ORLANDO, Fla.—“I thought it was really wonderful. Overall it was beautiful, visually beautiful,” Connie Willis said of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Jan. 17 performance at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.
“I really enjoyed the show—really! And as far as the orchestra, I thought the acoustics were really good, and I liked the music,” Ms. Willis said.
“I’m a tenor fan, love tenors, love tenors,” she said in reference to Mr. Guimin Guan, “one of China’s most celebrated tenors of recent decades,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “I really enjoyed myself,” she said.
“The other thing is, I’m a very lyrical person. I like the lyrics. I like the message and the music.” She emphasized that she found the messages striking.
Shen Yun vocal soloists use bel canto vocal technique while singing Chinese lyrics. “This means that the singer must grasp the highly difficult technical requirements of bel canto operatic singing while retaining the proper Chinese articulation and diction—today, this is unparalleled,” the Shen Yun website states.
The English translation of the lyrics is displayed on the backdrop. The lyrics, all original compositions, are “brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and deep layers of meaning …,” according to the website.
Ms. Willis said she has a love for the arts, all of them: “We need to see more of them—everywhere.”
“Most people think that we express ourselves just through words. The arts are a whole different form of expressing yourself, and you never have to say one word.
“Everybody in that audience understood what they were seeing, and we don’t always speak the same language,” Ms. Willis said.
Reporting by Mary Silver and Louise Rothman.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The next Florida venue for Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will be Jacksonville’s Times Union Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 29 and 30. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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