Indulge in shiyue, an exquisite fusion of Chinese poetry and music with “Ignite The Sun”, a Mandarin musical which brings you from the founding of Nanyang University in the 1950s to the birth of shiyue at its Chinese Poetry Club in the 1970s. Relive the creative fervour and youthful vivacity of these music and poetry lovers as they form a distinctive alliance that promises to ignite your imagination. The enthralling melodies, masterfully crafted by pioneering and gifted composer Zhang Fan and illustrious poets Toh Lam Huat and Pan Cheng Lui, will bring you back to a simpler time of pure artistic bliss.
Embark on a musical journey with 10 original songs of Singapore; we begin our “Story” in the 1950s under the warm glow of “Lanterns” which leads us into the vibrant lives of our student protagonists. In their small frame, they dreamed large, as captured by their carefree strokes in a “Small Painting”. The 1960s brings about a dawn of change, a “Long Torrential River” that these young rebels must navigate to discover their inner selves as “Fortuitous Men”, amid soaring emotions. During harsh times, poems become their melodies of solace by the “Lake”, and they commemorate their tenacity and triumphs with a “Flower Gift” that blossoms to recall the best time of the 1970s. Ahead lies “A Vast Field” where their “Life” continues to be etched across the weathered walls of their journey. The despondent spirit of the 1980s has long gone, and a brand-new era has risen to “Ignite the Sun”.
The legacy of Nanyang endures, even in the hearts of the younger generation today. Helmed by notable director Goh Boon Teck, promising playwright Quek Yee Kiat, and accomplished music director Elaine Chan, “Ignite The Sun” showcases the talents of four exceptional musical theatre performers and four skilled musicians on a single stage. The time has come to reignite the joy behind these poetic melodies and allow our voices to illuminate the path for generations to come.