Whitney Hale


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

Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Oct 30
Career Assessment Workshop 10/30/2014
Reset Page