top of page

Forum Series: Singaporean Trilogy – Chamber Operas Of Food, Shopping, And Coffee

Steven Baxter Recital Studio Yong Siew Toh Conservatory 4 September 2018 (Tu) 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM


Assistant Professor Dr. Chen Zhangyi presents on three chamber operas that he has created in collaboration with librettist Jack Lin – Laksa Cantata (2012), Window Shopping (2014), and Coffee for One (2018). The operas are connected by an overarching theme of consumption as seen in the tangibles such as laksa, shoes, and caffeine; these symbols set the stage for unique stories that unfold: pre-wedding couple dynamics in Laksa Cantata, self-reflection in Window Shopping, and delicate issues of the family in Coffee For One.

The chamber operas seek to create a range of emotional potential and experience, and form a corpus of current works that resonates with Asian audiences and beyond. They will be presented as a triple-bill this season by L’arietta Productions.


The music of Chen Zhangyi has been described by BBC Radio 3 as “music from a voice of the future” and by The Straits Times as “a breath of fresh air on our musical landscape.” He has collaborated with ensembles such as London Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Singapore National Youth Orchestra, Singapore Lyric Opera, and L’arietta Productions.

His dramatic works such as Laksa Cantata and Window Shopping seek to explore the musical representation of vernacular culture. Nature is often a source of inspiration in his orchestral works, such as Rain Tree, Vanda, and of an ethereal symphony, commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for its 2016 Europe tour. In 2014, he was conferred the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council, Singapore.

Zhangyi currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition Studies and Contemporary Music performance at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, where he also leads the new music ensemble OpusNovus.

1 view
bottom of page