Apparently all performances by the choir had been cancelled because they had been notified on Friday that foreign members in their choir cannot perform. They thus had to turn all performances into invite-only and cancel all public performances.

Citing Ms Amy Tsang, a deputy director at MDA, a licence has been issued to The Necessary Stage for the Complaints Choir to perform at the various venues provided the performers are Singapore citizens, as the content touches on domestic affairs and it is preferred that only Singapore citizens participate in the public performance.

Of course, the group were disappointed at this notice and decision but because the performance touched on domestic issues, they are unable to appeal. In addition, the condition of the performance was already put forward to them when they applied for a permit to perform.

I thought the pingsters were supposed to have an outing to this performance. I wonder what happened when they arrived there.

A CHOIR singing complaints about Singapore had to change its public performances to invitation-only private shows after the authorities said foreign members could not perform.

Ms Melissa Lim, an organiser of this year’s M1 Fringe Festival of which the Complaints Choir Project was part, said the choir was told of the restriction by the Media Development Authority (MDA) only on Friday, one day before the performances were to start.

‘It would be a shame if we canned the whole thing, so we decided to have private performances at the Arts House,’ she said.

Ms Amy Tsang, a deputy director of the MDA, said: ‘A licence has been issued to The Necessary Stage for the Complaints Choir to perform at the various venues provided the performers are Singapore citizens, as the content touches on domestic affairs and it is preferred that only Singapore citizens participate in the public performance.’

‘However, The Necessary Stage has chosen to hold the performance as a private event.’

The concept of a complaints choir was started by Finnish duo Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, who travelled round the world to teach people to sing about their grouses to fellow citizens.

They are among some six of 50 members – including the choir’s Malaysian conductor Chong Wai Lun – who are foreigners.

In a statement, the organisers said the restriction came ‘as a total shock’ to them.

‘The choir decided they did not want to perform in these circumstances and all the public performances have been cancelled,’ they said.

Complaints to be sung here included: ‘We don’t recycle any plastic bags, but we purify our pee’ and ‘Will I ever live till 85, to collect my CPF?’

The founders, in a post on the choir’s website, said they were ‘disappointed that our prejudices against Singapore have been affirmed’.

‘We see the symptoms of a neurotic society. We find it irritating that foreigners – people that built this city, nurse Singaporean kids and bring in their knowledge – are not allowed to complain.’

They said they would post a video of the performance on their website.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 27th January 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. chillycraps | January 27th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    yup yup the pingsters were *ahem* invited and got the chance to watch the wonderful performance by the singapore complaint choir!

  2. hendri | January 27th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Yeah, you just need to get *ahem* invited to watch. I got *ahem* invited too today! 😛

  3. nicole | January 27th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    We were honoured to be allowed to watch the performance. It’s really great… No complains for the complaint choir. 🙂

  4. Simply Jean | January 28th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    @chillycraps: oh! hmmm…

    @hendri: double hmm…

    @nicole: sigh.. should have gone for it as well if I knew it would be an *ahem* invite only performance… =P

  5. mintea | January 29th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Yup, we got “invited” to watch. It was good!

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