Singapore's second opera company, Opera Viva Limited, held its Gala Dinner on Friday (15 June 2012) at the Tanglin Club to raise funds for its biggest project to date, the World Premiere of Singapore's second opera, Fences by John Sharpley (composer) and Robert Yeo (librettist). The opera has had a prolonged gestation of almost eight years, and was inspired by Singapore's biggest opera fanatic Leow Siak Fah. There have been performances  of various arias and scenes to date, but its premiere on 18 and 19 August at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts marks the fruition of a labour of love. The story is a very topical one, that dwells in the rocky and tumultuous of cross-cultural relationships, set in 1960s Singapore and Malaysia. Then, Singapore had courted Malaysia to be part of the Federation only to be ejected, culminating with a famously televised vale of tears on 9 August 1965. This opera, the producers promised, has a happier ending.

Here are some photos of luminaries who were at the dinner, which predictably had a 1960s theme.    

Leow Siak Fah (right) with the "Legend of the Waves", long-time radio DJ and television host of the 1960s and 70s, Larry Lai, whose famous soothing voice made a comeback this evening.

Juliana Lim and Maurine Tsakok (with feather boa).

Librettist Robert Yeo, Dr Ling Ai Ee (Mrs Leow) and Leow Siak Fah.

Singapore's First Lady of Opera, Nancy Yuen (La Yuen) with her husband Toh Weng Cheong, Chairman of Singapore Lyric Opera. Fences is one opera Nancy won't be singing in.

Performers for the evening, tenor Peter Ong and Stephanie Van Driesen.

Soprano Akiko Otai will sing the lead role of Nora in Fences. Her husband, Eric Rubio accompanied her on the piano this evening, On the right is celebrated Filipino tenor Lemuel dela Cruz. 

DJ Larry Lai rolls back the good old days, while Professor Maurine Tsakok is caught in the act in Chubby Checker's Let's Twist Again..

These lava lamps were bought by the evening's guests, with all proceeds going to Opera Viva.