While other festivals around the world are going fully online or shrinking their programmes, the Singapore Festival of the Arts (SIFA) is determined to carry on. There are over 60 shows and 300 performances taking place in both virtual and live venues over 16 days in May. Several of them are new commissions for Singapore and foreign artists.
“The arts must go on,” says SIFA’s festival director Gaurav Kripalani. “So we intend to bring you the best from around the world – especially at a time when you can’t travel.”
This is a festival on an unprecedented level: many are joining hands across continents as never before to help the global arts community get through the pandemic.
Many artists are agreeing to virtual collaborations where once it would have been deemed too impersonal or clumsy. Others have sped up their adoption of various technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
In Singapore alone, SDT is partnering with SSO for the first time. The artistic directors of three rival theatre companies – Ivan Heng of Wild Rice, Adrian Pang of Pangdemonium, and Kripalani of Singapore Repertory Theatre – are teaming up for a stage comedy called The Commission. (“We’re BFFs now,” jokes Kripalani.) And the entire jazz community of Singapore is coming together to celebrate the life and music of jazz icon and Cultural Medallion recipient Louis Soliano.
Here are 12 programmes to watch out for at the upcoming SIFA, running from 14 – 31 May. Tickets can be purchased at www.sifa.sg.