The Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) returns to enchant, delight and provoke lovers of culture and the performing arts. Now in its 42nd year, this illustrious event has long been a highlight of Singapore’s cultural calendar, with global luminaries and groundbreaking local artists alike gracing its stages.

This year’s edition of the festival is set to take place in the heart of the city, in areas like the Civic District and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Festival-goers will expand their creative horizons and discover new forms of craftmanship with a plethora of inspiring performances, straddling the realms of dance, music and drama.

All the world’s a stage
<i>Beware of Pity</i> stage set

A world of artistry and creativity beckons at SIFA 2019, as thespians, dancers and performers take the stage to dazzle and delight.

International theatrical productions include Beware of Pity—a historical play by Simon McBurney that touches on themes of empathy and guilt—and Dionysus by Tadashi Suzuki, a cross-cultural adaptation of a classical Greek tragedy.

Festival-goers hoping to explore the minds of some of Singapore’s most talented stage directors should sign up for productions like Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner by Checkpoint Theatre, and The Mysterious Lai Teck. The former explores the stark realities of humanitarian work, while the latter presents a surreal snapshot of political intrigue in 1940s Southeast Asia.

For those craving an experience that transcends words, groundbreaking dance performance and installations abound at SIFA 2019. These spectacles include the meditative beauty of ST/LL by Shiro Takatani, the provocative surrealism of Crowd and the thought-provoking choreography of Körper.

Visiting families can discover the craft of storytelling alongside their little ones with Peter and the Wolf—a gorgeous adaptation of the classic children’s tale—or be enthralled by Dutch actor Thomas Dudkiewicz’s storytelling prowess in Bedtime Stories.

Music from across the globe
Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Fragments concert still

More than just catchy beats and melodic motifs, music is an art form that transcends culture and language. Be enchanted by the performances of maestros from all across the globe, including improvisation sessions by legendary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and Oscar-award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

100 Keyboards—a live performance by Japanese sound artist ASUNA—boldly explores how different perspectives can alter musical experiences, while Impulse, by local band Varsha, fuses traditional Indian composition with classic jazz standards.

Connecting with experts and creators
Wide shot of One Day We’ll Understand by Sim Chi Yin featured at The Festival House

Besides enchanting performances, SIFA 2019 provides ample opportunities for artists and audience members to connect. As part of the festival, The Arts House at Clarke Quay will be transformed into The Festival House, an epicentre of artistic conferences, talks and exchanges.

Festival-goers will be given the opportunity to speak directly to artists, creators and musicians like Ho Tzu Nyen, Bill Frisell and Tadashi Suzuki, in a series of talks dubbed In Conversation.

Visitors looking to take home new insights will have several lectures to choose from, while others comfortable in a more informal setting can rub shoulders with artists and like-minded individuals at House Pour—The Festival House’s pop-up bar.

SIFA 2019 takes place at multiple venues in the heart of the city. More information on other venues can be found here.