Dick Lee’s SINGAPOPERA – A Celebration of Dick Lee’s Musical Songs

Amazing songs from Dick Lee’s musicals at SINGAPOPERA!

One of Singapore’s best-known and highly respected personalities in the arts scene, home-grown pioneer in musicals, Dick Lee together with his  all-star alumni cast and ensemble from the past batches of his various musicals, celebrated  Beauty World’s 30thAnniversary and Snow Wolf Lake’s 20th Anniversary in this special concert.  Paying tribute to  all his local musicals and productions, SINGAPOPERA has been a nostalgic celebration of our favorite local musical numbers, featuring songs that Singaporeans will resonate with from musicals such as Fried Rice Paradise, Beauty World, Forbidden City, Sing to The Dawn, Nagraland and Snow Wolf Lake.

Dick Lee has 18 musicals to date, and for each musical he wrote at least 15 songs. He has written the famous song for Jacky Cheung ‘爱是永恒’, for Leslie Cheung ‘追’ and lots of my favourite Sandy Lam 林憶蓮‘s songs or music arrangement. Also everyone’s favourite song ‘Home’ sung by Kit Chan.

All the musical songs sung last night by some of our best singers were just so good, their expression of the songs surpassed how a normal singer sings! Because these are musical songs which needs good acting skills to express the feelings of the songs vividly. They all did it so good! I am happy to get to know these songs and singers better, some made us laugh while most in fact reflected our Singaporean-ness like what Dick Lee intended them to be. They are our SG songs and our National Pride!  😍 😍 😍. Dick Lee is our legend!

Without Dick Lee, there might not be such a thriving musical scene in Singapore.  He shared about how as a young boy he was very much influenced after watching Julie Andrews climbing mountains in ‘The Sound of Music’ and he started to write his first musical played by himself and his cousins.  This gotta be really fun!   And he also shared that he used a towel to pretend to be a nun!  So interesting and we all had some good laughs as I was also thinking through my growing up years well being alone sort of (like what Cheryl Tan said too) – I grew up with songs, music and drama too!   We pretended to be the singers, the actors!

SINGAPOPERA was really an amazing showcase of all Dick Lee’s fantastic songs, each song has a special meaning, a special story telling the Singapore lifestyle – which Dick Lee has successfully wrote in his quest for our Singapore identity!  I think he is the only music genius who persevered in writing own songs.  He jokingly said in one of his songs ‘Talent ‘ which he wrote in Hotpants – back then  there were Talentimes (singing competitions) and these were the YouTube in that era between 1970s to 1980s – he insisted on singing his own songs and not covers  – so he did not win!  But then he has created a robust musical and theatre scene in Singapore ultimately with Beauty World being staged 5 times, with Jacky Cheung – Hong Kong’s Heavenly King getting him to write songs for his Snow Wolf Lake musical, and many other great musical projects which Dick Lee has done.

The list of songs just kept ringing in my mind till as I was writing!

Impressed with all the great singers!  In fact, this was a concert for all these powerful voices of theatre which we all should know.  Each one played an important role in the musicals and they performed amazingly!   Some of my favourite songs here:

  • Love is Forever (爱是永恒’) – Top favourite sung by Dick lee ( because I love Canto POP!)
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  • Now China Has A Son (Forbidden City) sung by Benjamin Chow
  • Nothing Gets In My Way (Beauty World) sung by Denise Tan
  • Look A Little Closer sung by Dwayne  Lau
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  • One Step At A Time (Twist of Fate) sung by Sebastian Tan and Frances Lee
  • Waiting (Mortal Sins) sung by Frances Lee – I love this song with its Chinese lyrics in front followed by English lyrics!
  • Talent (Hotpants) sung by Benjamin, Dwayne, Cheryl and Alemay
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  • No Class (Beauty World) by Denise Tan and Frances Lee
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  • When All The Tears Have Dried (Sing to the Dawn)  sung by Alemay Fernandez
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  • And best of all – Bunga Sayang, Beauty World and Home sung by all!
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Besides an outstanding cast of singers, SINGAPOPERA was a stunning world-class concert staged at the Esplanade Concert Hall, backed by a proficient and professional team of musicians led by  Music Director, Indra Ismail – another respected musician!

All things SG – take a look at those glamorous gowns and smart suits – all the works by our local Godfather of Couture Fashion, Frederick Lee!

Official Concert Photos above are provided by Dick Lee Asia. 

It has been so great working on SINGAPOPERA and I would like to thank the media and friends for their support .

Deep down I have also been a fan of Dick Lee, since his Mad Chinaman cassette tape!

(Googled and found this online: https://tapeheadcity.com/collections/electronic/products/dick-lee-the-mad-chinaman-cassette-tape-electronic)  – Still can buy?

Songs that we will always remember so uniquely belonging to us!  I am still brimming like a fangirl meeting my biggest and most respected idol.  Always proud of our SG talents! Please keep up the great work!

What a nice event to meet up with great friends and media … did not get a pic with some!

Thanks to all your support for our wonderful concert of local English musical songs, the talented singers and of course the great Dick Lee.

And been up close with Dick Lee himself .  Definitely my blessing indeed and to get his autograph for his books and CDs – Yippee!

In 1989 when I joined Electric Youth  Singing Competition and was one of the finalist alongside Gani and Norleena Salim and some other great singers!  We were rehearsing in Jacinta‘s house for a Christmas performance singing Christmas Carols (which is why I can sing many Christmas songs till now!).  Little did I know, why we were practising so hard.  It was to perform with Dick Lee and Jacinta during Christmas at the stage in front of Wisma Atria along Orchard Road! My precious memories indeed!


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