At the crossroads of the world, Singapore is uniquely situated to become a major cultural hub in the region.
It has hosted a cornucopia of distinguished international acts and world premieres, especially with the opening of our two integrated resorts which incorporate major performance arenas.
A Renaissance City
With SGD 116.25 million put aside for the next five years, you’ll see Singapore set for a new chapter of growth, becoming a “Distinctive Global City of Culture and the Arts” by 2015. In fact, a dynamic arts ecosystem with thriving clusters of talent and businesses is blooming. This is the result of efforts in the last two decades to develop our republic as the “best home” for all things proudly Singaporean, and as a choice destination for both local and international artists to create and premiere original content. Progressive facilities like the building of the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay have set the stage for growth.
Our vibrant cultural scene brings you more than 5,000 ticketed performances annually, ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. All forms of the arts, from music and dance, to theatre and the visual arts, are represented in several major festivals throughout the year.
The annual Singapore Arts Festival holds prime position on Singapore’s arts calendar, featuring artists from Singapore and more than 20 countries and over 400 activities during its four-week run. You can enjoy exceptional core productions, supplemented by free outdoor performances held islandwide.
The Singapore Sun Festival brings together international superstars of Music, Visual Arts, Literature, Film, Wine, Cuisine and Wellness in a celebration of the Art of Living Well. Its stellar line-up of exclusive events showcase what a premium lifestyle that incorporates the arts is about.
Or catch the Chinese New Year Chingay Parade, Asia’s grandest street and float parade with a host of international acts.
Billed as Singapore’s most eclectic music festival, Mosaic is a celebration of great international music which cuts across all genres. Hosted by the world-class Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, the annual affair has drawn many top acts over the years.
Our state-of-the art facilities have also attracted many leading musicians, from Laura Fygi and Al Jarreau to international bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers on their worldwide concert tours. If you are an opera fan, the Singapore Lyric Opera offers an annual season with two full-length operas , as well as projects like Opera in the Park; adding glitter to the international calendar are stars like Angela Gheorghiu and Il Divo.
In addition, our very own, world-renowned Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has its home at the Esplanade, and serves as a bridge between the musical traditions of Asia and the West.
Another home-grown treasure is the premier dance company Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT), whose seasons include the very popular Ballet Under The Stars at the Fort Canning Park.
The Singapore Biennale is Singapore’s largest international showcase of contemporary art, reaching out to nearly 913,000 visitors (at last count) in eight weeks through lavish exhibitions and programmes.
Art lovers are looking forward to the opening of the National Art Gallery in 2015, which will house the nation’s 8,000-strong collection, comprising mainly Singaporean and Southeast Asian pieces. Other venues where you can appreciate good art are the Singapore Art Museum, the National University of Singapore Museum, and a range of private galleries.
The quality and diversity of Singapore’s museums are highly rated. Ranging from the eminent National Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum to niche collections at the Peranakan Museum, Philatelic Museum, and the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, these institutions showcase the best of our local and regional heritage.
Film and Theatre
Singapore’s first-rate staging facilities have opened up superlative opportunities for theatre-goers. Recent overseas productions have included Broadway’s blockbuster hit WICKED.
Local theatre also affords afficionados outstanding performances and stunning sets, such as the mass-appeal Much Ado About Nothing staged at the Fort Canning Park by the Singapore Repertory Theatre. You can also enjoy the best of homegrown productions with companies such as WildRice and Toy Factory. If you prefer traditional ethnic fare like Chinese opera and Malay bangsawan, they still thrive in Singapore and are benefitting from a more sophisticated audience than before.
Film buffs will enjoy the annual Singapore International Film Festival, which screens more than 200 films, with a focus on groundbreaking Asian cinema. Niche films find an airing at smaller festivals such as the French Film Festival and German Film Festival.
Singapore’s largest ticketing service provider is SISTIC, whose website provides a good synopsis of coming events. Other ticketing agents are tickets.com and Gatecrash.