Singapore International Festival of Arts

Good response to shows and student tickets at Singapore International Festival of Arts

Tickets to the debut concert of British jazz musician Jacob Collier (above) at the Victoria Theatre have sold out.
Tickets to the debut concert of British jazz musician Jacob Collier (above) at the Victoria Theatre have sold out.PHOTO: ANDREAS SCHLIETER

With two months to go before the start of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (Sifa), some events are already fully subscribed.

Tickets for British jazz musician Jacob Collier's debut concert at the Victoria Theatre sold out last Wednesday.

And five free programmes are now fully booked. These are Jacob Collier on Harmony & Groove; 1984 - The Book Club; 1984 - The Lecture; First Reads by Dark Matter Theatrics; and Tracing The Displaced: Process Insight Talk by Huzir Sulaiman/ Checkpoint Theatre.

Demand for the $10 front-row tickets for students has also been good - 67 per cent of these have already been sold. These tickets, which are available for most shows, were introduced to encourage more young viewers to attend major international productions at the festival.

Festival director Gaurav Kripalani had previously told The Straits Times that these affordable, good seats would be a hallmark of his three-year term at the helm. "Price should not be a bar to accessibility," he said.

The annual performing arts festival runs from April 26 to May 12 this year. It is organised by Arts House Limited and funded by the National Arts Council.

It will present more than 40 events ranging from dance shows to poetry discussions.

Among the major international productions this year are acclaimed tap dancer Michelle Dorrance's showcase The Blues Project and a blues-themed sci-fi opera based on Octavia E. Butler's acclaimed novel Parable Of The Sower (1993).

Ms Sarah Martin, chief executive of Arts House Limited, told The Straits Times: "We're very encouraged by the public response to this year's programmes thus far... We certainly hope to keep up the momentum."

Collier is one of the most popular acts among students, but the organisers have been encouraged by interest from students, teachers and schools across most of the shows, she said.

Some shows that have been selling well with students are 1984 by George Orwell and Enemy Of The People, both of which are texts used by many schools here.

At this year's festival, there will be free outdoor programmes during the opening and closing weekends.

Arts House will also be renamed the Festival House for Sifa, which will feature performances, lectures, readings, music salons and "immersive experiences".

The aim, said Mr Kripalani, is to "deepen the festivalgoer's engagement with the festival beyond the stage presentation".

• Tickets to the Singapore International Festival of Arts are available from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg). Go to sifa.sg for programme details and more information.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2018, with the headline 'Good response to shows, student tickets'. Print Edition | Subscribe