- Art, Culture & History
- Theatre and Performance
- Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay sits on prime waterfront land by Marina Bay, and offers a complete lifestyle experience - dining, shopping, and the performing arts. It is an iconic building that some have compared to durian shells or the compound eyes of a housefly.
You can definitely say that of the two main theatres in the Esplanade, and of course, the smaller performing spaces.
Form the moment you walk into the foyer (which, by the way, beats the foyer of the Sydney Opera House) for an evening concert, and realise that you are being serenaded by a soloist, a choir, a folk group or whatever, you know you are in a living arts centre.
The place is well designed. The inevitable crush after the crowd leaves is well managed because the place is sensibly designed.
All that is needed to make it almost perfect is to prevent latecomers from entering. PLEASE! I don't care if they are sitting in the most expensive seats! The MRT is not late every day, and in any case, if they are in the expensive seats, they won't be taking the MRT.
That aside, a visit to a performance there has always been a delight. It is a pity we don't hear more of the magnificent pipe organ in the concert hall. Maybe they could organise free lunch time concerts such as occur in most large cities in the world?
Even though it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, there are numerous hidden spaces for you to soak in the city, one noise at a time. Some places include the B2 lobby area if you would like to have a quirky performance space for just among your friends. There are some stairs leading into the river that's just behind the waterfront stage area that would be good for you to sit peacefully and look at the magnificent Merlion and Marina Bay Sands.
You should go when there are no performances around. It may seem quiet and deserted, but if, like me, you love to sit and think, it's a wonderful area to just roam and find a place to write, think or read.
Another great thing about this place is how accessible it is. It is actually connected to City Hall MRT by an air-conditioned underground walkway via CityLink Mall! This means that even when it is raining, there will be no problems getting to The Esplanade safe and dry.
I am not too sure about other arts events held at The Esplanade other than classical concerts, but would like to check them out in the future as well. And also the library here that I’ve heard so much about, can’t wait to check it out for myself!
As a performer having performed in the largest studio previously, the experience of the backstage is truly spectacular. The grandeur of the audience from the stage is truly remarkable and an unforgettable experience for me.
Shops wise, the esplanade seems more like a chill-out place for people who are willing to spend a little more for the peace and quiet that you don't usually get in the heartland malls. The food choices are slightly limited in the day as most of the bars and cafes start and get busy later in the evening.
Esplanade is a wonderful, peaceful place. I enjoy all the small, little details about the architecture. The exterior design, the fountain in front of the main entrance and the ever changing artwork at the main lobby. There is something mysteriously grand about a theatre which host many small and large concerts and musical. Some might say it's an artsy fartsy place, but I think Esplanade is a great place for a dinner date, a relaxing drink or even an amazing performance by the outdoor theatre. Who says best things in life don't come free?
Being a music enthusiast, I believe the Esplanade library has proven itself to be a useful avenue for me to collect information regarding music, as well as borrow music scores that I have difficulty finding elsewhere. I was also pleasantly surprised yesterday when I visited the library because there was a violin performance going on which I did not know about. I definitely enjoyed the performance and I hope more such events will be put up!
The interior of the esplanade is really quite stunning, and I always feel like I have been transported to a western country traditional theatre. The strange thing is the arrangement of some of the seats are in quite weird places, there were a few single seats in the theatre that I watched a play in, lining the side of the railing and it looked like they were just trying to squeeze in the last few seats since there was space available. Apart from that, the place had just the right ambience for any kind of play.
I have watched a Twist of Fate, Forbidden City and The Phantom of the Opera at the esplanade. All of these have different touches to them and all were thoroughly enjoyed within this theatre.
Plays aside, the exterior of esplanade also has a scenery to behold. The waterfront provides a beautiful backdrop for phototaking or simply admiring the view. Many couples like to go to the rooftop where you can enjoy some quiet times. Once I also saw a rainbow while I was up there so it was really a pretty sight!
Although the Marina Bay Sands Theatre has recently usurped it's place as the premium showplace in our nation, I still feel that the Esplanade has more history behind it, as well as better seats (in my opinion). Not to mention, it is extremely easy to get to; it is located right smack in the middle of Singapore!
Gone are the days when I'd always hear people promoting their performances as such: "Come support us at Victoria Concert Hall!" Today, most productions and performances almost always are to be held at the Esplanade, unless the concert is big-scale (like major celebrity concerts such as SM TOWN, yes I had to say this hehehe), and I am not really surprised at all!
First of all, the Esplanade is easier to access than most other concert halls like VCH and Singapore Conference Hall. Secondly, the interior and concert halls look more grand and modern compared to those places. At the Esplanade, you'd definitely wanna stick around and explore the place and shops within, whereas at the other places I mentioned, there's nothing much to stay around for after your concert.
Even if you aren't expecting a concert any time soon to attend at the Esplanade, you can always make a trip down to just check the place out, it will be worth your time, especially if you are a budding photographer like me as this place has interesting things to shoot inside and out!
The library here is wonderful, with a sitting area filled with soft and comfortable couches facing the Marina Bay. It is also more of an artistic library with it's collection leaning towards the visual and written arts.
The rooftop garden here is simply marvelous, with lots of people visiting to take scenic pictures of the views available. With an unblocked view of the entire bay area, this place is one of my favourites to snap pictures of sunsets.
I hope this place never loses it's lustre and calmness, it would be a shame if that happened.
Once in a while i'll be at the Esplanade to catch plays and stand-up comedies.
I really like this place as there's so much to do. A huge library with a jamming studio and even a screeming room!
After catching plays i can just go up to Orgo at the rooftop for a good drink. Rooftop bars aren't exactly common in Singapore, so it's definitely a place to check out.
The esplanade is one of my favorite place in Singapore!