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90 Events planned for Singapore Sun Festival 2008

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Monday, 14 July 2008

This year, the Singapore Sun Festival will take place from 17 to 26 October 2008. The annual multi-arts premium lifestyle festival celebrates The Art of Living Well, through seven disciplines -- music, visual arts, literature, film, wine, cuisine and wellness.

This years festival is bigger than before, with more than 90 events being held over a period of 10 days, featuring more than 350 regional and international artists and celebrities in some of Singapores leading venues.

Chairman of IMG Artists and Founder of the Sun Festival, Mr Barrett Wissman said, "This year we are delighted and proud to be able to offer Festival audiences in Singapore even more unique and special premium experiences including a number of "firsts" and world-premieres. The programme for the Singapore Sun Festival 2008 is extraordinary, with a line-up of incredible and world-class artists and events, in keeping with our aim to deliver premium international music and lifestyle events that are unique and fresh, and that also position Singapore as a truly global entertainment and lifestyle destination."

The Singapore Sun Festival 2008 will begin with a Gala Opening Concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Saturday, 18 October, where for the first time, Academy Award-winning director and actor Robert Redford, the legendary grand dame of opera Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and the renowned Vienna Boys Choir will share one stage. The concert will feature Prokofievs popular work, Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Robert Redford, accompanied by the Academies Festival Orchestra under the baton of Mexican conductor, Alondra de la Parra, as well as a selection of arias and songs by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Vienna Boys Choir, led by conductor Julian Reynolds.

Other key highlights include concerts by one of the worlds finest orchestras - the Los Angeles Philharmonic - visiting Singapore for the first time with its Music Director, prominent Finnish conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Grammy-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman; Sarah Chang, the captivating Korean-American violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Singapore debut performance by the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra with conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy; and a recital by one of the great pianists of the century, Murray Perahia.

Sensational indoor and outdoor waterfront concerts by artists from the jazz and popular music genres - Peter Cincotti, Jesse Cook, Spencer Day and the Brazilian Grammy Award-winning legend Sergio Mendes - make up the other music performances of the Festival.

Other tantalizing events of the 2008 Festival include sumptuous cuisine and glorious wines in fabulous settings, involving world-renowned chefs and wine-makers, including the American culinary arts legend Charlie Trotter who will prepare an elegant five-course signature dinner event at the Straits Room of the Fullerton Hotel and also conduct a cooking demonstration at Prive; Luke Mangan of Glass Brasserie in Hilton Sydney, Salt Tokyo and San Franciscos South Food and Wine Bar fame who will be involved in four different cuisine and wine events throughout the Festival with international wine writer Curtis Marsh who will guide diners through a selection of fine wines; and Riccardo Genovesi, chef and owner of Il Girasole (Sirmione on Garda Lake) who will feature the premium produce of white truffles in his culinary creations for the Festival, at some of Singapores best restaurants including Graze, Flutes at the Fort and Garibaldi.

Local celebrity chef, Samia Ahad, will provide insights and guidance at her cooking classes in the intimate setting of Coriander Leafs Cooking Studio; as well as prepare a gourmet feast for dining on board a magnificent schooner, Rising Tide, with celebrated traveller, photographer and publisher Hans Hoefer as host.

A prestigious Wine Auction will also be held as part of the 2008 Festival, following on from the successful Wine Auction held in 2007 that raised over Sin$800,000 for the charity, The VIVA Foundation for Children with Cancer. This year, the Wine Auction will feature a main course specially designed by Charlie Trotter, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as guest performer and Sothebys senior auctioneer Stephen Mould who will conduct the auction of many superb and exclusive lots that will include some of the worlds rarest and most valuable wines paired with premium items such as VIP visits to Hollywood film sets, fashion festivals, leading international sporting events and much more.

Oil paintings by German-born abstract artist, Sibylle Szaggars at the Arts House, and works by acclaimed artist Hans Mendler at tcc (The Gallery) make up this years Visual Arts programme.

Continuing on the themes of travel, globalisation and the art of living well, the Literature programme features talks and workshops by three great authors - Australias best-selling author Cameron Forbes; award-winning novelist and playwright Merlinda Bobis; and published travel writer and accomplished political foreign correspondent Andrew Forbes - who will delve into the world of history, fiction, food, poetry and news journalism.

The Literature programme is complemented by a regional travel writing competition entitled "Asia Through My Eyes"; and a new regional photography competition entitled "Urbanscapes" organised together with Insight Guides, a leading publisher of visual travel guide books and maps.

The Festival will also present free outdoor screenings at the Singapore Botanic Gardens of films with a Singapore Sun Festival flavour - Eat Drink Man Woman; Tortilla Soup; and Big Night. Special food and film-paired events at Screening Room - Le Grand Chef and Volver - underscore the spirit of the Sun Festival.

Finally under the Wellness programme, Festival-goers will be able to indulge in special Sun Festival spa treatments at the Festivals official spa, Spa Botanica; free yoga and taiji sessions along the waterfront; and yoga workshops conducted by international yoga instructors. Talks by wellness experts on taiji philosophy and practice, energy healing, and stress management with meditation and acupressure complete the programme.

Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board said, "Singapore is proud to be the Sun Festivals exclusive Asian home. An event of this standing strengthens Singapores position as a key entertainment and premium lifestyle hub in Asia. The Singapore Sun Festival 2008, which follows closely after the inaugural 2008 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix and the Singapore GP Season, will add to Singapores range of exclusive experiences, from luxury accommodation, top-end shopping, gourmet dining, and five-star wellness and spa facilities, to world-class performances and vibrant night entertainment all year round. Well-travelled and discerning visitors can expect an exciting and memorable experience in Singapore."

Both free and ticketed events are offered in the Singapore Sun Festival, with tickets starting at Sin$12 for Literature and Wellness talks and workshops. Tickets for the Singapore Sun Festival events are now on sale and can be booked directly with SISTIC and all SISTIC authorized agents.

The Singapore Sun Festival is the third and only Asian chapter of a global lifestyle brand owned by the international arts management group, IMG Artists. The Sun Festival is also celebrated annually in Cortona, Tuscany (Italy) and the Napa Valley, California (USA).

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