Mrs Lee's Xmas Carols n Pops:
i) Even with her busy schedule, Madam Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs Lee Kuan Yew) had time for both classical music and pop songs. She would, within a festive and Yuletide setting, enjoy the Christmas carols sung by her favourite singer, *Kiri Te Kanawa (left image).
ii) A grand-daughter of Mrs Lee also mentioned that they both had the same taste for a certain detective novelist and a male pop singer, Dorothy Sayers and Frank Sinatra (right).
*About Kiri Te Kanawa:
I was hooked on Dame Kiri, renowned New Zealand soprano since the early 70s. I wasn't too big with classics but appreciated a few of her Opera interpretations because of her particularly strong and beautiful voice. When I rummaged through my CD collection, I found my copy of Heart To Heart (1991), where Kiri sang duets with Malcolm McNeill, another Kiwi, to produce an album of 14 pop songs.
Although she became 'internationally acclaimed as one of the most famous opera stars of the century', she was able to sing in a different musical style and come together in a programme of romantic songs.
The selection included some 70s songs: The Long And Winding Road, Pieces Of April, The Rose, We're All Alone, He Was Beautiful and Love Song. It was a Kiwi-Pacific Recording completed at Mandrill Studios in Auckland, NZ and EMI at Abbey Road, London.
Dame Kiri was in Singapore with Robert Redford and The Vienna Boys in 2008.
**About Frank Sinatra:
Much has been written about Sinatra, so do look him up on the Web and rather than list the numbers that he recorded, here are a few of his more obscure songs. Unless you are a Sinatra die-hard, you might not know any of them. But they are only some of his greatest hits.
Witchcraft, I Get A Kick Out Of You, Love Is Here To Stay, Nice N Easy, Nancy (With The Laughing Face) are just a few. (Goldies GLD 63026: SPA 1991).
Read about Sinatra in Singapore on a posting about Larry Lai : Sunday, June 06, 2010: Naturally BBC: English Gentleman Without The Stiff Upper Lip - Larry Lai Interview - (Part II)
i/ii) Information: The Straits Times. October 5th, 2010. Pg: A6.
Original Article: Andy Lim.