Singapore International Festival of Arts returns this May

It will feature more than 60 live and online shows by local and international talents.

Naren Sankar

Nostalgic man, never giving up. Loves cartoons.

Published: 19 March 2021, 11:01 AM

The Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) is returning this May after being cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival will take place from May 14 to 30 and will feature more than 60 live and online shows by local and international talents.

One highlighted show is a modern telling of the Three Sisters play by Anton Chekhov, where the titular sisters Olga, Masha, and Irina are living a dreary provincial life while raring to go back to the city that they grew up in.

The award-winning ensembles of Singapore’s Nine Years Theatre and the SITI Company from New York will be working together to bring the play to audiences, with the Singapore cast appearing live onstage at the Drama Centre Theatre at the National Library Building while the New York cast will be appearing digitally.

Other shows to look forward to include The Invisible Opera where Singapore spectators will be treated to musician Sophia Brous’s created work of observing the sounds and patterns of everyday life in a Singapore city square. Sophia Brous will be having a live interaction with the Singaporeans in the square while she is all the way in Melbourne.

As for the online side of things, As Far As Isolation Goes will be taking place via Zoom from May 21 to May 30 at different time slots and will explore the mental and physical state of refugees, cast against the inhumane conditions of detention centres.

There will also be nine festival commissions on SIFA v2.020, a platform launched last May hosting shows, workshops and virtual talks in place of live performances.

Most of those will be available through video on demand from Jun 5 to Jun 12.

The festival began in 1977, and is organised by Arts House Limited and commissioned by the National Arts Council. This year with more than 60 shows, it could just help satisfy that pent-up demand for live performances.

Video on demand tickets start at $8, $10 for front-row student tickets and $15 for selected in-theatre programmes. Visit their website for more information.

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