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Chinese vocalists to showcase best of east and west

Four Chinese vocalists are coming to Hong Kong to perform a selection of classic Chinese and Western pieces. The concert, "Fresh Voices of Oriental Singers - Vocal Concert by Zhang Qinlun, Ke Luwa, Wei Song and William Siu", will be held next month.

The performance, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be staged on June 4 (Friday) at 8pm at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong City Hall.

The vocalists will showcase, in solo, duet and quartet, numerous Chinese and Western classical repertoires. Cheng Wai and Lee Chiu-tan are the piano and violin accompanists for the concert.

Zhang Qiulin (mezzo-soprano) will perform Verdi's "Ulrica's aria" (from "Un Ballo In Maschera"), Saint-Saens' "Mon Coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" (from "Samson and Delilah"), Wagner's "Waltraute's aria" (from "Gotterdammerung") and Yunnan folksong "Rippling Brook". A graduate of the Department of Vocal Music of the Xi'an Conservatory of Music, Zhang has performed at many concerts and vocal recitals throughout France. She has also won many awards in international vocal competitions held in France and appeared in different roles at many of the opera houses in Europe. Zhang is recognised as one of the world's best vocalists for Wagner's operas.

Ke Luwa (soprano) will perform Rossini's "Una voce poco fa" (from "Il Bariere di Siviglia"), Puccini's "Quando men vo" (from "La Boheme"), Rachmaninov's "Vocalise" and Zhu Liangzhen's "Peace". Ke studied voice under Li Yuemei at the secondary school affiliated to the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou. A winner of many awards in different vocal competitions, Ke went to France to participate in the world premiere of the new composition by Chen Qigang, a Chinese composer living in France in 2002. It was followed by an appearance in "Madama Butterfly" under the baton of Seiji Ozawa in September of the same year.

Wei Song (tenor) will perform Cardillo's "Core'Ngrato", Mascagni's "Mamma, quel vino" (from "Cavalleria Rusticana"), Verdi's "Dio, Mi potevi" (from "Otello") and Qing Zhu's "River of No Return". One of the Mainland's most celebrated operatic tenors, Wei has played the male lead in many Chinese and Western operas, such as Turandot, Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana and La Traviata. His deep and resonant voice is distinguished for its penetrating power. Wei has won numerous awards and performed extensively in the US, Japan, Korea and many other countries.

Another tenor William Siu will perform Curtis' "Turna a Surriento", Wagner's "Ein Schwert verheiss mir der Vater" (from "Die Walkure"), Bizet's "Agnus Dei"(from "L'Arlesienne Suite") and He Luting's "Over the Jialing River". Siu was conferred an M. Litt. degree by the Mozarteum of Salzburg in 1990, and joined the famous Salzburg Landestheater in the same year. He organised and performed in the concert "A Tribute to Mario Lanza", which he took on tour to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to popular acclaim.

Other programmes include Puccini's "La vidieri" (from "Tosca") by Ke Luwa and William Siu; Verdi's "Un di felice" (from "La Traviata") by Ke Luwa and Wei Song; Verdi's "La donna e mobile (from "Rigoletto") by Wei Song and William Siu; Verdi's "Bella figlia del'amore" (from "Rigoletto") by four vocalists.

Tickets priced at $150, $120 and $90 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount is offered to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

Box Seats and Lounge Packages are available for private gatherings. For details, call 2268 7235.

A free pre-concert talk, conducted in Putonghua, will be held on June 2 (Wednesday) at 7.30pm at the GR2, 8/F Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Speakers are Wei Song, Zhang Qiulin, Ke Luwa and William Siu. Free admission vouchers are available for collection from May 12 onwards at the enquiry counters of the Hong Kong City Hall and Hong Kong Cultural Centre on a first-come, first-served basis.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321, and for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009. For Internet bookings, go to . For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

Ends/Tuesday, May 4, 2004
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