SCO 2018-2019 season opening gala kickstarts with 2 well-loved literary Chinese classics: Dream of the Red Chamber and Red Cliff

Singapore, 4 July 2018 (Wednesday) – Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO)’s 2018-2019 season opening concert presents two classic literacy works – the Dream of the Red Chamber Suite and The Battle of the Red Cliff. This concert will feature internationally-renowned soprano Wu Bixia, Singaporean tenor Jonathan Charles Tay and narrator Jeffrey Low. Dream of the Red Chamber and Red Cliff will be held on 13 and 14 July 2018 (Friday and Saturday), 8pm, at the SCO Concert Hall. This concert will be conducted by Music Director Tsung Yeh.

The Dream of the Red Chamber is a classic that is the magnum opus of Qing-dynasty author Cao Xueqin. It is widely recognized as the pinnacle of classical Chinese literature! The plot revolves around the romantic tragedy involving Jia Baoyu, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baocai, at the same time revealing how the four great families fell from grace, with the Jia family taking the lead. This classic paints a realistic scene of the end of monarchy in China, uncovering the ills of feudal society and displaying the complexity of the human nature in those times. The instrumental and vocal works from the series were rearranged for a Chinese orchestra. This rearrangement is subtle, innovative and elegant while showcasing the distinctiveness of the Chinese instruments.

The roaring water of the Yangtze River is synonymous to the flow of time and history. In the past centuries and millennia of mankind, there has been immeasurable tales about heroes and great men, much like the ever-moving currents. This work was composed in 2003 by Chen Ning-chi. It was premiered in 2010 at the Composer’s Festival organized by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, which received well-acclaims.

Wu Bixia will be the soprano for Dream of the Red Chamber Suite for this concert, and she will enchant you in to the world of Cao Xue Qin. Currently the deputy to the National People’s Congress and a teacher at the China Conservatory, Wu Bixia has been lauded by the press as “the Nightingale that melds the East and the West”, and has been featured multiple times on China Central Television. She is highly acclaimed by the international media – the Spanish press described her as “the sound from heaven”, the Russian media as the “vocal angel from the East”, and the US media as “a voice that makes the world sit up and listen”. She has also won international competitions of the greatest renown such as the First Prize Winner of National Folk Songs in the 1st All-China Vocal Competition in 1996, the first prize and best singer award for Chinese songs at the First China International Vocal Competition in 2000, first prize at the 8th Bilbao International Vocal Competition in Spain in 2000, and a Special Award for Best Soprano at the 4th Stanislaw Moniuszki International Competition in 2001.


Singapore tenor Jonathan Charles Tay will portray Cao Cao in Symphonic Poem: Battle of the Red Cliff, who advocates the enjoyment of wine and songs, for life is short. Jonathan was the tenor performing the role of Ah Niu in SCO’s recent Huayi Festival 2017: Songs of Liu Sanjie – A Musical Film in Concert. His clear lyric tone and commitment to text and drama have contributed to his increasing presence on the opera and concert stages in Singapore and the United States.


Jeffrey Low is currently a Presenter for MediaCorp Channel 8, Chinese News and Current Affairs Programme – “Hello Singapore”. As a theatre veteran over the last 28 years, Jeffrey has won numerous nominations and awards in Singapore and regional theatrical awards. He is the narrator of this concert. Chorus Mistress Khor Ai Ming will be leading the choir, Vocal Associates Festival Choruses, for this concert.

This concert is sponsored by Yangzheng Foundation.


In Collaboration with Lianhe Zaobao: Pre-Concert Talk Series – Music and Poetry

Speaker: Mr Choo Thiam Siew and Tsung Yeh

Host: Woo Mun Ngan

Date/Time: 14 July 2018 (Saturday), 6.30pm

Venue: Singapore Conference Hall, Zhong Foyer (Level 3)

Free admission.

The Maestro and The Poet; Dream of the Red Chamber and Battle of the Red Cliff

Intricate and intense emotions pouring from the Red Chamber; the clashing of swords amongst warriors at the Red Cliff – be it music or poetry, all who witness will be enthralled. Allow Mr Choo Thiam Siew, President of the General Society for Chinese Classical Society, and SCO Music Director Tsung Yeh lead this talk to take you back in to the past, where you will venture and learn more about the beauty of poetry and music.

SCO Open House 2018

2018 marks the return of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra to the Singapore Conference Hall, after a year-long renovation process. The $16 million facelift sees the iconic venue get equipped with improved concert hall acoustics and restored to its original design in the 60s. SCO is celebrating this homecoming by opening up its doors to the public, to experience and soak up that fuzzy, warm feeling that one calls home. Spaces in and around the SCH will be transformed into different zones, like the living room and the walk-in wardrobe. There will also be an art market featuring various independent and established brands. Come on in! Please refer to Annex A for additional details on the Open House.

Annex A



Wu Bixia_MAIN Publicity Image

JCT headshot color





Conductor: Tsung Yeh      Soprano: Wu Bixia                 Tenor: Jonathan Charles Tay


jeffrey low

   Khor Ai Ming-original-photo






Narrator: Jeffrey Low                     Chorus Mistress: Khor Ai Ming   

Vocal Associates Festival Choruses






Choir: Vocal Associates Festival Choruses



Concert Details:

Dream of the Red Chamber and Red Cliff

Date: 13 & 14 July 2018 (Friday & Saturday)

Time: 8pm

Venue: SCO Concert Hall

Ticket prices (before SISTIC fees): $98, $78, $68, $48/$30*, $25** 

*Concession price

**Restricted View Seats








For more information, photographs, and interviews, please contact the Media Officers below:


Media Contacts


Valesha Soon Weixuan

Senior Executive (Marketing Communications)


DID: 6557 4037 / 9187 3418


Koh Mui Leng

Assistant Director (Marketing Communications)


DID: 6557 4047 / 9833 0556




— END —