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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 3 June 2004

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Singapore Street Opera Festival 2004

In conjunction with Celebrate Singapore


Come celebrate Singapore's 39th birthday with the Singapore Street Opera Festival at the Singapore River @ Riverside Point and Swiss Merchant Court Hotel from 13 - 15 Aug 2004. The event is jointly organised by De Dynasty Arts & Arts Inc.

The inaugural Festival takes you back to the Singapore River where a unique Singapore culture and a lifestyle nurtured on a makeshift stage was born.

At the Singapore River where many early Chinese immigrants, lived, worked and played, Street Opera took root as a major form of entertainment. Many a major festival was celebrated using Street Opera as the major icon of the festivities.

Street Opera with all its glitz and glory is true blue Singapore cultural heritage. It flourished decades ago; audiences dwindled with the advent of new forms of entertainment. It’s time to dress Street Opera in new attire that appeals to the modern Singaporean while retaining the intrinsic features.

The Singapore Street Opera Festival brings you back to the colours and flavours that made Singapore River the heartbeat of the island-state.

Street Opera History

Street Opera was and still is very much a part of China. In villages and farms, it is not uncommon for a makeshift wooden stage to be erected for performances for a special occasion, such as a temple festival or thanksgiving. Today, top performers from the city are engaged to perform for the rural folk.

In Singapore, a unique lifestyle grew for the stage people and the ordinary folk who came to watch or to capitalize on a business opportunity.

For the performers, they practically worked, ate and lived on the stage. Their children would find cosy corners to complete their schoolwork. You could say, their world was a stage.

For the audience, every performance was much awaited. It used to be that they had to bring their own chairs and stools to watch the shows that took place over day and night.

Itinerant hawkers built a flourishing business catering to the avid fans for whom food was as much part of the entertainment experience.


The theme is “Lifestyle 1965”. We celebrate Singapore’s 39th birthday with a nostalgic trip back to the year she was born. “Lifestyle 1965” is not just about the colour and character of life at the Singapore River but throughout Singapore.


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Public Holidays NATIONAL DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 9 August 2004.