Whitney Hale

By

College: Fine Arts

'I Sing Beijing' to Introduce KY to Mandarin as Lyric Language

Published: Feb 13, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2013) — On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the first-ever Western singers trained in modern Mandarin lyric diction will debut a special evening of music from the East and West on a Bluegrass stage courtesy of the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute. "I Sing Beijing," which will have made its American debut at New York's Lincoln Center only four days earlier, will grace the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall stage beginning at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

 

Joining the Western singers, who represent some of the top young artists programs in the world, will be rising stars from China to perform a concert that will feature scenes and arias from Western repertoire coupled with a historical tour of significant vocal works from contemporary China.

 

The artists are part of the pioneering program, "I Sing Beijing," a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to advancing vocal arts and promoting relationships between artists in China and the West. The program, launched in 2011 in Beijing, China, introduces Mandarin as an idiom for classical singing to Western artists, and provides cultural exchange and education for both Western and Chinese singers. 

 

The Western singers participated in intensive Mandarin lessons, vocal coaching, acting and stagecraft with many of the world’s top coaches from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, Beijing’s Central Conservatory and the Shanghai Conservatory.

 

"I Sing Beijing" is the brainchild of its Artistic Director Hao Jiang Tian. Born in Beijing in Maoist China, Tian traveled to the West nearly 30 years ago in search of knowledge and experience in Western-style opera.

 

After years of training, Tian is one of the first generation of Chinese singers to reach the pinnacle of Western operatic arts, having sung for the past 19 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera as a principal soloist. As one of the few Chinese stars in opera, his life story is as remarkable as his work, as documented in the nationally aired PBS Special “From Mao to the Met.”

 

Today, his hope for the visionary "I Sing Beijing" is to create a new channel for exchange and education and provide opportunities for Western singers to find success on the stages of the many new opera houses in China, just as he found success in the West nearly three decades earlier.

 

"I Sing Beijing" features the talents of soprano Sheila Carroll, of Lock Haven, Pa.; mezzo-soprano Sophia Chew, of Piedmont, Calif.; tenor Juan Jose de León, of Corpus Christi, Texas; tenor Giuseppe Distefano, of Paternò, in City of Catania, Italy; mezzo-soprano Raquel Fatiuk, of The Woodlands, Texas; tenor Thomas Glenn, of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada; soprano Nicole Haslett, of Mt. Laurel, N.J.; baritone Valdis Jansons, of Riga, Latvia; tenor Anthony Kalil, of Forest City, Iowa; baritone Kurt Kanazawa, of Los Angeles, Calif.; soprano Ana Isabel Lazo, of Guatemala City, Guatemala; baritone Jamez McCorkle, of New Orleans, La.; soprano Julia Metzler, of Glendale, Calif.; soprano Juliet Petrus, of Farmington, Mich.; soprano Meghan Picerno, of La Grange, Ill.; baritone Alejandro Lárraga Schleske, of Veracruz, Mexico; baritone Brian Wahlstrom, of San Diego, Calif.; tenor Chuanyue Wang, of Kiamusze, China; baritone Yunpeng Wang, of Shenzhen, in Guangdong Province, China; bass Wu Wei, of Beijing; soprano Guanqun Yu, of Yantai, in Shandong Province, China; and soprano Jing Zhang, of Tsing Tao, China.

 

Historically, performing arts has served as a catalyst for political diplomacy between the U.S. and China. Since 1973, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s visit to China has been considered the most famous example of “symphonic diplomacy.” This visit also paved the way for the visit by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1979, celebrating normalization of relations between the two countries.

 

In 2010, the U.S. State Department launched its "100,000 Strong Initiative," a national effort designed to dramatically increase the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China. Today, the initiative has embraced "I Sing Beijing" as the first initiative in the performing arts arena.

 

This comes on the heels of modern Chinese music making its way into the mainstream of Western classical music. While Chinese opera singers have long studied and performed Western works, now, in such a short time, Chinese modern opera is capturing both critical and public attention on the Western shores. 

 

In opera houses, concert halls and music conservatories throughout the U.S. and Europe, audiences are enjoying and students are studying the works of new Chinese composers. Many critics believe that these stunning new operatic works coming from

China represent the way forward for this genre.

 

For more information about "I Sing Beijing," visit www.isingbeijing.org.

 

Established in 2010, the UK Confucius Institute promotes education about China at UK and across the Bluegrass. The UK Confucius Institute is a center for Chinese language, culture, art and business. As UK’s and Kentucky's gateway to China, the UK Confucius Institute serves as conduit for UK’s China initiatives, provides leadership and support for the Chinese language programs in Kentucky’s K-12 classrooms and conducts Chinese cultural outreach to the community.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

cropped_i_sing_beijing_photo_solo_vocalist.jpgi_sing_beijing_cast_photo.jpg
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 
Sep 17
Internship Info Session 09/17/2014

Wed, 09/17/2014

Reset Page