The Singapore Lyric Opera presents Hey, Figaro! this weekend, a campy, modern take on Rossini's comic opera The Barber of Seville set in a hairdressing salon. Fifo speaks to SLO's general manager Ng Siew Eng about the opera that sees Elvis making an appearance and about the bane of Singapore artists not being able to find food after 11pm. Call SISTIC hotline: (65) 6348 5555 or visit www.sistic.com.sg for tickets.
Tell us about the opera in one sentence what it's about.
A famous barber, one Figaro, who plots to help Count Almaviva to win the hand of Rosina, a rich spoilt brat of a girl, and to outwit the girl's guardian who doesn't approve of his intentions.
What's different in this production from all the other versions though?
This Barber is very contemporary, with music and costumes, etc all set in the roaring 60s and 70s. So expect a very pop feel to it. And of course there's the director David Edwards who has made this opera very funny, the music literally comes alive and gives you a different perspective of opera.
This updated version of a classical opera will see it being set in the right context, but with a twist in the songs and script, without changing the meaning of the opera. It's just set in a different time and space. Even Elvis makes an appearance in our opera!
So what food would your contemporary barber eat if he had to eat?
Actually he does onstage, during one scene. Figaro and Rosina share a meal together and they have barberqued meat. And it's provided by this restaurant at Sixth Avenue called Brazil Churrascaria, so the cast has asked that the meat be cooked so that they can eat it onstage as their dinner! (Of course the backstage crew have asked if they can eat it the rest of it right after the scene but well... yeah...)
Where is your favourite post-show place to get food?
For this friday after the performance, I'm thinking of bringing the director to Space@My Humble House at Esplanade or The Greenhouse at Ritz Carlton simply because they're near or at the theatre that we're performing at.
It's really hard to find places to eat post-performance in Singapore, past 1030 or 11pm, most restaurants are closed, and furthurmore if you talk about say around the Esplanade or Victoria Theatre for example, your choices are really limited. It is the bane of Singapore artists to find decent food after 11pm near theatres.