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Singapore’s Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

December 17th, 2010 by

The list of spectacular attractions that Singapore has to offer is truly endless.  Whenever I find myself in this fascinating country, I make it a point to do the rounds and cover most of these impressive landmarks with the little time that I have.  One of these notable stops is the world-famous Esplanade.

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Known for its characteristic mirror shells, the unique architectural design of the Esplanade has been likened to the Durian fruit numerous times. This is why a lot of people fondly refer to them as the Durians of Singapore.

The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is a fabulous edifice that can be found in a highly appealing waterfront setting at the northern opening of the Singapore River.  With Singapore’s highly efficient transportation system, one can set out and reach the Esplanade in no time at all. One can hop on bus numbers 77 or 171 from any of the bus stops along Orchard Road, including the ones near the Concorde Hotel Singapore or Tang Plaza.  These buses can drop off passengers in front of the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel after a half an hour journey. From here, it’s quite easy to continue on foot.  Those who prefer to ride the MRT Train must board the Circle Line to the Esplanade Station and take a short walk just the same.  Taking the MRT will be much faster than buses.  There are hundreds of taxi cabs available as well.

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It was in 12 October 2002 when the Esplanade was opened to the public.  This icon of superb architectural design was built on about six hectares of land primarily to serve as Singapore’s main centre for the performing arts, what with its theatre and concert hall large enough to accommodate more than a thousand people. Programs on tap include recitals, concerts, and plays that emphasize local culture or Asian traditions in general.

There are various sections to check out within the walls of the Esplanade:

Concert Hall – The elegant concert hall can accommodate over 1,600 people and seat them on four levels.  Distinguished guests can also be seated in four VIP Private Boxes within this hall for the best view of the stage.  It boasts modern acoustics systems that are guaranteed to create an excellent reverberation for the audience.

Recital Studio – A much smaller fan-shaped recital studio, on the other hand, can accommodate about 250 people. The top quality of acoustics here makes the studio the perfect venue for presentations and performances that are intended for smaller groups.  The size also makes it ideal for rehearsal sessions.

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Theatre Studio – The theatre studio is a smaller venue compared to the recital studio as it only has a capacity of 220 people.  Even if this is the case, this is a favorite setting for performances that are a bit unconventional.  The lighting and sound system within the studio is quite flexible and perfect for experimental presentations and even dry runs.

Jendela – The Jendela can be found on the second floor of the Esplanade.  It is mainly an exhibition area for visual art by local and foreign artists.

In addition to these indoor venues, there are also areas outside the buildings that are used as settings for different performances.  These outdoor venues are the Stage@Powerhouse and the Waterfront Stage.  The courts outside are also utilized accordingly depending on the type of presentations and activities.

The Esplanade is now considered an architectural icon and this is why it is visited by thousands of people every year.  This month, the Esplanade will once again play an important part in the lives of Singaporeans when they stage heartwarming displays of lights to greet the New Year 2011 and bid farewell to year 2010.

HELPFUL INFORMATION:
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore
Contact Number:  +65 68288 377

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