Tag Archives: Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA)

From Vienna to Broadway


From Vienna To Broadway1

The PSPA Singers made their debut with a repertoire of arias in their musical presentation entitled “Voices from Vienna to Broadway” at Tandoor Grill Restaurant in Ipoh recently. Along with three prominent singers from Thailand, Sirikhwan Buathong (soprano), Thanis Sonkloe (baritone) and Salith Dechsangworn (tenor), the singers gave a rousing performance, not only through their vocal prowess but also facial expressions.

Led by music director Marianne Poh, who is herself a soprano, the show had an interesting programme, with the first half consisting of Mozart’s well-known operas, Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte, and the second half, a selection of evergreen musicals from The Sound of Music to Miss Saigon and Les Miserables.

The first half began with a solo presentation, kicked off by Marianna Poh’s rendition of L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Love is a rebellious bird) from the 1875 opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. Then, Thai baritone, Thanis Sonkloe, took to the stage with Mozart’s Deh, vieni alla finestra from the opera, Don Giovanni.

From Vienna To Broadway2

The second part of the first half was arias from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. First was Giovinette, which was a scene at the wedding party for Zerlina and Masetto. This was followed by Là ci darem la mano where Don Giovanni, the philandering Count, tried to seduce his housemaid, Zerlina. The last aria, Eh via, buffone wrapped up the second part.

In the third part, Così fan tutte, two sisters, one blonde, and the other a brunette, discussed the men of their choice. It ended with the women sending their men to the army.

The second half of the presentation was on musicals through the ages from light to the serious, beginning with The Sound of Music from 1959. The selection of songs included Edelweiss, My Favourite Things and Do-Re-Mi.

Tracks from Miss Saigon were Sun and Moon and Last Night of the World while those from Les Miserables included I Dreamed a Dream and One Day More.

The audience asked for an encore and to their delight was awarded with not one but two additional pieces; local hit Belaian Jiwa and African hymn Siyahamba.


Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod 2012


The recent 10th Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod (MCE) outreach programme and International Competition  2012 held here was a “great success” said its founder and Director Ms Susanna Saw at the end of the 3-day event. The event was organized in collaboration with the Perak Society of Performing Arts.

Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod 2012
Choir from SJKC Ave Maria

For the uninitiated the word Eisteddfod (ahy-steth-vod) is music terminology where artists, poets or musicians of their artistic craft get together for their annual competitive festival.

There are two components to the festival, the Choir Competition, where choirs showcase their talents and compete in a competition and the Choral Festival workshops which are conducted with international and renowned guest tutors. The event concluded with a concert for the closing ceremony.

Indeed the mood at the closing ceremony on the final night was exuberant and all the participants exuded a genuinely joyous presentation during their performance as further testimony of the success of the event “where singers are able to transform an event into a magical and glorious experience”.

A total of 16 choirs took part in this year’s festival originating from KL, Selangor, Perak, East Malaysia and Singapore.

The international jury comprised of Branko Stark from Croatia, Francis Liew from Singapore and Dr Yap Jin Hin from Malaysia.

The event was divided into two categories, children and youth where the more experienced choirs were seen sharing their knowledge with the newer choirs enabling all participants to have an enlightening experience said Saw, the event’s Director. Similarly juror, Yap, too described the event as being “very spontaneous throughout the 3-day event”.

The Youth Mixed Voices Category was won by SMK Seafield while SJK (C) Chung Cheng was the champion in the Childrens Choir category.

After the event was over the choirs joined to sing a lively number, Sin Jay Jay, the  Zulu tribal song which had everyone singing and clapping along.


Art Full of Joy

Thesesa Lim (2nd from left) and Datin Rosalina with the team from ASAP

The Perak Society of Performing Arts kicked off its inaugural Perak Performing Arts Festival with a charity dinner talk and art exhibition held at Citrus Wine and Dine, Ipoh Garden East on March 11.

The dinner talk and art exhibition themed “Reaching Out Through Art” was presented by Perak’s first woman architect Theresa Lim Mun Sim. Incidentally the name Mun Sim means “fullness of joy and gratitude”.


The art exhibition featured Chinese paintings of hens, fishes and sparrows in a Rambutan tree depicting a happy time Lim had growing up at her house on Jalan Selamat which is located off Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil behind Ipoh Parade.

Lim very generously donated 59 paintings and 600 books, 300 each of two books entitled “Once Upon a Bell Tree” and “A Little Grain of Rice”. The proceeds from the sale will go for the benefit of ASAP, the Autism Support Association for Parents.

In order to further appreciate Lim’s painting one should actually read her books.

Lim, 79, in her book “Once Upon a Bell Tree” describes her home at Jalan Selamat as “very big” with a ‘wood of a thousand rubber trees’  which included a “Home of the Catfish” and a “Stream of Joy” which had guppies, fighting fish and even shrimps which were eaten raw and tasted “really good”.  She also had a “Wishing Well” where fireflies congregated “on any bright night in the year”.

Ineluctably, her happy memories have been translated into art and unknowingly through her book she has provided Ipohites a graphic insight of a time when the current Greentown property sprawl was actually a vast natural habitat.


For information about the festival please go to their blog: http://pspablog.blogspot.com, email: pspa2011fest@gmail.com or contact PSPA/ Sara:
05-548 7814 or Witzi Leong: 012-5088818.


Seven-Month-Long Performing Arts Festival


The Perak Society of Performing Arts has really outdone itself this time by coming out with a 7-month-long Arts Festival which will feature a wide genre of performing arts to include Shakespeare plays, choral presentation, dance, music and even talks, exhibitions and workshops.

Titled the Perak Performing Arts Festival, it started this March with three programmes ‘Exploring Shakespeare, Reaching Out Through Art, and Ipoh Oscar Night’, the latter two being charity events.

The pièce de résistance though would be PSPA’s very own original in-house musical production Shiny Black Gold. The script, written by PSPA President, Datin Rosalina Ooi-Thong and music by Christopher Tse is about the glorious tin mining days in Perak and the lives of Chinese migrants who worked in the mines then. Undoubtedly for PSPA, you really can’t get more superlatively topical nor original than that.

The festival is the first of its kind in Perak and is supported by the State Government. Dato’ Hamidah Osman who launched the festival presented the Society with a grant of RM120,000 for organizing the festival saying it was an attraction which would promote tourism.

Additionally, Ipoh’s own international actress Dato’ Michelle Yeoh has supported by graciously agreeing to be the Performing Arts Icon while MCA President Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek pledged a grant of RM30,000 for the festival a week earlier.

The event for the last day of the festival is Perak Top Marching Bands to be held at Ipoh Padang on September 16 in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebrations.

This Arts Festival has been long overdue. However, it’s better late than never. So bring on the show!

James Gough

A Message Of Love And Inspiration


There was no better way of starting the Christmas season than with a “Message of Love and Inspiration” – a choral presentation by the Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA) held at the Chapel of Hospital Fatimah. This debut of PSPA’s charity performances was in association with Hospital Fatimah and the proceeds collected went to the welfare community of the hospital.

Admission was free and about a hundred were expected; instead, double that number turned up to listen to the 28-strong choir sing a choice of 16 familiar songs under the direction of Chin Yoong Kim. The first session were songs from famous films or musicals, like: Born Free, Climb Every Mountain, The Prayer, The Impossible Dream and others. The second session was more specific to the season with sacred numbers like: Panis Angelicus, Cantique de Noel, Silent Night and more. There were also readings from the works of Robert Frost, T.S. Elliot and a letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.

The good thing was that there were no distractions like camera flashes or idle chatter as the audience were totally immersed in listening but had to refrain from applauding after each song, although they instinctively wanted to. The performance ended appropriately with ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ and it sounded like the angels did sing!

PSPA’s next charity performance will be on December 19 at the YMCA. For more information, call Sara at: 05-5487814.


A Musical Delight with ‘Flute and Guitar’ Duo


Music aficionados in Perak were in for a rare treat when world-renowned ‘flute and guitar’ duo, Aisling Agnew and Matthew McAllister performed at Taman Budaya recently.

The concert, organised by Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA) in collaboration with Classical Music Society of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur (CMS), was the first of its kind in Ipoh.

“The concert was phenomenal as they are the best flute and guitar duo. We also encouraged music lovers to join the workshops as this was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the very best,” explained Datin Rosalina Ooi, President of PSPA.

Classical guitarist Matthew McAllister who comes from Scotland and flautist Aisling Agnew, from Ireland, are recognised as premier exponents of the new music genre. Their critically acclaimed album Recital features a wide range of virtuosic and beautiful music from around the globe. The duo’s premiere recording of Greg Caffrey’s Pluck, Blow ll (The Return) was recently featured on RTE Lyric FM’s latest CD release Hiccup. Aisling and Matthew have taken their music around the world, giving many high profile concerts in the United Kingdom, North America, Peru and Costa Rica.

In conjunction with the concert, the duo also conducted workshops at the PSPA office.