Good natured, light hearted songs make this recital a cheerful affair.
Setting the casual tone of the performance with a group vocal warm-up, showing audiences the pre-show rituals a singer goes through, Life Is Ha-Ha-Happiness feels like a good introduction to the world of classical singing. We appreciated how each performer took the time to introduce and explain the context of the songs, which made the performance easy to understand and follow. It wasn’t long before audience members were comfortable and relaxed enough in the performance space to feel free to interact when asked, particularly as the performers themselves threw caution to the wind as they utilised props from rubber ducks to feather boas to further lighten the mood.
A set of four songs, comprising ‘Art is Calling For Me’, ‘Alto’s Lament’, ‘A Tenor All Singers Above’ and ‘I’m Glad I’m Not A Tenor’, gave each of the performers a perfect platform to showcase what their vocal profile was all about – in performing Herbert’s ‘Art is Calling For Me’, Teng Xiang Ting once again proves that she is a gift to Singapore’s music scene, allowing her to show off her soprano range and the emotion and precision she sings each lyric. Michelle Tan’s charming take on Goldrich and Heisler’s ‘Alto’s Lament’ drew plenty of laughs from the audience as she manipulated her voice to flatten the tones of songs that required a soprano’s touch, while Leslie Tay pushed his tenor’s voice to the edge with Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘A Tenor All Singers Above’, serenading an audience volunteer, before Alvin Tan’s deep baritone voice closed off the first half, as it boomed with the requisite balance of confidence self-doubt in the expressive ‘I’m Glad I’m Not A Tenor’.
Life is Ha-Ha-Happiness played at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 5th September 2018.