singaporean audience.

This production features baritones Kieran Rayner and Edward Jowle from the International Opera School of NAFA’s partner university, the Royal College of Music, London. Other members of the talented cast include sopranos Li Yang and Elaine Su from China - both of whom are alumni of the NAFA School of Music - as well as Singaporean tenors Daniel Fong and Jeremy Koh. The by now customary show-in-show segment will also showcase notable alumni on different nights of the performances: Indonesian pop star Isyana Sarasvati, Young Artist Award winner Lim Chin Huat and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Hong Sek Chern.

Students, staff and alumni from all of NAFA's eight disciplines across three schools, as well as its School of Young Talents and Centre for Lifelong Education will be involved in some way or other, contributing with their respective talents in the areas of creative productions and performances. As part of the production, there will be a staged arts street which will open one hour before the show. Audience members can walk into a street of music buskers and arts stalls, immersing themselves into the ambience before the show starts.

The production, which took 18 months to put together from planning to premiere, is by far the largest production presented by the academy. Mr Lim Yau commented, "Commemorating the academy’s 80th anniversary with an opera production is a very natural thing to do. As Singapore’s premier arts institution, such a production is an ideal opportunity to showcase our talented students, alumni and faculty. It is also a very good opportunity for our students to learn and study under industry experts who can mentor them in their respective fields.”

Annex - Cast list