EAST MEETS WEST IN "I SING BEIJING"
The Confucius Institute at Kennesaw State presents rare performance of western classical and contemporary Chinese vocal works by world’s rising opera stars
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 8, 2013) — “I SING BEIJING,” a pioneering performance featuring the first-ever singers from Western countries trained to perform in Mandarin, is scheduled Feb. 22, at Kennesaw State University’s Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center at 7:30 p.m.
The Confucius Institute at Kennesaw State is presenting “I SING BEIJING” in only its second U.S. appearance. The program debuted in the U.S. at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York earlier this month.
Singers from Albania, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, the U.S. and Uruguay will be joined by rising stars from China to perform a concert featuring scenes and arias from Western repertoire and contemporary Chinese vocal music. They represent some of the top artist programs in the world.
The 12 singers will be led by New York Metropolitan Opera star Hao Jiang Tian, who helped create the program and is its artistic director. Tian is one of the first generation of Chinese singers to reach the pinnacle of Western operatic arts. He has sung as a principal soloist at the Metropolitan for the past 19 seasons and performed in international theaters and opera houses around the world.
“I SING BEIJING” was launched in 2011 by the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Asian Performing Arts Council as the first project of the Hanyu Academy of Vocal Arts. According to its website, the project’s goal is to introduce Mandarin as an idiom for classical singing to Western artists and provide cultural exchange and education for both Western and Chinese singers.
More than 40 singers from some of the top artist schools around the world have been selected in competitive auditions to participate in intensive two-month summer training programs. They receive coaching in conversational Mandarin, Mandarin diction for singing, musical and dramatic coaching in Western repertoire, performance practice of Chinese modern opera, as well as specific lectures on China’s musical culture and history.
Each summer, the training program has culminated in formal concerts with the orchestra at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Prior to its New York debut, “I SING BEIJING” also performed in Paris.
During its appearance at Kennesaw State, “I SING BEIJING” will perform a diverse program of more than a dozen selections from some of the most popular Western operas and contemporary Chinese vocal music. Tickets are free but must be reserved by contacting Marsha Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-797-2571.