The best tribute is in the remembrance. As Singapore prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence, the nation remembers its founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew through a musical based on the trials and the tribulations of his life. Three years in the making, The LKY Musical follows the life of the iconic leader’s early days at Raffles College to the founding of independent Singapore. According to Tan Choon Hiong, Director of Metropolitan Productions, “Our deep admiration for the man and our love for the arts is the driving force behind the attempt to produce a world class musical.”
And a world class musical it is expected to be! With a stellar cast of Adrian Pang, Sharon Au and Sebastian Tan in place and an internationally acclaimed creative team of Dick Lee, Meira Chand, Steven Dexter, Stephen Clark and Tony Petito steering its creative flow, the stage is set for a patriotic spectacle.
Dick Lee, the man responsible for the music is a multi-talented Singaporean icon. Recognised as a spokesperson for the new Asian generation and credited with championing the inclusion of Asian elements in pop music, he has written and staged many acclaimed musicals since 1971. The current projects for this Associate Artistic Director of Singapore Repertory Theatre include directing the National Day Parade 2015 and an upcoming movie.
Personally, I have always enjoyed his hummable songs and admired his sense of style. However, what impresses me most is his versatility. Answering my question on which of his artistic abilities influence him the most, Mr Versatile admits to his love for storytelling through music.
My Q & A with Dick Lee:
PR: You have always added something ‘uniquely Singaporean’ to your music. Will we see that again in The LKY Musical?
DL: This time round I’ve written a melodic score with darker melodies to reflect the turmoil & uncertainty of the era & what LKY faced.
PR: I have enjoyed many of your songs and my 3 favourites are, ‘Home,’ ‘Fried Rice Paradise’ and ‘Treasure Every Moment.’ However, all these songs have different feel to it: where ‘Home’ has a sense of nostalgia, ‘Fried Rice Paradise’ is upbeat and ‘Treasure Every moment’ is heart-warming. What ‘feel’ can we expect in The LKY Musical?
DL: I hope to convey a sense of drama and emotion to support the story.
PR: You are a singer, songwriter, visual artist, designer, creative director and filmmaker. Of all your multiple artistic abilities, which ones have influenced the treatment of this musical the most?
DL: I love writing musicals best as my music is employed to tell the story. My love of storytelling informs my musical choices and of course I always draw on my musical inspirations to craft songs that eventually make up the whole score, something I like to see as one work.
And as we await the world premiere of the musical, here’s Fried Rice Paradise by Dick Lee
Coming up next: Interview with author, Meira Chand.
Presented by OUE, The LKY Musical will be staged at the MasterCard® Theatres, Marina Bay sands from 24 July 2015 and is expected to continue through the Jubilee celebrations over the National Day weekend. (Tickets on sale at all SISTIC outlets)