The Star Performing Arts Centre, Uncovered

Award-winning The Star Performing Arts Centre (The Star PAC) officially has its grand opening today. And behind the magnificent venue is an unusual story that involves a church, which I’ve only discovered after reading an article from the International Arts Manager (yes, I haven’t been following the news very closely), an English publication, while waiting for the media conference to begin.If you haven’t heard, Rock Productions, the business arm of New Creation Church, owns and manages this stunning landmark, which boasts Singapore’s first and only 5,000-seat theatre. The church had been hard at work in raising funds for the building since August 2010, and according to my paper, the total amount raised was $383.2 million as at Oct 1, 2012 (when the article was published). The Star PAC will host New Creation Church’s services just twice a week, as stated in International Arts Manager, with the rest of the time available for hire by any performing arts company. CapitaMalls Asia owns and manages the Retail and Entertainment Zone, also known as The Star Vista.Quoting Mr Jack Ho, chief operating officer of The Star PAC, in International Arts Manager: “In Singapore, this is a sensitive issue, we don’t want people to misunderstand and think this place is just a church; it’s not a church building but a performing arts centre.”The venue’s first concert featuring the legendary David Foster and friends (which includes musical luminaries and newcomers like Chaka Khan, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Paul Young, Hayley Westenra, Swedish pop group Dirty Loops and tenor Fernando Varela—all of whom were at the media conference) surely did help steer The Star PAC away from its religious affiliations. During Q&A, Chaka Khan mentioned how the theatre is “a perfect size for a concert”, big enough to accommodate a substantial crowd and yet artists are still able to connect with the audience on an intimate level.David Foster and friends perform this weekend on November 2-3.