Monday, August 15, 2011

Opera Declines in America and Begins to Thrive in China

Guangzhou Opera House designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in the Guangdong province.
"As if any more proof was needed of China's growing dominance, it is now being bellowed at full volume by tenors and sopranos. Chinese composers have become a major source for opera in Europe and North America, while more opera festivals are staged in the People's Republic than anywhere else. 'The future of opera may be in China,' says Tian Hao Jiang, China's most celebrated operatic export a mainstay at New York's Metropolitan Opera. 'So it's about time to reverse the trend. Instead of Chinese singers always coming to the West, Western singers are coming to learn Chinese.' That's the idea behind Tian's 'I Sing Beijing,' a summer program bringing some 20 promising young professionals from the U.S., Europe and South America to China to learn to sing in Mandarin, a program that will culminate with a gala concert at the National Centre for the Performing Arts on August 18. For participants, it's a chance to see China and eat dumplings; to study Mandarin and perform in it. For Tian, it's the fruition of a ten-year vow to bring fellow singers back to the country he left 28 years ago. 'I was always telling my colleagues they had no idea about Chinese culture, and someday, I'd bring them here.'" [Source]

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