voices: ETHAN, tenor. children's chorus
instrumentation (10): fl. (doubling picc). cl. hn. drumset (doubling vib.), keyboard/piano, 18.104.22.168.1(doubling electric bass)
Original Press Release from Singapore Lyric Opera:
Singapore Lyric Opera
Pursuant, A Musical
Drama Centre Theatre, 8 pm
31 May, 1, 2, 4-8 June 2013
25 March 2013 – This May, leap into the future and catch Pursuant, a musical about dreaming by the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) at the Drama Centre Theatre on 31 May, 1, 2, and 4 to 8 June 2013.
DREAMS OF THE FUTURE
Set in the year 2023 in a familiar country called SingaCorp, Pursuant is an original musical that follows the adventures of young Ethan, a secondary school boy with an unstoppable capacity for dreaming. The only problem is – dreaming is illegal and dreamers are arrested and sent for treatment!
Ethan’s wild dreams soon spiral into a nightmare when he is captured and sent to a high-security concentration camp for torturous brainwashing. When he and his fellow dreamers are rescued by a band of vigilantes called Dream On, Ethan leads them all on a quest to find the mysterious Old Man who has been haunting his dreams – the legend who started it all and built the country from a dream.
A STAR-STUDDED LINE-UP
Playing the lead character of Ethan in Pursuant is Windson Liong, who rose to fame as Chan Mun Kit in the Singaporean TV programme, Moulmein High. This role marks his debut with SLO. Islandwide auditions for the leads have also turned up some thrilling new talents – Mabel Yeo and Crystal Cordial – who will make their professional debut with SLO as Ethan’s dreamer sidekicks.
Adding power and punch to the mix are theatre heavyweights Lim Yu Beng and Nora Samosir, who play the Can-Crushing Uncle and the hilarious Cardboard Box Aunty. Audiences will also get to enjoy familiar musical theatre faces, Candice De Rozario and Dwayne Lau, in multiple comic roles.
The SLO Children’s Choir is no stranger to musical productions as it has chock up an enviable record of concerts and had taken part in John Rutter’s The Wind in the Willows and The Reluctant Dragon and numerous operas like Carmen, La Boheme and Turandot to name a few.
ONE OF A KIND
Commissioned and produced by SLO, Pursuant is 100% Singaporean-made and will be written and directed by local theatre maven, Jonathan Lim. When asked about his inspiration for the theme of the musical, which highlights the importance of dreaming, Lim said, “Youths need to be free to dream – if they don’t dream, we won’t have visions for the future. Dreaming is not just good for our country, it is imperative. This musical reaches out to our youths, their parents, their teachers and reminds us all of the importance of growing up with dreams.”
The music of Pursuant originates from gifted young composer Chen Zhangyi, who will conduct the premiere run season of Pursuant. Currently based in the US, the Singaporean composer said, “Although the story is weaved around youth, it is perfectly suited for audiences of all ages. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, Pursuant showcases a reality that is also dream-like at the same time. Musically, it is an exciting realisation of my own dream to create a piece that appeals to opera connoisseurs as well as musical theatre fans.”
With music inspired by genres such as musical theatre, opera, choral, orchestral, jazz and even anime music, audiences can expect an eclectic mix that brings out the youthful energy, enchantment, and optimism of our dreams.
A WORD FROM SINGAPORE LYRIC OPERA
Ms Ng Siew Eng, General Manager of SLO commented on the commissioning of the musical, saying, “SLO has been looking to develop vocal music and the repertoire of Singaporean works. Earlier in its history, SLO commissioned and performed the joint work titled Bunga Mawar (The Rose) based on a story about a Peranakan family, with the libretto by Professor Edwin Thumboo and music by the late Mr. Matthew Leong Yoon Pin.
“We have also established a small repertoire of choral works for the Children’s Choir, which we hope will help build a body of Singaporean composers work for future generations. Pursuant by Jonathan Lim and Chen Zhangyi continues this philosophy of building a cache of local works."
Ms Ng expressed her thoughts on Pursuant, saying, “Jonathan and I spoke about what goes on in our midst and the stories we found, just like operas that are in verismo style, are common subjects that people can relate to. The characters and stories are anecdotal and make for good learning for our young but also for the adults. It is about humanity. I personally think we can all learn about life through this musical. I hear the SLO Children’s Choir are having fun and enjoying the learning of the music and also the workshops they have had with Jonathan. I personally look forward to seeing this work.”
“A work that appeals to opera connoisseurs as well as musical theatre fans.”