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Chinese 'nightingale' wins Western hearts

By Xu Wei  (Shanghai Daily)

08:59, April 27, 2012

RENOWNED coloratura soprano Huang Ying (right) is known as the "nightingale from China," performing worldwide in operas and concerts, on television, in film and in recording studios.

Last Sunday (April 22) Huang performed in an outdoor concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Weekly Radio Concert, promoting classical music to the general population.

She is described as having a tender voice, flexible and excellent technique, authentic musical style and passionate stage performance.

The Shanghai native is the first Chinese vocalist to perform a major operatic role in an opera movie.

Huang first came to international attention at age 27, when she made a sensational debut as Cio-Cio San in Frederic Mitterrand's 1995 feature film "Madame Butterfly." In 2006, she starred in "The Magic Flute" at the Metropolitan Opera, which was broadcast worldwide. The New York Times praised her "bright tone" and "supple phrasing" and declared her "suited to Mozart."

Meanwhile, the versatile artist has dedicated herself to Chinese contemporary operas. She worked with Tan Dun to prepare the opera "The First Emperor" and starred in his "Peony Pavilion," which was later recorded by Sony. She also performed in Guo Wenjing's "The Poet Li Bai." Last year the Pulitzer Prize in music went to composer Zhou Long for his opera "Madame White Snake," in which Huang played the title role in the premier production.

She spoke to Shanghai Daily.

Q: When did your affinity with music start?

A: I am very lucky to be gifted with a good voice and talent. I believe in destiny. When I attended a children's art troupe, my talent was first discovered. My five-year study at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music broadened my musical horizons and set a good foundation in language and singing skills.

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