Hao Jiang Tian Opera Concert at The New York Historical Society

Article by Jasmin Justo

The New York Historical Society in collaboration with the U.S-China Cultural Institute and Cultural Associate, hosted an opera concert featuring the opera singer Hao Jiang Tian. Internationally recognized as a basso cantantes, this concert is tribute to his days as a rising star from Beijing to where he made his debut in the MET. Hao Jiang Tian recalls his passion for singing that led him to New York City to pursue his dream to be an opera singer. He has performed at over 1300 performances of 40 operatic roles worldwide, in international theaters such as Berlin State Opera and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, amongst many others.

He opened the concert performing his own original composition, “Wandering in Wilderness”, captivating the audience with his creative lyric about an adventurer on a journey. Following his original composition, he performed “Vecchia zimarra” from La Boheme” by Giacomo Puccini.. He also presented an excerpt of his film recording from one his previous performances “Aria of Prince Gremin” in Eugen Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. After the film, he spoke of his experience performing in the show at the Met, and how at first it felt strange for him to play the part of an Italian in an Italian opera, when he himself was not Italian. But he later overcame that awkwardness when his friend and coach, Dennix Giauque, encouraged him to think of the role as a actor and to focus on his talent as a singer. After a brief Q&A with the audience, Hao Jiang Tian sang a Chinese folk song called “Million Horses on the Prairie”.

After his solo, he introduced the audience to four special singers from the group iSing! International Festival. Hao Jiang Tian is the founder and artistic director of the iSing! International Festival. The iSing! organization gathers rising opera singers from around the world to train them to sing in Mandarin and perform in theaters such as Lincoln Center and the Olympic International Theater Festival Beijing. The group has been featured in performances such as Gremin in Eugene Onegin at the Marinksi Opera, conducted by Valery Gergiev during the White Night Festival in St. Petersburg and Ramfis in Aida, with conductor Zubin Mehta. In the performance, singers Juliet Petrus, Amy Frances Kuckelman, Yupeng Wang, and Wei Wu performed solos. Juliet Petrus is a soprano artist who has sung at Beijing, Suzhou, Paris, and in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. At the concert, she sang the Kazakh Folk Song. Wearing a colorful red dress with Chinese floral design, she sang with a strong melodious voice. Amy Frances Kuckelman is also a soprano artist who recently appeared as Manon from Massenet’s Manon and Antonia from Les Contes d’ Hoffman in opera scenes directed by Catherine Malfitano. At the concert, she sang “Quando me’nvo” La Bohme by Giacomo Puccini. Wei Wu is a bass singer currently in his second year at the Washington National Opera’s Domingo Cafritz Young Artist Program, who has performed as the villains in Tales of Hoffman at the National Center of Performing Arts in Beijing with Director Francesca Zambello. At the concert, he sang a heartfelt emotional song, “This was Nearly Mine” from South Pacific by Richard Rogers. Yupeng Wang is a baritone singer, currently in his second year at the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. He debuted as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Met. At the concert, he sang “Di Provenza il mar”, La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.

At the finale of the concert, Hao Jiang Tian with the four talented artists sang “From Jasmine to Turandot”, a Jiangsu Folk Song/Puccini. For more information about Hao Jiang Tian or iSing! visit http://www.tianhaojiang.com/index.htm. http://www.isingfestival.org/

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