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Laksa Cantata (2013/2018)

a part of 'A Singapore Trilogy' with Kopi For One and Window Shopping

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Libretto by Jack Lin

Instrumentation:

voices (2):

LEAH, soprano

STEPHEN, baritone/tenor 

ensemble (3):

clarinet in A

violin

piano

(See Suite from Laksa Cantata, for piano trio instrumental version)

Duration: 20'

Synopsis:

At the beginning of the opera, Stephen makes his appearance by counting down to his wedding. He is soon confronted by his fiancée Leah, who is understandably mad at him for his outrageous idea of serving laksa at their wedding banquet! He ‘faces the music’ with Leah’s aria A Woman’s Scorned, where she vents her frustrations. In the recitative, the couple argues.

 

Laksa Aria follows, where Stephen confesses about his ardent love of laksa, and his firm intention to have it at the banquet. In the next dialogue, Leah tries to win the argument by threatening to have his future-mother-in-law stay with them in their new apartment. In an enigmatic recitative, they both appeared to be thinking out loud individually, reconsidering if they have gone too far in their silly fight and if it was going to compromise their relationship.

 

In an attempt to resolve the tension, they launch into their first musical duet Agree to Disagree. Leah then takes a step back and offers to agree to serve laksa at their wedding, while Stephen forgoes his initial idea – claiming that he’ll give up laksa for the good of their relationship. In the finale duet A New Bowl is A New Day, they sing in reconciliatory tones celebrating their bright future ahead in matrimony.

Performances

 

Premiere at The Arts House (2013)

LEAH - Rebecca Li, soprano

STEPHEN - Kiat Goh, baritone

Wu Bingling, violin

Colin Tan, clarinet
Song Ziliang, piano/organizer

A Singapore Trilogy, production (2018)

LEAH - Ng Jingyun, soprano

STEPHEN - Samuel Ng, tenor

Lim Hao Wei, violin

Colin Tan, clarinet

Cherie Khor, piano

Aloysius Foong, conductor

Nora Samosir, director

YST Voice Pedagogy Conference (2019)

LEAH - Ng Jingyun, soprano

STEPHEN - Samuel Ng, tenor

Aloysius Foong, music director/pianist

Mary Ann Tear, production director

ST 30 days of Art, short film (2020)

STEPHEN - Samuel Ng, tenor

Aloysius Foong, piano

Nora Samosirdirector

A Singapore Trilogy, recording (2021)

LEAH - Ng Jingyun, soprano

STEPHEN - Samuel Ng, tenor

Lim Hao Wei, violin

Colin Tan, clarinet

Cherie Khor, piano

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