SINGAPORE - Esplanade, recognised today as the premier arts centre of Singapore, has come a long way from being derided 10 years ago for its unusual architecture and its supposedly extravagant $600 million price tag.
Today, a new book that charts its trials and triumphs over the past 10 years goes on sale at the Esplanade and major bookstores.
Simply titled Esplanade - Theatres On The Bay Singapore, it is replete with pictures and voices of the people behind the centre's success - from the ministers who pushed for its creation, like Goh Chok Tong and Ong Teng Cheong, to the artists who make it come alive, like Ong Keng Sen and Ivan Heng.
Also within the pages are the faces of many international stars who've lit up Esplanade's stages, like Kevin Spacey, Hiromi, Sylvie Guillem, Shirley Horn, Robert Wilson, k.d. lang, Wynton Marsalis and Amjad Ali Khan.
The book also looks at Singapore's arts past long before the Esplanade came into existence, telling the story of wayangs and bangsawans in the early days and the first arts theatres such as Victoria Theatre, which opened in 1904 with Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance.
The publication of the book was fully sponsored by Viz Branz, the maker and distributor of Gold Roast instant coffee.
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