Lirica Arts Singapore presents its first fully staged opera with Gioacchino Rossini’s highly acclaimed one-act masterpiece L’inganno Felice (The Blissful Deception) on 5-6 March 2022 at NAFA Lee Foundation Theatre. This Singapore premiere is the local opera company’s second public performance, following its sold-out debut album NO TENORS ALLOWED, a soprano-baritone duo recital presented in September 2021.
Lirica Art’s Inganno Felice can proudly claim the title of Rossini’s second opera to be staged entirely in Singapore (following the Singapore Lyric Opera’s productions of The Barber of Seville in 2007 and 1992). Boasting an all-Singaporean cast, it attests that our local opera singers have reached the maturity to tackle the difficult technical demands of the Bel Canto repertoire, which is so rarely performed in Singapore.
The opera tells the story of the faithful wife who, unjustly accused of infidelity and cruelly abandoned at sea, through a series of schemes and maneuvers, regains her husband’s love and is happily reconciled.
Director Tang Xinxin’s “impressionist” approach transports the opera to an unknown era of ancient China, enhanced by an abstract and minimalist set by set designer Dorothy Png with costumes designed by Theresa Chan. Singaporean conductor Lien Boon Hua leads the Wayfarer Sinfonietta, a young chamber orchestra founded in 2021 to present symphonic music in innovative ways.
Singapore’s most prolific tenor, Jonathan Charles Tay, whose “excellent and very lyrical” voice was recently heard as Rodolfo in the Musician Initiative’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème, takes on his first role in Rossini in as Duke Bertrando, in love with his wife.
Soprano Joyce Lee Tung plays the devilishly difficult role of Isabella, the disavowed but faithful wife. Her recent appearance as Tonina and Madame Herz, in the double program of the Lyric Opera of Singapore, Der Schauspieldirektor by Mozart and Prima la musica poi le parole by Salieri, has been much appreciated.
Veteran bass-baritone William Lim stars as villainous Ormondo, whose amorous advances to Isabella are rejected without hesitation, while baritone David Tao, an up-and-coming performer in the local opera scene, sings the role of Tarabotto, the savior of the duchess and the concierge.
International baritone Martin Ng returns to the Singapore opera scene as Ormondo’s unwitting henchman Batone after appearances as Germont in National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts’ La Traviata Weiwuying and by Doctor Bartolo in The National Taichung Theatre’s The Barber of Seville.
Sung in Italian with English and Chinese surtitles, the two performances of L’Inganno Felice are scheduled for March 5, 2022 (8 p.m.) and March 6, 2022 (4 p.m.).
Ticket price categories: $38, $68, $98 and $128 (limited gala tickets) are available through SISTIC www.sistic.com with 10% discount for seniors, 15% discount for students and 20% off for group purchases of 4 or more. tickets.