SIFA 2019 Presents A Line-up Of Genre-defying Acts

Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA 2019) is back for its 42nd year, with a line-up of iconic artists from around the world alongside the very best from Singapore. Held from 16 May to 2 June 2019, SIFA presents an increased range of work incorporating technology and multidisciplinary arts.

SIFA 2019 - festival house entrance

At SIFA 2019, The Arts House will once again be transformed into the Festival House. With meaningful engagement opportunities from artists talks, workshops, discussions and the festival bar — House Pour — the Festival House helps break down the walls between artists and audiences to create unique experiences and inspiring artistic encounters.

Here is a peek of what SIFA 2019 has to offer.

Beware of Pity

SIFA 2019 - beware of pity

Based on the eponymic novel by Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity is a critically-acclaimed stage adaptation which explores the complex themes of moral paralysis and psychological guilt, with equal measures of compassion and persuasion.

Beware of Pity follows Anton Hofmiller, a young Austro-Hungarian cavalry officer, who slides into a destructive romance with Edith, the paralysed daughter of a wealthy family.

Against the backdrop of the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the turn of the First World War, this piercing psychological melodrama about misguided compassion reaches its inexorable end in the tragic dissolution of the couple’s relationship.

Date: Thursday and Friday, 16-17 May 2019
Time: 7.30-9.30pm
Venue: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
Ticket prices start at $40.

Ryuichi Sakamoto – Fragments

SIFA 2019 - ryuichi sakamoto

Elegant, nuanced and profoundly moving, Ryuichi Sakamoto – Fragments is an intimate concert featuring Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and Japanese multimedia artist, Shiro Takatani. The performance primarily draws from Sakamoto’s latest solo album, async – one of Sakamoto’s most deeply personal albums following his battle with cancer, and provides an introspective reflection on the fundamental nature of life and death.

Sakamoto’s intense, masterful piano-playing is heightened by Takatani’s cinematic visuals, full of poetic metaphors with its evocation of natural phenomena. The sold-out performance will pull the audience into singular, shared moments of Sakamoto’s sound creation and exploration.

Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2019
Time: 8pm
Venue: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981

Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner

SIFA 2019 - displaced persons' welcome dinner

Set against the backdrop of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner is a powerful new play about humanitarian workers caught in the crosshairs of a crisis. The play investigates the realities of the aid industry and delves beneath media portrayals to discover a world where good people struggle with treacherous politics and flawed institutions.

Date: Friday to Sunday, 24-26 May 2019
Time: 8-10pm (Friday and Saturday) and 3-5pm (Sunday)
Venue: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, 9 Empress Place, Singapore 179556
Ticket prices start at $40.


SIFA 2019 - crowd

Inspired by the techno rave scene of 1990s Berlin, Crowd sees 15 dancers create temporal distortions, alternate realities and dreamscapes, exposing the core of our “inner selves”. Lifting the curtain on the everyday identities of 15 young revellers at an open-field party, Crowd lays bare their individual and collective emotions to confront the audience with the buried side of their inner narratives.

Driven by a mesmerising electronic dance music selection including techno anthems spanning from Underground Resistance to Jeff Mills, the uncanny movements of bodies, together with rhythmic distortions and optical effects plays tricks with the audience and makes their linear perception of time stand still.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 June 2019
Time: 8-9.30pm
Venue: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, 9 Empress Place, Singapore 179556
Ticket prices start at $40.

Bedtime Stories

SIFA 2019 - bedtime stories

Dutch actor Thomas Dudkiewicz leads the audience into a strange and brilliantly dark world in Bedtime Stories. This pitch-perfect narrated performance takes its inspiration from radio plays, using just Dudkiewicz’s voice and well-timed sound effects to bring to life an enchanting cast of characters.

The characters include Lilly, a precocious young girl, her father, Max and doting grandfather George, both master storytellers. Every night before bed, Lilly enters a fantastical universe created just for her, where she encounters a host of strange and menacing creatures.

Best of all – Bedtime Stories takes place at a secret location so you’ll be kept in the dark (pun intended) till the day of the programme.

Date: Tuesday to Sunday, 21-26 May 2019
Time: 7.30pm
Meeting Venue: The Plaza, National Library Building, 100 Victoria St, Singapore 188064
Ticket prices start at $35.

Peter and the Wolf

SIFA 2019 - peter and the wolf

Great for the young and old, Peter and the Wolf is a beloved musical fairy tale of courage, adventure and friendship. The story follows Peter, who – after travelling across the world to live with his grumpy grandfather – is struggling to make friends in his new home. When a wolf escapes from the local zoo, Peter sees an opportunity to become a hero and sets off across the city to capture the wolf.

The story is told as a visual spectacle using live animation and puppetry, while accompanied by a six–piece band.

Date: Saturday to Monday, 18-20 May 2019
Time: 10am and 3pm
Venue: KC Arts Centre, Singapore Repertory Theatre, 20 Merbau Road, Singapore 239035
Ticket prices start at $30.

For more information and full line-up of programmes at SIFA 2019, visit

Photos by Goh Jing Wen of the DANAMIC team. Other visuals courtesy of Gianmarco Bresadola, SKMTDOC, Joel Lim from Calibre Pictures, Barbara Braun, Jochem Jurgens and Andi Crown.

Deepa d/o Chevi Vadivelu

Animal and music lover, bookworm and movie enthusiast. #blackismyhappycolour

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