Fresh from his win at the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany, three weeks ago, maestro Wong Kah Chun will give his first public performance here at tomorrow's Opera In The Park.
The Singapore Lyric Opera's (SLO's) annual free open-air concert will be held at the Botanic Gardens with the 29-year-old at the helm of the orchestra.
He tells The Straits Times that he turned down an invitation to conduct an orchestra in Germany because it clashed with Opera In The Park.
"It would have been my first performance in Germany after winning the competition and would have opened a lot of doors. But I take my commitments very seriously and want to stick to my principles," he says.
The SLO says it is "really proud" to be associated with "super talented Singaporean stars" such as Wong.
Says its artistic director Nancy Yuen: "People should come to listen to the glorious music, the raw passion as shown in the human voices accompanied by the rich orchestral sound. And the audience should, of course, come and watch our own award-winning maestro Wong at work."
VIEW IT / OPERA IN THE PARK
WHERE: Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
WHEN: Tomorrow, 6pm
INFO: www.singapore opera.com.sg
The concert will feature the talents of soprano Teo Kai Xin, tenors Jeremy Koh and Raymond Lee and baritone William Lim.
This year's concert marks William Shakespeare's 400th death anniversary with a programme inspired by his works, including Je Veux Vivre from Charles Gounod's opera Romeo And Juliet and songs from the musicals Kiss Me Kate, which is based on the playwright's The Taming Of The Shrew, and West Side Story, which is based on Romeo And Juliet.
Other songs from the programme share themes explored by the Bard's works, such as romantic love in Puccini's La Boheme and comedy in Johann Strauss Jr's Die Fledermaus.
The audience will also get a sneak preview of the SLO's August production of Puccini's Turandot, which includes a performance of a song by its Children's Choir.
Opera In The Park was introduced in 2008 to spread the love of opera. Last year's concert attracted 2,500 people, many of whom brought along picnic mats and food.
This year's event is held in conjunction with the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Week and is supported by the SPH Gift of Music.