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Arts - Entertainment & It

A Song of Summer - and a reward of 28,811 baht!

Lyric soprano You-ree Rho with Santi Saengthong at the recital.

By Jai Pee

Around forty-five years ago, the late British film director Ken Russell celebrated the life of the English composer Frederick Delius in a film made for television entitled “Song of Summer”. On March 24th and March 26th at the Santi School of Music the arrival of summer was celebrated in song by a glorious set of two recitals by Korean-born opera star You-ree Rho, a relatively new part-time resident of the city. And what an explosion of pure sound reverberated across the lanes near to Kad Suan Keow as Ms Rho launched into some of the world’s best loved arias by Giaccomo Puccini. Puccini was born in 1858 and died in 1924 so he was very much contemporaneous with Thailand’s great King Rama V, Chulalongkorn. How wonderful it was to celebrate the arrival of summer by listening to arias that were written at the time of the reign of this great visionary monarch. To do justice to the many magnificent achievements of this celebrated and revered King would take extraordinary talent – and who more fitting to honour this memory than You-ree Rho. She not only has such enormous talent but she sings in the purest tones, accentuating every phrase with careful precision and total professionalism. Her voice is radiant and in the opening two arias from the classic Madama Butterfly, especially in the famous “Un bel di” (One fine day), she reached great heights in the highest of standards as her voice soared in the warm night air. She contrasted these arias with the well-known and more tender aria “O mio babbino caro” (Oh, my beloved father) from the opera Gianni Schicchi, in a rendition that captured both the tenderness and eloquence of this golden favourite. Arias followed from Turandot, La Boheme and Tosca, all sung with deep affection and a sincere love for the music she was performing. In between the arias, two delightful interludes gave Ms Rho a much needed break from her demanding role – both were provided by two of Santi’s teachers – Boo, a baritone with rich deep tones sang a baroque song “Danza danza” by Francesco Durante and violin teacher Mojin provided a beautifully nostalgic version of Sir Edward Elgar’s “Salut D’Amour” written as an engagement present for his future wife in 1888.

This was a charity event – all the musicians and their wonderful accompanist Ajaan Santi, head of the music school, gave of their time and professionalism free of charge so that others might benefit from their talents. The monies raised – a magnificent total of 28,811 baht - will be sent primarily to the Baan Mae Sa School in Amphur Mae Jam some 200 plus kilometers north of the city. Located in the mountains, this Karen school of 175 students will be in receipt of a range of musical instruments to help improve their love and understanding of music. The remainder of the money will be sent to the Blessings Foundation to help that charitable organization continue to provide clean well-water for local villages.

All those at the Santi School of Music would like to thank Ms Rho for her two wonderful recitals that will result in an enhancement of life for less fortunate people in the Province. I hope it goes without saying that the generosity and support of those attending the recitals through their bounteous donations is not just appreciated for today alone – it will be remembered for a very long time indeed by those in receipt of the gifts from this wonderful endeavor of Ajaan Santi and Ms Rho.


Panu Kritaramruang; Mind at Matoom Art Space

Panu Kritaramruang at the opening of his exhibition at the Matoom Art Space.

Panu was born in 1972 in Bangkok but presently lives and works in Chiang Mai. He graduated from the Department of Sculpture and Painting of Chiang Mai University. Since graduating he has participated in several exhibitions in Thailand.

He is particularly interested in the philosophy of human life and especially in Buddhist philosophy. Often he will merge contrasting elements such as birth and death or flowers in bloom with a dead tree in the background. With a special expertise in transparent oil painting this makes his artwork more interesting, showing the complexity of each element.

For the ‘Mind’ Exhibition, Panu expresses the concept that with a clear mind and a conscious attention to our own physical well-being, it is possible to look beyond a beautiful surface and find an abstract beauty which reaches beyond the initial, superficial attraction. He believes that we must take more time for ourselves, return into the reaches of our minds, and when our mind is peaceful from observing beauty, then our physical beings will be also be calm and peaceful.

Matoom Art Space is located at 136/4 Ratchapakinai Road.

One of the many works Panu has on display for his exhibition titled Mind.

The Exhibition opening was held at Matoom Art Space on Ratchapakinai Road.

Welcome to You-ree Rho – a singer of extraordinary talent

By Jai Pee

Newly arrived in Chiang Mai where she will live on a part-time basis is Korean-born lyric soprano You-ree Rho. She has already made contact with the Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai and with the Santi School of Music, where she is to give two charity concerts on Saturday March 24th and Monday March 26th. The recitals will be repeats of one another. The artist and Ajaan Santi, head of the Music School, have decided that the money raised by voluntary donation at the concerts will go towards purchasing musical instruments for students at MaeSa School, MaeJam.

You-ree Rho is a lyric soprano holding a Master’s degree from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Music Degree and Certificate in Music Education, as well as a certificate from the Pescara Academy in Italy. She is an exceptionally talented soprano with beautiful rich head tones. Her singing voice is dynamic and expressive. Ms. Rho specially loves the opera repertoire, particularly the works of Puccini and Verdi at which she excels vocally and dramatically. She also is also a talented singer of Lieder and art songs. Ms. Rho has been performing in various concerts and recitals, and appeared numerously in operas such as Aida, Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Magic Flute, The Tenderland, Orphèe aux Enfers, Suor Angelica, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and Turandot. She has sung with the Calgary Opera company, the Cowtown Opera Company and Opera Nuova in Canada. She has been involved in a number of radio broadcasts, vocal workshops and other voice training initiatives in Canada – in addition to winning many competitions and receiving music scholarships. Ms. Rho currently teaches voice and music theory in Calgary, and is a full member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Wow!! What a CV and to think she has come to live here part of the year! So her two recitals at Santi’s School of music, both starting at 7.30pm are not to be missed.

Accompanied by Ajaan Santi on the piano, You-ree’s recitals will include the following great operatic highlights of Giaccomo Puccini:

From Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore

From Turandot: Signore, ascolta! and Tu, che di gel sie cinta

From La Boheme: Quando men vo

From Madama Butterfly: Ancora un passo or via and Un bel di vedremo

From Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro 

In addition there will be two short interludes on violin by string teacher Mjin who will play Salut D’Amour by Elgar plus a song by voice teacher Boo, called Danza, Danza by Francesco Durante. JP from the Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai will introduce the recitals and provide a spoken dialogue between the pieces.

What could be more enticing than such an evening with great talent and such a delectable variety of arias that surely all opera lovers know and cherish? Reservations should be made for the limited seating through the Santi School of Music office manager, Ken, on 053 224 344, or in person at the School on Sirimangklanjan Soi 5, behind Kad Suan Keow.

Elephant art returns to Central Airport for National Elephant Day

Artist Jakraphan Chaijit is joined by Crown Property Bureau Representative Pipatpong Israsena Na Ayutthaya who oversees cultural promotion for the Crown Property Bureau.

Artist Jakraphan Chaijit brought his unique elephant art to the 2nd Floor Northern Village at Central Airport Plaza in honor of National Elephant Day again this year. His showing of 20 works at the mall runs through April 15, 2012 and features a light filled perspective of elephants using watercolor, acrylic and oil on canvas.

His works feature not only real but mythical elephants such as Ganesha and the Lord Buddha with elephants. Also on sale were elephant t-shirts, cards and other gifts.

Artist Jakraphan Chaijit’s representation of the Lord Buddha and an elephant on display until April 15.

A key event for the April calendar

Chiang Mai Fest 2012

3D artists will transform the streets of Chiang Mai into works of art.

Earth Wind & Fire and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are hosting a unique festival that is a fusion of art and music; the “Chiang Mai Fest 2012” will be held from March 23 to April 7 at the Three Kings Monument, Chiang Mai. The event is open to the public free of charge and features a food and drinks fair from leading hotels.

Starting on March 23 through to April 5, it will be for the first time in the Thai art history for people of Chiang Mai and even Thailand to see the amazing “3D Street Painting”. Recognized talented chalk artists from Europe and the USA will magically turn the surfaces of the roads at the Three Kings Monument into boulevards of art and will turn pavements into canvas and transform downtownorary outdoor gallery of original art and masterpiece reproductions.

Want to try your hands and imagination on a street painting? Come join free workshops on 3 D street paintings with the world class street painting artists. The street painters will show you how to work wonders by using colourful chalks and imagination on pavements. For more information please call 053-292224 or [email protected]

Then from April 6-7, it is the time for music festival. Enjoy the international concerts performed by various musicians such as Thomas Kiessling, Garth Taylor, Il Quinto, Blues Brothers, Nueng Jakkawal, Mango Republic, BaDeeBiDoo and many more. Stage performance begins from 1800 to 2230 hours at the Three Kings Monument, Chiang Mai. For more information, please visit

Musicians will perform at 3 Kings Monument on April 6 and 7. Artists such as Garth Taylor, Il Quinto, the Blues Brothers, Mango Republic and many more.

Arias and Lieder – The Friends of Music Making Enjoy!

left to right: Friends' organiser JP with soprano Sophie Tanapura, accompanist Elvira Galioullina and tenor Chayakorn Damrongtrongsiri after Saturday's recital at Santi's Music School.


At Santi’s Music School in his upstairs salon, guest singers from the Bangkok Metropolitan Opera performed 6 lieder and 6 duets and arias to an enthusiastic and dedicated music loving audience. Soprano Sophie Tanapura, tenor Chayakorn Damrongtrongsiri and accompanist Elvira Galioullina delighted the audiences with two repeat recitals entitled Romance in the Romantic Era on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th February. JP, the founder of the Friends group, gave informative lectures on the Lieder Tradition before each performance.

These recitals, part of the Friends exciting music program for this year, were a real treat. Never before had there been a whole evening of singing for the Friends and unusually, and extremely welcome, was the manner of presentation. There was none of the false and sometimes silly cavorting in front of the audience as so often happens at these recitals – these talented singers presented their work with great poise and professionalism, glancing at each other for appropriate cues in the duets and keeping an eye on their accompanist at all times. They were real professionals giving the audience a wonderful selection of romantic songs expressed with sincerity and feeling throughout. In the first two Schumann duets, their voices complemented each other delightfully. In solo songs, by Faure and Schumann again, listeners were able to hear the purity and clarity of Sophie’s voice which aptly caught the mood of the lyrics with charm and at times amusement. The long Beethoven song Adelaide was sung by Chayakorn in a pleading, evocative and colourful manner that was so much intended by the love-torn composer at the time.

The arias and duets were just as appealing – selections from works by Donizetti, Lalo and Gounod rounded off two splendid evenings. With the audience calling for an encore, the couple once again delighted everyone by singing a very rarely performed duet from a remote Mendelssohn opera – and they did so with great panache to the amazement of the listeners. Their Russian–born accompanist Elvira was marvelous in supporting them and she sustained just the right volume to be heard without being overpowering. This was music at its best – what a pity several people cancelled their seats at the last minute due to illness and other reasons – they missed a real musical luxury! But those of us present loved every minute!

A Woman’s Dream of the Night Sky

One of the colorful works of Lisa Moses that is currently on show at Sangdee Gallery.

Shana Kongmun

Lisa Moses opened her one woman show titled “A Woman’s Dream of the Night Sky” at Sangdee Gallery on Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 on Saturday, February 25. Lisa Moses, an American based in Chiang Rai, has a unique method of painting on acrylic, she revealed her techniques at the show and it seemed quite an involved method that produced colorful, unique paintings. Using a unique style invented by her father, Joseph Zirker, it involves painting and collage on a polyethylene sheet which is then backed with paper and the painting literally peeled off.

Lisa Moses’ work is evocative of the night skies as taken by the Hubble telescope; she said that the photos of the stars and galaxies inspired her in her paintings that often feature Asian themes. She presented one of her colorful works to U.S. Consul General Kenneth L. Foster who opened the show. He then asked that the work be sold and the proceeds donated to the SOLD project. In fact, a portion of all proceeds from the show will go to SOLD.

The SOLD Project works to prevent child prostitution and trafficking by offering at risk children and families training, education and aid. Thailand director Tawee Donchai was on hand to present details about the organization and the work that they do.

U.S. Consul General Kenneth L. Foster joins Lisa Moses and her curator Jafee Yee to open the show.

U.S. Consul General Kenneth L. Foster and Lisa Moses with the work of art that he donated the proceeds of its sale to the SOLD Project.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

A Song of Summer - and a reward of 28,811 baht!

Panu Kritaramruang; Mind at Matoom Art Space

Welcome to You-ree Rho – a singer of extraordinary talent

Elephant art returns to Central Airport for National Elephant Day

A key event for the April calendar

Arias and Lieder – The Friends of Music Making Enjoy!

A Woman’s Dream of the Night Sky