It’s official: Hong Kong pop diva Karen Mok will retire from concert touring after the end of her current world tour, aptly titled The Ultimate Karen Mok Show, which celebrates her 25 years in show business.
This means her one-night-only show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Jun 15 will mark the last time the singer-actress will stage a "pop concert of this scale" here in Singapore.
“It’s the gut feel that now it’s the right time,” she told CNA Lifestyle during an interview in Singapore to promote the concert. “Even on day one, when I started my career, I told myself ‘One should really try to quit at the top, at the peak.’”
“It will be very difficult because first of all you need to know when your peak is, before you start going downhill,” she added ,with a laugh.
At some point, it will max out. And you need to have the wisdom of that. I feel that now is the best time, for me to call it a day and move on to the next thing.
She explained that “because this industry is very addictive”, one would always feel that their next peak or next high “will be the next one”.
“And that it will keep getting better and better,” she said. “But no, at some point, it will max out. And you need to have the wisdom of that. I feel that now is the best time, for me to call it a day and move on to the next thing.”
This is not to say that she thinks she will go downhill, the almost 49-year-old (her birthday is Jun 2) would like to underscore.
“But you have to acknowledge that physical state, your stamina and all these other things,” she said. “Things that you have to consider as a performer and that you have to take into account.”
Indeed, Mok has come a long way since she first launched her career in Hong Kong with her 1993 Canto-pop album, Karen.
Twenty-six long years in the entertainment business has seen her go from stride to stride: From releasing more than 30 music albums and picking up Golden Melody Awards (the most prestigious awards in Chinese music) along the way, to collecting accolades and nominations for her acting in a diverse filmography that includes God Of Cookery, Tempting Heart and Man of Tai Chi with Keanu Reeves.
LEE ANG, TANYA CHUA AND A CRAZY RICH ASIAN MUSICAL
Lee Ang is my hero... he can tackle any film genre... I told him that if he should ever consider doing a film musical, he should remember me.
But retiring from concert touring does not mean retiring from creating music, making movies or even future collaborations.
Mok shared with CNA Lifestyle that she would love to work with Oscar winning director Lee Ang.
"He is my hero... he can tackle any film genre" she gushed. "I got to meet him when I performed at the Golden Horse Awards ceremony last year and I told him that if he should ever consider doing a film musical, he should remember me."
On the Singapore front, she would love to collaborate directly with Singapore's Tanya Chua ("I know her very well") and perhaps land a part in the Crazy Rich Asians sequel.
How about a Crazy Rich Asians musical instead, we suggest?
"Oh wow! Why not? I think that would be really fun!" she replied. "Thanks for the idea!"
CHINESE MUSICAL THEATRE
And other “next thing” on the self-confessed workaholic’s list? To grow and establish musical theatre as an industry in this neck of the woods.
Chinese musical theatre... It’s my job. My mission. My calling.
“You look at China or this whole greater China, it’s so massive! It would be stupid to not have a musical theatre industry,” she said. “We need something like that. London has their West End, and New York has Broadway. I think Chinese audiences are ready for their own version.”
Mok, who once played Mimi in the Asian tour of the Broadway hit Rentin 2005, believes that “musical theatre is the highest form of performing”.
“You have to incorporate singing, dancing, acting – and do it all at once,” she said. “I think I’m in the position to do that. It's kind of like my job. My mission. My calling.
“I hope the first project that I do will not be a franchise like the Lion King or something,” she added with a smile. “To actually grow such an industry we need original material so hopefully I will be able to make some contributions towards this.”
Tickets for the Singapore concert are available at Singapore Indoor Stadium, all SingPost outlets, and Sports Hub Tix. Tickets range from S$108 to S$228, not including the booking fee. Visit LiveNation.sg for more details.