Singapore Season, a series of cultural diplomacy events that started in London in 2005, has been kickstarted in Shanghai with a sell-out concert by pop star JJ Lin at the Hongkou Stadium last Sunday.
About the only show throughout the entire series of events that has a Shanghai connection is Little Toys, a remake of the Chinese classic silent film 小玩意 (ie., little toys), starring 1930s screen goddess Ruan Lingyu (阮玲玉). This production won standing ovations when it was staged in the 2003 Hong Kong Arts Festival, 2003 Singapore Arts Festival, and the 2003 Copenhagen Images of Asia Festival, and now it’s finally coming to us. To be staged in the nostalgic Shanghai Concert Hall on 2 November, Little Toys will appeal to all you film buffs and music aficionados out there.
The production is the brainchild of multi-talented Singaporean composer, recording artist, singer, instrumentalist, poet and painter, Mark Chan, who is known particularly for his unique blend of Eastern and Western styles of music. Trained in both Western and Chinese music (he is a classical counter-tenor and plays the dizi and xiao), and with seven solo albums under his belt, Chan has also written for top Asian popstars such as Andy Lau.
Other performances to watch out for in the Singapore Season include those by Singapore Symphony Orchestra (21 Oct), the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (27 Oct), the Singapore Dance Theatre (25 Oct). We will also be on the lookout for the Singapore Film Festival (27 Oct – 1 Nov), and the Singapore Evening, to be held at the Pudong Shangri-La on 26 Oct featuring shows by fashion designer Ashley Isham and popstar Sun Ho. Beijingists, take heart. Some of the events are also coming to you.
Mark Chan and Musicians
Shanghai Arts Festival 2007 – Singapore Season in China 2007
2 November 2007 – Shanghai Concert Hall 7:30pm
Tickets at: 320 260 200 140 80 RMB
Online sales at culture.sh.cn
Mark Chan’s Official Website
Mark Chan’s MySpace page