Singapore is one of my favorite countries in the world for art and music. Ever since I can remember, I have been in love with music, and have had the opportunity to cultivate my passion for singing, jazz, and Latin rhythms through the years. I believe that music and theatre are forms of expression that enrich us as human beings. Artists need spaces like Esplanade theaters to showcase their art. In this article, I will share my thoughts about these impressive performing arts complexes located in Singapore.
At a cost of $600 million, the complex was developed and opened on October 12th, 2002.
Esplanade theatres resemble the rounded shape of a typical Singaporean fruit known as Durian. Numerous sunshades encase the theatres, made of aluminum. Cleaning them is a job done by hand, taking up to three months to complete.
Cleaners have to use ropes for their safety and use recycled rainwater to wash the sunshades.
Because Esplanade theatres believe that art must be accessible to everyone, most concerts at the theatre are free, and in addition support local and foreign artists. One thing that specifically caught my attention is that there is no specific dress code for attending; in many other places in Singapore, you can be denied access if you are wearing sneakers and casual clothes.
It contains excellent performing spaces such as:
– The Esplanade theatre: I love the elegant red seats and red velvet curtains. The theatre has a maximum capacity of 1,950 people and a stage large enough to fit a Concorde plane.
– The concert hall: When I entered the hall I was impressed by the excellent acoustics; there is an acoustic canopy above the stage that helps artists hear themselves. The hall has a seating capacity of 1,847 people, in which the beautiful chairs are upholstered in fine light blue Thai silk that compliments the wood perfectly. Additionally, the concert hall houses a 4,740-pipe organ. In 2014 it was recognized by the Hamburg-based building data company, “Emporis”, as one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world.
– The outdoor theatre: Regular free concerts are held here. It is located at the waterfront along the river; from there you can see the incredible skyline and modern architecture of Singapore and the small boats cruising with tourists towards Clarke Quay.
My favorite place to have a drink is Harry’s, which is conveniently located in the Esplanade courtyard just in front of the outdoor theater.
My favorite dessert place in the area is Suzette. They have a selection of chocolate cakes, lemon and meringue tarts, and reasonably priced drinks, while also having a great view.
My favorite place to eat is Makansutra Glutton’s Bay, Hawker Center. They have Singaporean cuisine, along with a wide variety of dishes with Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and Indonesian influences, at excellent and affordable prices. It is open until 5 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays.
If you have enough time, you can also visit the library located on the third floor of the Esplanade Theatre’s performing arts complex, which specializes in dance, theatre, and music.
The library has a large collection of music books, music scores of various styles and also a big collection of DVD movies. They also allow rooms to be rented and an affordable price of $7.50/hour for practicing piano and other instruments.
For more information about the program and guided tours, you can visit the Esplanade Theatre page.
How to get there: You can easily get there by taking the metro and getting off at City Hall or Esplanade; from there it’s a short walk.
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