SIFA 2014

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Facing Goya

Composed by Michael Nyman

  • 12, 14, 16 August
  • Victoria Theatre
  • $120, $100, $80, $60, $40

    10% discount for students, NSFs and seniors aged 55 and above

  • Libretto by Victoria Hardie
    Directed by Ong Keng Sen
    Conducted by John Kennedy
    In Collaboration with Singapore Symphony Orchestra

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Facing Goya

Composed by Michael Nyman

Facing Goya is a taut thriller that follows one woman's passionate search for the 18th century Spanish artist Goya's missing skull.

When Goya’s body was exhumed in the late 19th century, it was found without a head. Legend has it Goya asked friends to remove his head prior to burial to prevent tomb thieves and early craniometrists from getting hold of his brain for research.

In Facing Goya, one woman takes us into the world of cloning and genetic profiteering. Surrounded by zealous scientists and eager business executives, she confronts the temptation of cloning Goya’s creativity for commercial profit, as Goya’s skull and DNA are fed to those exploiting science’s triumph over nature.

Facing Goya puts science on the cultural stage through the music of award-winning British composer Michael Nyman and the inspiration of one of the world's greatest painters, Francisco Goya.

Blending fact and fiction, Facing Goya asks, "If Goya's skull was found, and if indeed, Goya’s creativity was cloned, what would happen? Can we clone the human soul?”

Originally presented in 2000, Festival Director Ong Keng Sen directs a brand new version of this highly imaginative opera together with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

A dark mix of science fiction, art history, biotechnology, ethics and conspiracy theory, Facing Goya promises two hours of Nyman’s highly atmospheric minimalist rhythms, and is a masterful juggernaut not to be missed.

Sung in English with English surtitles.

By arrangement with Chester Music Limited on behalf of Michael Nyman Limited. In collaboration with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Facing Goya is a co-production by Spoleto Festival USA and SIFA.

Michael Nyman

Widely celebrated for his film scores, including Academy Award-winning film The Piano, Nyman brings an inventive touch and dramatic pacing into the revised 2014 score of Facing Goya, the first to be seen and heard in Asia

Singapore Symphony Orchestra

A premier Asian orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) serves as a bridge between the musical traditions of Asia and the West, providing artistic inspiration, entertainment and education.

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