October 23, 2015

Chinese opera show at Victoria Theatre

Last week I went to Victoria Theatre to watch two shows - one Cantonese opera excerpts and one Cantonese songs concert. It was the first time I was there after the Theatre's renovation. The outside and inside of the Theatre have changed quite significantly.

I think the new seating arrangement is similar to that of the Esplanade Theatre. I was at the stalls section. The circle section was higher.

After the shows, feedback from audience who were at the circle seats were all negative - “steps too steep, no handrails, too dark, too high, can't see”.

As we all know, a lot of fans who watch Chinese opera shows are elderly folks. Some have weak legs. They walk slowly and carefully. Some use walking aids. A fall could have disastrous consequences.

Perhaps in future, organizers who want to use Victoria Theatre for Chinese opera shows could leave out the circle section.  

October 12, 2015

Performances at The Serangoon Community Club

on 26 and  27 September 2015
Photos supplied courtesy of Choon Lan (the lady in the first photo)

October 05, 2015

An unfortunate incident

Last week I watched a Cantonese opera performance at a community club. The artists performed well. Unfortunately, there was an embarrassing incident.

During one opera excerpt, the headgear of the huadan in warrior costume fell down. It did not drop onto the floor; it slid onto the huadan's face. It happened another two times before the huadan went backstage to get it fixed. Then she came out to continue with the performance.

Several minutes later, the headgear slid down her face again. It happened two or three times. Poor lady, she must be feeling distressful. The audience also felt sorry for her. She was a bit unsettled but courageously performed till the end. Towards the end of the excerpt her hair wig looked like it had also come loose.

I guess it was the fault of the person who did the dressing-up for her. Maybe the person is inexperienced or he or she didn't do the job properly.

I think the performers should also ensure that the headgears are secure.

August 04, 2015

学到老 Lifelong learning

If you are young or not so young and still working, probably you will need to acquire new skills and new knowledge by attending courses and workshops. If you are retired you can also do that. But in this case the courses and workshops are those that interest you and not for the sake of earning money.

However, life-long learning does not only mean you must go back to the classroom to attend lessons. You are learning if you want to know more about something and you take the effort to read more about it. Or if you ask a friend to teach you how to use Bluetooth in your phone.

So most of retired people are actually learning all the while.

There might be a few retired people, especially those older and less-educated ones, who are pessimistic. They feel that there is no point for them to learn; so they show no interest in learning anything new.

If you have friends who are like this, I think it is no use nagging them about life-long learning or telling them examples like Lee Kuan Yew. It is better to get them interested in something and then help them from there.  

Lifelong learning courses for seniors:

July 21, 2015

Lessons from bad experiences

A few days ago, I steamed a fish. When it was cooked I used a pair of tongs to take it up from the steamer. Then my attention slipped for a second and the tongs loosened a little and some sauce and ingredients spilled onto the table. It took some effort to clean up the mess. I tell myself to concentrate on what I am doing in my future tasks.

Several years ago I was hurrying home from the car-park. The ground was wet as it had rained. There was some bird shit on the ground. I didn't notice it. I slipped on it and fell. Fortunately nothing serious happened to me. After that accident I am very careful walking on wet surfaces.

So you see, people learn through bad experiences.

We read about the accident along the PIE involving many vehicles. I think it was that the drivers were following the vehicles in front of them too closely. Even if they were attentive, the distance was too short for them to stop without hitting the vehicle in front.

There are a lot of things you have to do and a lot of inconvenience if you are involved in an accident. I'm sure these drivers will learn from the bad experience.

However, there are things we cannot afford to learn through bad experiences. Racial riots for example.

July 09, 2015


I scrapped my car recently and I have decided not to buy another car. A big burden had gone. It was a relief; no more road taxes and insurance, no need to pay car park fees, no need to buy parking coupons or drive around looking for a parking lot, no need to send car for servicing, no need to worry about road congestion, accidents or repairs or fines.

And so much more money to spend on other things.

I believe, for most car owners, the desire to own a car dissipates as one grows older.

In recent months I have been taking more public transport, especially buses, and I am quite happy with it. I would say our public transport network is good and efficient despite minor train break-downs now and then and the big breakdown two days ago.  

June 24, 2015

Recent performances

Kreta Ayer Square

Lee Foundation Theatre (NAFA)

Drama Centre (National Library)

May 18, 2015

Performance at The Serangoon ...

on 10 May 2015 by Chor Wun Yook and her students. 
These photos were supplied by her pupil Choon Lan .......

May 15, 2015

Recent performances

1. Street opera at Ang Mo Kio ..... 煒唐, 陳銘英

2. Street opera at Sin Ming Road ..... 何志成, 郭鳳儀

3. Performance at Chin Swee Road

Dr Lily Neo was there to give flowers to mothers as it was Mothers' Day. She also sang a few songs, including the Cantonese song Shanghai Beach.