Tiara Jacquelina AND The Phantom Unveil Enfiniti Academy
The Enfiniti Academy of Musical Theatre & Entertainment Arts
The afternoon sun blinked down at the spanking-new four-storey building of Enfiniti Vision Media, where a crowd of students, eager mums and even professional performers made their way into what was to be launched as the Enfiniti Academy of Musical Theatre and Entertainment Arts (ENACT), Enfiniti’s new boutique academy.
Founded by acclaimed producer, actress and arts advocate Tiara Jacquelina, ENACT aims to shape the future of the Malaysian Arts Industry by continuously producing the highest calibre of artistes, performers and entertainers as well as producers, directors, writers, stage managers and designers, who will be ready for a future career anywhere in the world.
(l-r) Simon Bailey, Ramin Karimloo, Joanna Bessey, Tiara Jacquelina, Stephen Rahman-Hughes
The launch was rocketed by an unexpected opening act in the building’s new studio facility (Black Box Theatre), featuring the core team of Enfiniti Vision Media who brought to the audience a song performance of Nat King Cole’s ‘L.O.V.E’. The management and administration team are so passionate about the performing arts, they decided to “walk the talk”. Team Enfiniti, endearingly nicknamed by Tiara, showcased themselves as a bunch of spirited, creative and confident individuals.
ENACT is wholly owned and supported by Enfiniti Vision Media, the leader in musical theatre in Malaysia, hit producer of the country’s most successful musicals of all time, Puteri Gunung Ledang and P. Ramlee. Similar to Enfiniti, ENACT will be staffed by the most passionate and highly- experienced local and international talents, who share Enfiniti’s vision.
Among the courses offered are: Dance Like a Star: Dance Workshop with Celebrity Choreographer Pat Ibrahim; Jazzing Up Your Ballet with Suhaili Michelin; Musical Theatre Courses: 5-weekend Workshop on Musical Theatre; and School’s Out, Musical Theatre’s In: December School Holidays Musical Theatre Workshop.
“This is for me, a dream come true. For the last 5 years, I’ve been dreaming of setting up an academy to train and inspire the finest artists, performers and entertainers of tomorrow, for the industry I love, the world of dreams, hopes, imagination beyond infinity; this is the legacy I hope I can leave behind someday. I’ve always been very passionate and vocal about my belief that the indicators of richness or development of a country cannot be measured merely by how many tall buildings there are. It’s also about the richness of its cultures, its liveability, the creative expression, the life and soul of the country. It’s not going to happen overnight I know, but I do know that today, with the launch of Enfiniti Academy of Musical Theatre and Entertainments Arts (or ENACT), we are one step closer towards achieving that goal.”
“We aim high, we aim for the stars. That’s the spirit and character of Enfiniti Vision Media. And I think there’s no reason to be humble about this. Our shared vision, with the academy, is to actively create greater national awareness and appreciation of the Arts, and to focus on the growth of the Malaysian Arts industry so it becomes a more vibrant and viable sector of the economy. As a company, we want to engage the Malaysian and regional Arts Communities to cohesively promote Malaysia as an Asian Arts Hub.”
“Enfiniti aims to create a whole sustainable ecosystem of the arts. We stage musicals that are most recognized for quality and production value in this country, and we will now continuously produce the artists and performers who make the shows come alive. I am today, boldly stating, that ENACT is a boutique academy that aims to be an incubator of icons, trained in Malaysia, ready for the world. The unique difference between ENACT and any other performing arts academy, is that the environment here will be more of a professional company in rehearsal, rather than that of an educational institution. Students will be exposed to the way a professional company operates, rather than just a school.” remarked Tiara.
Joanna Bessey was also announced as the Course Director of ENACT. She is a homegirl and Malaysia’s pride, with many productions to her name in the past 10 years in the Malaysian industry. With her illustrious career as an extremely accomplished director and actor for television, film and theatre, she will lead Tiara’s vision of ENACT as an incubator of ICONS; icons trained in Malaysia and ready for the world.
Enfiniti Academy was also officiated by the three biggest stars of the West End – the current Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and its sequel, Love Never Dies: Ramin Karimloo; Stephen Rahman-Hughes who played the lead role of Aakash in the smash-hit musical Bombay Dreams and Simon Bailey who played the ambitious and charismatic Enjolras in Les Miserables. Ramin Karimloo, “the best Phantom ever” according to Tiara Jacquelina, specifically took ten days off from London’s Adelphi Theatre to come to Malaysia. Together, the West End stars lent the weight of their prestigious musical authority to the unveiling of the academy.
The West End stars, proceeded by Tiara Jacquelina, were then invited to sign a plaque to officiate the opening of the academy.
The official opening continued with an exuberant live performance consisting of alumni from Enfiniti’s previous “Star Makers Boot Camp”. It is a testimony of Enfiniti’s continuous effort to encourage new talents, and a glimpse of what the ENACT future could bring.
With the building now officially launched, the attendees were brought on a tour of ENACT’s sophisticated yet colorful facilities. The Black Box Theatre, a multi-purpose space available for rent and rehearsals is located on the ground floor. The entire first floor boasts the beginnings of the academy, complete with a space for physical work, an office, mid-range dance studio and three vocal studios. The third floor features a big dance studio, with the sunlight streaming in from the glass dome, a definite visual lift to anyone’s day.
ENACT dived straight into its purpose as the West End stars engaged the local community with an educational talk about the entertainment industry on the musical stage. They also wowed everyone with a soaring and heartfelt rendition of “Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha”, an enticing sneak-peek of the concert. It left everyone with chills and goosebumps. The crowd cheered enthusiastically, no doubt leaving an impression of our famous Malaysian hospitality.
Kids, students and parents from near and far took home the knowledge the stars shared of their experiences of their professional lives on stage (ranging from West Side Story, We Will Rock You, The Phantom of The Opera to the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show titled Love Never Dies). It was truly edutainment, as aspiring performers were charged by the testimonies given. Parents were assured that a bright prospect was truly viable within the musical theatre scene. Even experienced performers were there to learn more about master classes and how they could further hone their skills to be recognized as industry “triple threats”.
ENACT’s launch was wrapped up with a short Q&A session, where the audience had the opportunity to further clear away any webs of doubt. Some of the audience were confident, spirited and full of questions, an encouraging sign of the eager members of the future musical theatre scene. There was no lack of raised hands, and the outpour of interest only ended due to time limitation.
About Enfiniti Vision Media
ENFINITI VISION MEDIA SDN. BHD., is a significant contributor to the Malaysian arts and entertainment scene. The company was established by award-winning actress, producer, and arts advocate Tiara Jacquelina, as an expansion of KIT KAT KLUB Entertainment (M) Sdn. Bhd. And TEN On TEN Pictures Sdn. Bhd. In 2004, Enfiniti went on to produce Malaysia’s biggest budget movie, Puteri Gunung Ledang which was the first Malaysian film to be shortlisted for an Oscar, and won numerous local and international awards. Subsequently the movie was adapted into the award- winning musical. Puteri Gunung Ledang and P. Ramlee the Musical have since solidified Enfiniti Vision Media as the leader in the Malaysian musical theatre industry. Enfiniti has also expanded with a few subsidiaries beneath its wing such as Kit Kat Klub Events, The Borneo Rainforest Café, Enfiniti Films, Ten on Ten Pictures, The Enfiniti Academy and Warisan – The Malaysian Cultural Village.
Tiara signing the official plaque
Tiara signing the official plaque 2
(l-r) Simon Bailey, Ramin Karimloo, Tiara Jacquelina, Stephen Rahman-Hughes
West End Stars singing