— “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
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
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.