The Center of Theater Arts Collaboration Presents “Song of Silk: A Beijing Opera and Chinese Music Concert” The residency, co-hosted by W&L and VMI, includes workshops on March 23 and a concert on March 24.
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Washington and Lee University presents “Song of Silk: A Beijing Opera and Chinese Music Concert” on Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall.
The performance is co-hosted by the Virginia Military Institute’s dean of the college’s Academic Speakers Program and Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and is free and open to the public.
“Song of Silk” will feature Beijing Opera excerpts, vocal folk songs, and traditional Chinese instrumental music performed by artists from the Center of Theater Arts Collaboration (CTAC) at Binghamton University, State University of New York. The CTAC was jointly formed by Binghamton University and the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts in Beijing, China, in December 2021. The only center of its kind in the world, CTAC works with a global community of scholars and artists, advancing theatrical exchange, communication and collaboration between the East and West through teaching, performance and research. CTAC also publishes the digital magazine “TheaComm: An E-Magazine of Theater Arts Communication.”
Featured performers include Zhou Yi, Linghui Tu and Hong Zhang. Yi, born in Shanghai, China, is a New York-based soloist who has been praised for her “breathtaking” meticulous technique and expressiveness by the Washington Post. She co-founded the New York Ba Ban Chinese Music Society and has performed with the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Tu is a professor at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and a volunteer faculty member at Binghamton University. A national Tier One performer, Tu has won the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre and the Wenhua Performance Award and has directed award-winning Chinese operas.
Zhang is an internationally acclaimed singer and an award-winning educator. A former soloist with the Shanghai Orchestra, she is now a tenured instructor of Chinese and an associate faculty member of music at Binghamton University. Zhang has performed and presented at nearly 100 universities in the U.S., China, Canada, Singapore and Cuba. She has also co-authored the books “Chinese Through Song” and “Cultural Chinese: Reading in Art, Literature, and History.”
CTAC performers will also facilitate two workshops on Thursday, March 23, from 7:45-9:15 p.m. in the Turman Room at VMI’s Preston Library. Both workshops are free and open to the public.
The first workshop, “Chinese Ethnic Groups and Their Songs,” will be led by Hong Zhang. She will explore the unique cultures of different ethnic groups in China and perform select songs. Zhang has presented this lecture at universities around the world, as well as at the United Nations headquarters. Linghui Tu will conduct the second workshop, “The Art of Beijing Opera.” This workshop is highly interactive and will introduce participants to a range of Beijing Opera performing arts including costumes, masks, props, singing, reciting, acting and combat.