Laksa Cantata (2013/2018)
a part of 'A Singapore Trilogy' with Kopi For One and Window Shopping
Libretto by Jack Lin
voices (2): LEAH, soprano
ensemble (3): clarinet in A, violin, piano
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.
Characters Premiere Cast (2013) Cast (2018)
LEAH Rebecca Li, soprano Ng Jingyun, soprano
STEPHEN Kiat Goh, baritone Samuel Ng, tenor
Instrumentation Ensemble (2013) Ensemble (2018)
Violin Wu Bingling Lim Hao Wei
Clarinet (in A) Colin Tan Colin Tan
Piano (and répétiteur) Song Ziliang Cherie Khor
(See Suite from Laksa Cantata, for piano trio)