They’re not your average music or arts festival, not quite for the hippies and hipsters alike. But if you’re proud, out and about, of your roots, feast your eyes and ears on the ethnic festivals that Esplanade Theatres on the Bay has lined up for the next two months.
There’s the Malay Festival…
Back in its 14th year, Pesta Raya, the Malay Festival of Arts, presents a series of performances in homage to homegrown heroes such as Yusof Ishak, the first president of Singapore, as well as Nona Asiah, an eminent local songbird in the 40s. Fresh from the Golden Jubilee patriotism, launch into this annual cultural carnival, which runs from Aug 13 to 16. You’ll be treated to the pop rock anthems of Noah, the slick rhymes of hip hop artist Altimet, and the vastly distinctive sounds of reggae group Bushmen and progressive rock outfit Pitahati.
On Aug 14 (8pm), the Esplanade Concert Hall will play host to the production of Si Cempaka Biru: Celebrating the Life of Nona Asiah. Other events to look out for include a hip hop songwriting workshop by Altimet on Aug 15, as well as The Great Malay Songbook by Cheryl Tan and Aaron Khaled.
…And the Chinese Festival
Relive the traditional arts of Chinese opera before it faces its untimely end at the 11th installment of Moonfest: A Mid-Autumn Celebration, Singapore’s sole classical Chinese arts-centric festival. From Sept 25 to 27, the annual festival will showcase full-scale Cantonese opera productions, free performances by local Chinese opera ensembles, and other goodies you’ve never had the guts to appreciate until now.
Don’t miss the newly commissioned Journey West: Web of Deceit by Singapore’s puppetry practice, Paper Monkey Theatre, or Peony My Beauty: An Adaptation of The Peony Pavilion by the Foshan Cantonese Opera Troupe of China.
Cover photo courtesy of Esplanade.