SINGAPORE - In these times of fear and virus, some in the arts community have come up with creative ways to try to offer comfort and spiritual sustenance.
The Esplanade, for example, is rolling out free online broadcasts of selected past musical performances performed at the arts centre, starting from Friday (March 13).
Over the next four weeks, the performances that will be posted include a 2016 performance by Japanese musical artist Haruka Nakamura Piano Ensemble and local musician Aspidistrafly; a 2019 performance by Singaporean Mandopop duo StellaVee and a March 6 show by Fredo, frontman of legendary 1970s local band The Flybaits.
The broadcasts will be online permanently and can be viewed anytime after they are posted on multimedia site Esplanade Offstage.
These broadcasts are part of an initiative by the Esplanade to lift spirits and offer respite amid Covid-19. "We believe that it is particularly in these uncertain times that arts can comfort, provide perspective and lift our spirits," said Ms Clarissa Oon, 44, head of communications and content for the Esplanade.
Last month, Ding Yi Music Company performed with local artists like Joanna Dong and Tay Kexin in an online concert.
The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) has also launched its #DabaoSCO series where the public can "da-bao" (take away) full-length SCO concerts and enjoy them at home. The concerts are released weekly and can be viewed on SCO's Facebook page and YouTube channel.
In a press release, it notes that the local arts community is doing its part to rally Singaporeans amid the rapidly evolving global Covid-19 outbreak.
"We understand that during this period, it is best to stay home, adopt good personal hygiene practices and be socially responsible. Therefore, Singapore Chinese Orchestra has recently rolled out the digital concert series, to bring our music to everyone."
SCO will be releasing online a specially curated performance on March 23 for primary school pupils participating in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) to understand and appreciate the pieces they will be playing for the local student arts presentation.
Meanwhile, there will be a free performance every day at the Esplanade. These will be held at the Esplanade Concourse daily and at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre on Friday and weekend evenings. Performers include local pop rock singer-songwriter Rene and Singaporean playwright collective Main Tulis Group.
Other perks offered by the Esplanade also include free parking throughout March (noon to 3pm and 6 to 10pm daily) as well as an array of dining and shopping deals.
Said Ms Lan S.L., a civil servant who declined to reveal her age: "It's great that I can still enjoy music performances without having to go down physically to (the Esplanade)."