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World of Imagination – the Puppet Musical Oct 2, 2005 (Sunday), 6pm Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Singapore Botanic Gardens

SINGAPORE, 30 September 2005 - For the first time in Singapore, puppets ranging in height from five metres to just a few centimetres will be used in an evening of intense storytelling set to classical music by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and many others. The music will be performed by the Singapore Armed Forces Symphonic Band.

This is also the first time that Japanese Bunraku puppetry, an ancient Japanese art form believed to have originated in the 1600’s, will be combined with modern puppetry and music in a full-scale theatrical setting in Singapore.

World of Imagination is presented by Mascots and Puppets Specialists, or MAPS, a puppetry production company founded by puppeteer Frankie Malachi Yeo in 2004. Its vision is to promote the awareness of puppetry as an art form and to raise the standards of puppetry on an international level. Since it´s inception, MAPS has collaborated with local arts groups, production houses, government bodies, artists, and writers, and its productions well-received by audiences.

The hour-long musical will be performed at the Shaw Symphony Stage at Singapore Botanic Gardens at 6pm on October 2, 2005, as a concert of the Singapore Press Holdings Gift of Music concert series.

The story revolves around a little boy named Joey, who is learning to paint. As he paints, he begins to discover the fantasy world of his imagination. Creations of all shapes and sizes begin to come alive and fill his universe with joy and wonder. Joey joins his creations in a celebration of life and begins to paint even more! But little does Joey realise that destruction is headed his way, as creatures of the deep decide to block his way. Find out what this challenge will do to his creations and Joey´s exciting solution to this calamity!

Before the performance begins - from 5pm - audiences will be treated to the sight of giant puppets and mascots walking around the Botanic Gardens. The puppets will interact with the crowds, and pose for photographs.

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund organiser will also be at the Gardens, selling toy bears and clay figurines, with proceeds going to the Fund.

World of Imagination is directed by MAPS founder, Frankie Malachi. Key puppeteers are Michael Dixon Chong, Jennifer Ho, Stella Soh and Rachel Angelina Tay, and music is performed by the Singapore Armed Forces Symphonic Band.

The year-long Gift of Music series is presented by media group Singapore Press Holdings to share the joy of music with the community and to celebrate Singapore’s 40th Anniversary.

The series, which began in May 2005, features more than 20 concerts traversing different genres of music, from pop, Latin and R&B, to jazz, Asian percussion, choral, Western classical, Chinese opera and children´s puppets, and promises to be wholesome and entertaining, with something for everyone.

The key partners collaborating with SPH in this Gift of Music series, which ends in April 2006, are the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and a host of individuals and groups representing some of the most recognised names in Singapore music, as well as carefully-selected overseas acts.

The SPH concerts at the Botanic Gardens fall on the first Sunday of every month. In addition to these, SPH will also bring concerts to the community with performances in the heartlands, public areas and parks as part of its outreach efforts to connect with the community.

The concert series is one of many outreach events which SPH supports as part of its broadening community involvement. Each year, the media group contributes to a diverse range of education, arts and culture, community, conservation, sports and charitable projects. SPH was recently named the top corporate giver in Singapore in a survey carried out by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, and has been bestowed the Distinguished Patron of the Arts award every year since 1993.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Audrey Perera
Senior Manager
Corporate Relations
DID: 6319 22261

For MAPS-specific information, please contact:

Frankie Malachi
Mascots and Puppets Specialists
Tel: 9850 1914 / 6297 0778