Monday, July 29, 2013

The Phantom of the Opera at MBS MasterCard Theatres

My love for musicals began when I was a teenager, with the Phantom of the Opera. 

 I remember being utterly enthralled with the famous lake scene (you have to watch it if you don't know what I'm talking about!), the soaring high notes, the beautiful duets that dipped and rose together with the live orchestra in haunting harmony. The final scene.. It's so heart-wrenching and poignant with despair and loss, sorrow and despondency. So glad that I got to watch this a second time in my life, and even had an opportunity to meet and speak to the creative team and cast in person! 

If you have never experienced the magic of the Phantom of the Opera before, you are missing out on an incredible show!


Melissa and I attended the media call together (our first time!) and got first dibs on a sneak preview of the show, as well as getting to speak to the creative team and cast in person! It was a wonderful privilege and experience, and we had a really insightful session!


While the rest of the media were busy snapping pictures of the performances and speeches... Yup, here we are taking selcas :D #shamelessbloggers

That's not to say we didn't take any photos of the show! I don't want to spoil the show for you if you'll be watching it, but here are a few shots of my favourite scenes! The die-hard Phantom fans will certainly recognise every scene!





We listened in while Brad Little (The Phantom), Claire Lyon (Christine Daae) and Anthony Downing (Raoul) were being interviewed by various media personnel, and it was a really interesting session!

Anthony Downing, who plays Raoul, Christine's passionate lover.


Beautiful Claire Lyon who plays Christine, she did an incredible job!



Here's some Phantom trivia for you:

*22 containers were shipped into Singapore for The Phantom of the Opera: that's how huge the production is!

*A large number of the orchestra musicians you hear performing the beautiful music of the Phantom are all our very own local talents, who auditioned for the parts when the creative team flew in a few months ago! I'm so proud of our local musicians! :)

*Brad Little (who plays the Phantom) actually used to play Raoul on Broadway, but has starred in over 2200 performances in the travelling tour of The Phantom of the Opera as the Phantom, and this is his second time playing the Phantom in Singapore!

*The musical is based on a novel "Le Fantome De L’Opera" written by Gaston Leroux in 1909, and was popularised by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986, that makes the Phantom over a century old! (I actually read the novel a long time ago after watching the musical in 2007, and I re-read it again a few days ago!)

*Claire Lyon is one of the few Christines to be involved in both The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies (the sequel to Phantom), but ironically, she first performed the role of Christine in Love Never Dies, and not Phantom.

You can find tonnes more of Phanton trivia on fan sites all over the internet, so I'm not gonna bore you out if you haven't yet been inducted into the cult of the Phantom! *cue evil laughter*

***

After the media call in the afternoon, Mel and I popped over to City Plaza for lunch: my favourite ban mian!! (Walao, ever since then, I've been having MAJOR ban mian cravings =__=) And then we went back home to freshen up, before heading back to the MasterCard Theatres in the evening again for the Gala Show of The Phantom of the Opera!


Mel and I both changed into long dresses for the evening: the theme was "Black Tie" and what better chance to dress up than the gala opening of such a celebrated musical?


I was very excited because it was YZ's first time watching The Phantom of the Opera, he had other plans that evening initially but I wheedled and persuaded him to come watch the musical with me, and I'm so glad I did because he enjoyed it thoroughly as well!

The show was spectacular, even better than what I remembered, honestly! And if you are fond of the Phantom and its music, trust me, you will definitely enjoy the brilliance of the live singing and music, my skin was literally prickling with goosebumps the moment the opening interlude started!

I loved the huge singing acts and humour in the show, they brought liveliness and comic relief to set off the intimate and quieter scenes with stanza after stanza of heartfelt singing. Claire Lyon really shone as Christine, and I was blown away with her voice and how well she portrayed the part.

The chemistry between the Phantom and Christine was simply amazing as well, I was almost brought to tears by the raw emotions of the Phantom, and how he turned from the fear-evoking antagonist to a broken, desolate creature who only longs to be loved.. :'( The final scene is just so heartbreaking! I was glued to the edge of my seat, rapt with attention, as the scene unfolded.

Apart from the wonderful storytelling and music, the show itself is so visually stunning! You'd find yourself sucked right into the world of the Opera Populaire and the Phantom, with the elaborate attention to detail in the props, costumes and stage settings! It was a feast for all of my senses!

My words are rather inadequate, so please, watch it for yourself instead!


With some other gorgeous ladies, Claire, Sophie and Mel at the After Party!


Fabulous canapes after the great show, and we got to mingle with the cast too!


With my hansum partner! ❤

The Phantom Of The Opera season in Singapore will close on Sept 1, with shows running daily at prices starting from S$55 to S$230, excluding booking fee. More information can be found at (baseentertainmentasia.com) or (marinabaysands.com) or by calling +65 6688 8826.

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Outfit details:
Diane Peekaboo Maxi in White
Courtney Box Clutch in White

Love the full white ensemble, including my pair of white platform heels! Teehee.


And my look of the day, with YSL Chromatics eyeshadow palette! I used it wet and the intensity was super love! ❤ Pray ignore mine unsightly Roaccutane-ed peely lips.

Also on the face:

Lancome Mat Miracle Liquid Foundation
Shiseido Maquillage True Cheek RD321
Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil
Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara
Amazing Cosmetics Cream Concealer


Did a simple gradient smoky eye with a winged tip.


:D :D :D

Listening to the 25th Anniversary OST of Phantom as I'm writing this and the music is so timeless and wonderful. I love it! My family is so annoyed by my non-stop singing of the Phantom songs. They are all like, 你干嘛,鬼叫啊?! but I don't care!

Another week beckons, so I wish everyone a blessed week ahead!
Thank you for reading this space :)

xoxo

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum

I thought I'd share a little about some of the products in my current skincare routine, which are from one of my favourite brands: Biotherm!

My first experiece with Biotherm's famed Aquasource was more than two years ago, with the Aquasource Deep Hydration Moisturiser! I loved it upon first usage, with its powerful hydrating properties as well as light gel texture which absorbs extremely well!

Aquasource is Biotherm's no.1 best-selling hydration range, and after 15 years of history, Biotherm is now launching Aquasource's most powerful serum yet: the Aquasource Deep Serum!

Aquasource Deep Serum's next-generation formula captures 3–times the concentrations of Aquasource’s regenerating Life Plankton™ and ultra-moisturizing Mannose to deliver deep hydration so skin looks radiant, re-plumped and regenerated!

What I really love about Biotherm is its approach towards creating effective skincare products that really work. All Biotherm products contain thermal plankton, a micro-organism found in the hot springs of the Pyrenees Mountains.

The average body is made up of about 60% of water, and this is the reason why Biotherm has delved into the waters of the earth, in order to find substances that have the closest affinity to our skin, and they discovered thermal plankton, which has a similar structure as certain skin cells!

This affinity of thermal plankton allows our skin to effectively absorb its nutrients and goodness, such as its unequaled healing properties to regenerate, repair and soothe, enhancing skin quality to leave the complexion soft, smooth and glowing!

Here are some fun facts about Biotherm, and Aquasource! (From Biotherm's Aquasource Deep Serum website here)



Back to Aquasource Deep Serum. It contains THREE TIMES the concentration of Life Thermal Plankton and Mannose as compared to Aquasource gel, in order to deliver deep moisture to dehydrated skin!

 It's like a super booster pack with THREE TIMES efficacy! (Like playing video game like that. HAHAHA. Life Up x 3 times!)

Mannose, a simple sugar derived from tree pulp helps to deliver hydration and vital protein boosters to all layers of the epidermis, while Life Plankton helps to improve the renewal of epidermal cells, and contains 4 vitamins, 23 amino-acids, and 9 oligo elements.

Other than these two key ingredients, Aquasource Deep Serum also contains millions of micro pearls which help to beautify the skin by diffusing light and enhancing the skin's brightness and luminosity!
The texture of Aquasource Deep Serum is pretty amazing. It is extremely light-weight and has a lovely pearly sheen to it, thanks to the illuminating micro pearls! It spreads easily across the skin, and is instantly absorbed, leaving my skin feeling really nice and moist!

By the way, I love the scent of the product too, just like all other Biotherm products, Aquasource Deep Serum has got a really fresh and invigorating scent! ❤

These are the results from a study that Biotherm conducted! Doesn't it make you feel like running out now to get a bottle of Aquasource Deep Serum for yourself? :S


Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum retails at SGD85 and can be found at all Biotherm counters in Singapore.

PS. Don't say I never share ah! If you're interested to try out this product, you can actually redeem a 3-day trial on Biotherm's website!


My skin has never been in need of hydration more, because of Roaccutane! ;( I've been taking Roaccutane for about three months now, and thankfully I've stopped breaking out and my skin is now on the road to recovery! However, Roaccutane has dried out my skin a lot, and thus I'm very grateful for the intense hydration that Aquasource Deep Serum provides.

Right after Aquasource Deep Serum, I use Pure.fect Skin Hydrating Gel, which I feel helps to lock in the hydration from Aquasource Deep Serum, while still feeling very light on my skin! I also feel that Deep Serum, while very hydrating, tends to feel slightly sticky after application, and Pure.fect Skin Hydrating Gel helps to remove that stickiness and leaves my skin feeling matte and clean.

Definitely my two favourite skincare products from Biotherm at the moment! ;) I'd probably share more about Pure.fect Skin Hydrating Gel in another blog post soon, it is one of my top favourite moisturisers and I have already finished off TWO bottles of it together with my sissy who loves it too! :)


Look of the day: Did a simple look with glam eyes to watch The Phantom of the Opera at Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatres! :D Gonna be blogging about that next! Praying that my skin continues to recover well! I will never take clear skin for granted again :(

Onward to Friday and the weekend very soon, wheee! And July is passing by so quickly, seriously. I'm turning 26 in 8 days time! :( Starting to feel the numbers already, meh~

Can't wait for tomorrow cos it's photoshoot day for TheVelvetDolls! Eggcited to shoot the new collection! ^.^ That's probably been the best part of 2013 for me, TVD's shift to our new website! Really love how much more convenient the shopping cart system is, and how professional it looks. Still some bugs here and there, but on the whole it's been so much better on the new website!

Next up, will be our move to a new and bigger office! That'll be happening in November, and it's gonna be a huge op with major renovations and fitting up of the new space that we've just signed the lease for. And of courseeeee, giant moving out sale probably in October! Sounds like it's gonna be a hectic last four months of the year! :) But in a goooood way :D

Go go fighting!

xoxo

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dinner at Strangers Reunion

Gosh, time does fly doesn't it? It's been almost an entire week since my last blog post! Well, I'm back with a new foodie blog post, one of my favourite topics to blog about ;)

If you've been to Strangers' Reunion in the past, you may be slightly startled to see that the previous small, cozy and eclectic space is now defunct: and the brand new Strangers' Reunion is right next door, in a huger space that looks a whole lot more modern and minimalistic as compared to the old space!

In all honesty, I thought the old space was really cozy and adorable, and the new space seems to have lost some of that homeliness to it! :( Well, I guess the old has got to make room for the new, and it's not to say that I don't like the clean and spacious feel of the new Strangers' Reunion as well!



I arrived just in time to watch the star barista, two-time Singapore National Barista Championship winner Ryan Tan, pull a beautiful cup of coffee while expertly swirling about milk into gorgeous latte art!

It was practically magic to watch how the latte art was created with fluid and practiced strokes of movement!


Spotted these bags of coffee beans with Strangers' Reunion's logo stamped on them, I believe they are coffee beans available for purchase? :)


Got seated shortly across from my partner-in-crime, Evonne, and I was super hungry, but got settled in with my cuppa first!


Our special tasting menu for the evening!


Tea was served in a pretty little wooden tray. This was Evonne's Earl Grey tea (if I remember correctly!)

HELLO, me! Especially proud of my eyebrows that day, I think I mastered the Korean eyebrow technique already woohoo! But I can't stand my extremely peely lips all thanks to Roaccutane :( I have tried at least ten different lip balms but none of them are doing any good. Meh.


Here's the pretty cup of coffee made by Ryan!

Strangers' Reunion is famous for their coffee, and if you're a coffee connoisseur, you definitely want to order a cuppa because I hear that it's really good!

I ordered the Iced Mocha that comes with a scoop of ice cream, but it didn't seem to taste as marvelous as it did the very first time I visited Strangers' Reunion on a sweaty hot afternoon many months ago!

Nonetheless, I'm happy with anything with ice cream in it! :D

As a starter, we were served the Lotus Root Chips with Spicy Aioli! I was pleasantly surprised by the sweetness of the chips which were just a little chewier and had a very interesting texture. They were sliced very thinly, and tasted great with the accompanying dip!

This one still retained its shape. Looks really cute!

I thought the lotus root chips made a great sharing dish, and is good if you have cravings for some munchies but don't want to order a main! There were some inconsistency between the two portions we were served though, one bowl was crispier and saltier, while the other one retained a chewier texture, which probably had to do with inconsistent frying time.

Next up, we were served one of the most interesting dishes on the menu, the Egg Net Tempura Soft Shell Burger! :D~
Egg Net Tempura Soft Shell Crab Burger with spicy kewpie mayo and corn in a brioche bun

I was particularly intrigued by this dish, it is presented like a crab that's entangled in a fishing net, which I thought was really cute!

Taste-wise though, I would have preferred the soft-shelled crab to be a little less soggy! Other than that, this dish was pretty enjoyable to me :D

Corn & Zucchini Fritters with avocado, poached egg and tomato relish

For this dish, we were served a "simplified" tasting version without the poached egg. I thought it was a very innovative dish as well, and the corn fritter + bacon + avocado + poached egg makes a really unique combination! Something different as well from the conventional poach eggs served eggs benny style.

My favourite dish of the session though, has got to be the Pork Belly!
Crispy Pork Belly with truffled mash, ginger beer, apple and date chutney

The aroma of the truffled mash started wafting over even before the dish was set down in front of me, and it was so tempting and enticing!

The pork belly is hard-pressed overnight to remove the layer of fatty oils, so it doesn't taste so eeky and fatty! I loooove the crispy pork skin and the sweet chutney complemented the pork belly so well. Yum!

I don't have too much opinions on the next two dishes because I barely tasted them :X I'm not a huge fan of eggplant nor lamb! They didn't leave too strong an impression on me, to be honest.

Za'atar-spiced Eggplant Fritters with lemon yogurt

12-hour Braised Lamb Shoulder Flat Bread with quinoa tabouli and hummus

However, I couldn't resist the next dish that came our way: This dish wasn't on our menu, but Ryan thought we might like to try the truffle fries, and he was so right!
You cannot visit Strangers' Reunion without tasting the Truffle Fries because they are so addictively good!!! One of my favourite truffle fries now! (I keep on discovering new truffle fries omg) You can't imagine how full I was by this point, but trust me when I say that everyone's faces lit up when I insisted that they had a taste of the truffle fries because all of us were so stuffed already.

So yes. The truffle fries are MUST. TRY!

Buttermilk Waffles with artisan greek yogurt and fresh fruit

Many people have raved about the Buttermilk Waffles before me, and I did enjoy it, especially with the greek yogurt with honey and fresh fruits! Such a great combination! These waffles are quite thick and fluffy though, and not the crisp light waffles that I enjoy. Still delicious! ;)

On the whole, I had a wonderful dinner and catch-up with my friends and new strangers-turned-acquaintances! We were extremely full, but that didn't stop us from the usual photo ops. Hehehe!

With the pretty bloggers of the night!











Happy to have made new friends, which I think is pretty apt for the name of this joint isn't it? Strangers' Reunion. Where strangers reunite and become friends! :) Had much fun with this bunch of girls!


We left with a little jar of home-made jam, special thanks to the crew at Strangers' Reunion

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Strangers' Reunion 

37 Kampong Bahru Rd S(169354) 
Walkable distance from Outram MRT Station (via Cantonment Road) 

Tel: 62224869 


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Simple outfit in a tank top and chiffon shrug paired with floral shorts! ❤


Close-up of the prints ❤

This blog post is running a little low on text because it's 2AM, but I'll be back with more soon, I promise :) Gotta scram to bed quick because there's an early morning shoot tomorrow! Keeping my fingers crossed for happy weather and great pictures.

Good night good night!

xoxo