Yayasan Sime Darby sponsors Yao Lee The Legendary Rose Musical

Kuala Lumpur, 27 June 2012 – A musical performance on Yao Lee, one of the most memorable, legendary and sensational Chinese superstars of a turbulent and bygone era has been made possible with a RM100,000 sponsorship by Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD), which advocates the development of the arts and culture scene as one of its five pillars.

YSD, which recently won the inaugural Distinguished Patron of the Arts Award at the 9th annual Boh Cameronian Arts Awards 2012, is sponsoring the debut production initiative that celebrates the uniqueness, breadth and diversity of one of the most memorable Chinese musical heritage of the 1930s and 1940s.

The musical is produced by Han Production, a local production house led by Yang Wei Han, a well-known award-winning Malaysian musical performer, host, producer and writer.
Yao Lee is the original singer of the Chinese classic song “Rose, Rose, I Love You” and one of the famous Shanghai divas amongst the groundbreakers who paved the way for popular Chinese music. This was long before the concept of “Pacific Rim” united the cultures on both sides of the Pacific Ocean and earned Shanghai the nicknames “Hollywood of the East” and “Paris of Asia”.

YSD was represented by its Governing Council Member, YBhg. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman, who handed over a mock cheque to Wei Han at a special ceremony held at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac). Also present were Yao Lee, who is now 92 years old and the honorary advisor for the musical YBhg. Datin Seri Mah Ming Yuet.

The ceremony also coincided with the launch of a book entitled “Yao Lee The Legendary Rose”, written by Wei Han, out of love and respect for the great diva who mentored him throughout the whole journey to produce the musical and the book. The book documents her life story which hopefully will inspire future generations to appreciate Chinese music, arts and culture.

Yao Lee The Legendary Rose Musical will be staged from 21 June to 1 July 2012 at Pentas 1, klpac where tickets are sold at RM223, 183, 153, 123 and 83. Profits from ticket sales will be channeled to three organisations namely the Nalanda Buddhist Society, Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Centre and Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhism Malaysia (Fa Gu Shan) which share a common philosophy on music, culture, arts, traditions and morals.

YSD’s sponsorship of the musical is its first in support of the Chinese Musical theatre industry. Both the musical and book will be a platform to help strengthen the relationship between Malaysia and the South-East Asian countries, particularly China.

Yao Lee was a famous singer in the Shanghai Era of the 1930s and 1940s. She was known as the Silver Voice, with her close rival Zhou Xuan being known as the Golden Voice. Yao Lee experienced many trials and tribulations in her life but despite leading a difficult life, she retained her innocence and purity of heart. She became popular from the very start of her career, riding the crest of the music industry. Unfortunately, in her personal life, she experienced no end in pain and pitfalls.

Yang Wei Han is a distinguished singer in Malaysia who is passionate about music. He became a recording artist in 1997 with his debut album entitled, Loving You is Actually Perilous. In 2003, he recorded the Chinese Song Legend, Yao Min and in 2004, Xing Fu and Xing Le. In 2001, Yang established his own music studio - Han Production. He has been actively involved in all aspects of music production including song-writing, music arrangement and recording.

YSD is supportive of the development of a vibrant arts community in Malaysia’s multicultural society including projects and activities in the visual arts, music, theatre, cinema and dance. YSD has sponsored initiatives aimed at strengthening arts institutions and developing cultural knowledge and resources and also encourages contributions of artistes to the richness of a cultural heritage and legacy that is uniquely Malaysian. To reach these objectives and raise the profiles of Malaysian artists, YSD works closely with other established organisations and experts.

Since May 2009 until June this year, YSD has committed about RM1.8 million in sponsorships for projects and programmes in the performing arts scene.

Other projects sponsored by YSD include the Connecting Communities: National Dance Tour by ASWARA (RM1.266 million), “Where Art Happens” - a series of public talks organised by RogueArt which was held throughout June 2009 (RM23,700), Adam the Musical charity show which was staged to create awareness and educate Malaysians about HIV and AIDS (RM20,000), “Dancing My Shiva” by Mavin Khoo (RM50,000), JB Arts Festival 2010 and 2011 (RM125,000), theatre production “What’ll Break You” and “Apoca-Lips” by Big Eyes Catwoman Productions (RM30,000), World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation’s 4th Marketplace of Creative Arts in Bandung, Indonesia (RM62,400) and the 6th Kota Kinabalu International Jazz Festival 2012 (RM50,000).

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Last Updated:
04 Dec 2018
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