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Concert review: This operatic love hotel was worth checking into

Published on Apr 16, 2014 10:48 AM

New Opera Singapore, the young opera company founded by Korean soprano Jeong Ae Ree, may be seen as Singapore's foremost academy for budding opera singers. Its annual major productions have been critically received, while its lighter Opera Comique series continues to tickle and tease.

Opera Comique At The Hotel, the fourth instalment to date, was yet another laugh-a-minute mix and match of operatic highlights and farcical comedy.

While previous runs were likened to the long-enduring British Carry On series, this one was more a cross between Fawlty Towers and Love Boat. Singapore's Hotel Amour is a Jalan Besar-like family-run establishment where an irascible Mr Chow (played by tenor Shaun Lee) tries to keep his three love-sick daughters in check while aiming to accommodate his guests.

Goh Ming Siu's scenario stringing 15 arias and duets together within a 90-minute frame worked because the audience is already used to the MediaCorp local brand of humour and Robert Jenkin's direction, which included the house lights going off whenever hanky panky is being suggested. It was left to the eight young singers to deliver the vocal goodies on a plate.

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