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Chinese tenor Zhang Yingxi and 'The Butterfly Lovers'

People's Daily Online)  14:49, November 21, 2012

Zhang Yingxi and Lu Wei, a soprano, perform in "The Butterfly Lovers", an opera adaptation of a Chinese love tragedy, in east China's Shanghai Municipality, Dec. 13, 2011. (Xinhua/Cui Xinyu)

As he sits in a modest classroom at the China Conservatory every Friday, Zhang Yingxi, a youth tenor, is approaching his burgeoning career in a way that is rather different from the various stage performances he has had. In the eyes of Zhang's two students, the 30-year-old opera star, is more like a friend than a stern teacher. However, Zhang, who himself was a student of Placido Domingo, one of the Three Tenors, does betray a meticulousness that comes with every decent artist, correcting students' mis-pronunciations during class hours as they recite lyrics written in Italian.

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But the main theme of Zhang Yingxi is still stage performance, which, according to him, is "the ultimate pursuit" of an opera tenor. So far, Zhang has taken part in dozens of opera performances both home and abroad over the decade since he made his debut in 2002. Apart from his teaching post at the China Conservatory, Zhang is also a contractual young artist of the Washington National Opera, currently led by his teacher Domingo.

Zhang is an advocate of the blending of Western opera and Chinese stories, and has starred in such operas as "The Chinese Orphan", a production of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in 2011. "The best way for Western opera to attract the audience in China is to let it tell a Chinese story," Zhang said.

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