Schola Cantorum Singapore's Preparations for Wagner's Flying Dutchman

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner

When Richard Wagner Association of Singapore representatives, Dr. Ronald Ling and old friend, veteran Arts Manager Ms. Juliana Lim first approached me to be the chorus master for the fully-staged Wagner's Flying Dutchman, my first two thoughts were 'no way' and 'this is ambitious'…

Singapore may have a very vibrant choral scene but the classical singing scene is perhaps still some ways to full maturity compared to our European and East Asian counterparts. I was lucky to be one of the pioneering batches of voice majors at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and we really have to thank people like Mr. Richard Adams (who was Head of Music at the time), renowned soprano Ms. Nancy Yuen and the much-loved Mr. Lim Shieh Yih – these trailblazers helped secure for us, lessons to gain language proficiencies in Italian, German, French and experience in acting-movement and dance classes. How many local choristers have solid experience in these subjects and can claim to be 'triple threats', being equally comfortable singing, moving and acting?

The complexity and difficulty of Wagner's Flying Dutchman requires a large, mature, professional chorus of exceptional vocal and musical ability – we simply do not have enough professionally trained singers who are willing and able to sing in a choir together on a regular and long term basis.

What eventually led me to say 'YES' to Juliana and the project was the assurance that the project was developmental in nature – a musical experiment where we can apply innovative musical/performance solutions, develop the people residing in and committed to Singapore whilst striving for excellence. This ties in nicely with Kodaly Academy of Music's (KAM) core values of excellence, people and innovation.

Our latest dance & movement workshop with famous choreographer Aaron Khek for Schola Cantorum Singapore members.

SCS in Action

SCS members having a break at coffeeshops, attending concerts at the Esplanade and rehearsing.

Providing the backbone to the chorus for this production is Schola Cantorum Singapore (SCS), a choir collective made up of a fun group of trained soloists, conductors, composers, music teachers, conservatory students and serious hobbyists from all walks of life. SCS members are open-minded learners, singing on a weekly basis since our inception on January 2015 and united by a common love of music. Members have since enjoyed workshops in voice,theatre and dance and have performed in various occasions,in and outside of Singapore ranging from chamber opera premiere at the Tanglin Club, acting as demonstration choir for budding conductors to singing pop arrangements at Zouk! Get out of your private music studios or office cubicles, learn from each other and meet other talented, driven and friendly choristers who share our lives over coconuts and suppers post-rehearsal or concerts we attend together.

With a stellar creative team made up renowned stage directors Glen Goei, Chong Tze Chien and music director Darrell Ang, the fully staged Wagner's Flying Dutchman already looks set to be a milestone performance in Singapore's music history. If you wish to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime performance, fill up the registration form here and join us NOW!

Albert Tay
Chorus Master
Artistic Director, Schola Cantorum Singapore