Malay arts festival Pesta Raya at the Esplanade will be back from August 28 to 31, bringing music, theatre and culture from around the region to the fore.
Leading the pack of ticketed performances will be a special festival commission, Wanita, a play directed by local playwright and director Aidli 'Alin' Mosbit and featuring an all-female cast familiar to Malay television viewers that include actresses Seri Wahyuni Jaes, Siti Hajar Gani and Dalina Jaapar. Staged at the Esplanade Theatre Studio on Aug 28, 29 and 30, the play is a Malay adaptation of American author Clare Boothe Luce's well-known 1936 comedy of manners The Women.
Critically acclaimed Indonesian composer Rahayu Supanggah will direct the music for Sakti, a music and dance performance by The Bumi Purnati Center for the Arts that combines traditional music from Java and Sumatra and is inspired by seventh to ninth century reign of the Srivijayan empire across the Malay archipelago. It will be staged at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Aug 29.
Malay orchestra Orkestra Melayu Singapura will present an hour-long dondang sayang concert that features artists like Rudy Djoharnaen singing songs from the classic Malay genre at the Esplanade Recital Studio on Aug 31.
Younger audiences will want to check out Kuat Ketam Kerana Penyepit, Kuat Burung Kerana Sayap, a coming-of-age play by local theatre practitioners Mohd Fared Jainal and Zulfadli 'Big' Rashid.
For contemporary music fans, the festival will also present shows by Malaysian R&B/pop singer Ning Baizura, who will stage her first solo concert here at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Aug 30, home-grown singer-songwriter Awi Rafael, performing at Esplanade Recital Studio on Aug 30 and local singer-songwriter Tengku Adil, whose gig will be at the Esplanade Recital Studio on Aug 31.
Tickets for all the above shows are on sale through Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555).
There will also be free performances held at various venues within the Esplanade, with details to be released at a later date at www.pestaraya.com