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U of M Will Host I SING BEIJING Operatic Performance February 24th

For release: February 12, 2013
For press information, contact Denise Gorant Gliwa, 303-887-0690 or Riki Jackson, 901-678-3166

The University of Memphis will be one of only six stops on the U.S. tour of I SING BEIJING, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to advancing vocal arts and promoting relationships between artists in China and the West.  Launched in 2011 in Beijing, the program introduces Mandarin as an idiom for classical singing to Western artists, and it provides cultural exchange and education for Western and Chinese singers.

The U of M performance will be Sunday, February 24, at 7 p.m. in the Rose Theatre.  Preceding it will be a reception at 6 p.m. in the Rose Theatre’s Entertainment Lobby.

Tickets are for sale on the Confucius Institute’s website, www.memphis.edu/cium.  They will also be on sale at the Rose Theatre Box Office beginning at 11 a.m. Feb. 24. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 10 and under, and free to U of M students with a valid University I.D.

More information is available from the Confucius Institute’s office at 901-678-2595.

I SING BEIJING will make its U.S. debut at New York’s Lincoln Center on Feb. 16.  The other performances will be at Binghamton University in New York, the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and the University of Washington in Seattle.

Western singers, who are trained in modern Mandarin lyric diction and who represent some of the top young artists’ programs in the world, will be joined by rising stars from China to perform a concert that will feature scenes and arias from a Western repertoire coupled with a historical tour of significant vocal works from contemporary China.

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 and has been documented in a PBS national broadcast program 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 to 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 is one man’s dream to give back to two countries that have given him so much.

I SING BEIJING’sperformance is produced by the Asian Performing Arts Council, USA, and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban).

More information about I SING BEIJING is available online at www.isingbeijing.org, on Facebook, and on the website of the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis, www.memphis.edu/cium.

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Last Updated: 2/14/13