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SPH Gift of Music presents Ushering Spring at Botanic Gardens

Sunday, Feb 5, 6pm, Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
Free Admission

SINGAPORE, 27 January 2006 - Celebrate the Lunar New Year with song, dance and even Chinese opera at the gardens!

Performed by renowned Chinese Theatre Circle (CTC - 敦煌剧坊), Ushering Spring is a concert filled with the sounds and colours of Spring as we usher in the Lunar New Year.

Opening the concert is the CTC orchestra which will be playing familiar Chinese classics. CTC, well-known for grooming young talent, will also showcase young stars Catherine Kwok and Kevin Kwok, who will be leading a group of young children to sing catchy Canto-pop songs. Catherine, who is nine, and Kevin, who is only three, have already performed in many CTC productions including the Cantonese opera excerpt from Madam White Snake at the Esplanade earlier this year.

Also in the programme are two colourful dances – Ribbon Dance and Harmonious Butterflies – which will add festive colour to the whole concert.

The highlight is Joy in the Imperial Garden (唐明皇与杨贵妃), a famous Cantonese opera excerpt which will be sung by the leading stars of CTC – See Too Hoi Siang (司徒海嫦) and Frances Wong (王金英). Set in the Tang Dynasty, the story of Emperor Tang Ming Huang and his favourite concubine Lady Yang Guifei, who is one of the four great beauties in China, is an entertaining opera classic which is usually a crowd-puller.

See Too Hoi Siang, a household name in the local Chinese opera scene, started learning Chinese opera at 15 and has mastered all aspects of the art after more than 25 years of training and performing. Groomed by CTC´s Artistic Director Joanna Wong (胡贵馨), See Too has appeared in some 2000 performances at home and abroad. In 2001, See Too was named one of the Top 10 Outstanding Persons Award in the World by the Junior Chamber International in 2001 for her artistic contributions, making her an artiste of world-class status. Her stage partner Frances Wong is an upcoming talent in the local Chinese opera scene, nurtured and groomed by CTC over the past few years.

Established in 1981, CTC has been promoting the art of Chinese opera, dance and music locally and overseas. It has staged over 2000 performances in Singapore and 23 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.

CTC ’s artistes have been conferred many prestigious awards. Artistic Director Mrs Joanna Wong was bestowed the Public Service Star (BBM) & Cultural Medallion in 1981, and Opera instructor/Lead Actress Ms Lou Mee Wah was bestowed the National Youth Award in 1980 and the Cultural Medallion in 1997.

About SPH Gift of Music
The SPH concerts at the Botanic Gardens fall on the first Sunday of every month. In addition to these, SPH will also bring concerts to the community with performances in the heartlands, public areas and parks as part of its outreach efforts to connect with the community.

The concert series is one of many outreach events which SPH supports as part of its broadening community involvement. Each year, the media group contributes to a diverse range of education, arts and culture, community, conservation, sports and charitable projects. SPH was recently named the top corporate giver in Singapore in a survey carried out by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, and has been bestowed the Distinguished Patron of the Arts award every year since 1993.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:
Francis Mah
Asst Manager
Corporate Relations
DID: 6319 1028
Email: mahys@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 300 million pageviews a month.

SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 50% stake in UnionWorks which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company. Visit www.sph.com.sg for information.