SCO collaborates with singer-songwriter Dick Lee to bring you on a journey to experience the Peranakan culture

Singapore, 19 September 2016 (Monday) – Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) presents a Peranakan-themed concert titled The Nyonya Journey. Conducted by music director Tsung Yeh, soprano Felicia Teo Kaixin, tenor George Chan and the vocal consort group led by SCO chorus director-in-residence Nelson Kwei, the concert will be held on 4 November 2016 (Friday), 8pm at SCO Concert Hall.

The Peranakan culture is one of the preserved heritage in Singapore and has gained increasing attention in the recent years due to extensive media coverage. SCO will bring you on a music journey to discover the different aspects of the Peranakan culture. Local composer and singer Dick Lee will also be composing an oratorio based on his Peranakan family history for this concert. . 

Xie Xiang Ming’s new composition, Colours, describes the composer’s thoughts on the unique influence that the Nyonya culture has on architectural, object, fashion accessories, decorations and food. The music incorporates traditional music elements, western music elements and South-east Asian music elements, together with the harmony of the choir and rhythm change to represent the contrasting aspects of the colourful Nyonya culture.

Malaysian composer Simon Kong Su Leong’s new composition Tok Panjang (Nyonya Delicacies) is based on the representative Peranakan food culture. Tok Panjang, which “Tok” means tables in Hokkien and “Panjang” means long in Malay, hence the title means “Long Table”. The structure of the piece is based on the Tok Panjang dining culture of the Peranakan and it incorporates Chinese, Malay, Western music influences to showcase the unique multi-racial characteristics of the Peranakans. The whole piece is sectioned by four dishes: Prelude: The Mata Kuching and Wine, Festival Dishes, Dessert: Nyonya Kueh and Coda: Areca. Audience can also enjoy Chong Kee Yong’s Celebration of Faith which was inspired from the music played on cassette tape during a Peranakan wedding and popular Malay oldies, Dondang Sayang.

Local singer-songwriter Dick Lee has specially written an oratorio that will be world premiered in this concert. This is Dick Lee’s first orchestral work for an orchestra illustrating his family history, and will be orchestrated by local composer Eric Watson. This is written based on Dick Lee’s ancestor, Lee Kan, who travelled to Malacca from Yong Chun, China in 1776 to Malacca to seek his fortune before returning to his homeland in the later years. Being the seventh generation of Lee Kan’s family and a Peranakan himself, this oratorio serves as an ode to the ancestors and the legacy that they have left behind. The oratorio is divided into four sections, Part 1: Farewell, Part 2: The South China Sea / Malacca, Part 3: Love — An Important Man – Yearning, Part 4: Return to Yongchun and Part 5: Generations. Dick Lee will narrate the prologue of the oratorio, while soprano Felicia Teo Kaixin and tenor George Chan, together with the Vocal Consort led by SCO chorus director-in-residence will perform a heartfelt rendition of the oratorio to portray the struggles of the early immigrants as they seek a living in Nanyang.

Conductor: Tsung Yeh      Composer/ Narrator: Dick Lee   Vocal: Felicia Teo Kaixin        Vocal: George Chan

Chorus Master: Nelson Kwei   Choir: Vocal Consort

Concert details:
The Nyonya Journey
Date: 4 November 2016 (Friday)
Time: 8pm
Venue: SCO Concert Hall
Ticket prices (before SISTIC fees): $70, $60, $45/$30*, $30/$20*
Tickets from SISTIC

Please contact Media Officers for more information, photographs and interviews.

Media Contacts:

Toh Wei Lin
Executive (Marketing Communications)
DID: 6557 4037 / 8121 6966

Koh Mui Leng
Assistant Manager (Marketing Communications)
DID: 6557 4047 / 9833 0556