VIENNA, Austria—Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company presented its colorful and exhilarating opening performanc for the Viennese at the Wiener Stadthalle on March 1. At this venue, many famous shows and artists have played since it was opened in the late 1950s.
“I very much enjoyed the show because we not only were presented classical elements that weave through the Chinese culture, especially the Chinese dance cultures, but also the fusion with our European culture,” said Mr. Clemens Unterreiner, an opera singer of the Austrian State Opera, during intermission.
Mr. Unterreiner, as an opera singer, was especially pleased to hear the performance of Chinese bel canto singers.
“We were pleased to get to listen to a soprano as well as a tenor. This blending of cultures is very special and of great importance in these times.”
Explaining his reasoning, he continued, “We live in a global world, so the interchange of cultures, the understanding of the cultural diversity is of great importance.”
Expounding on his thought a little more, he said, “The message that can be integrated through using the arts and culture, especially concerning various problems affecting the international community, is unique. This integration was done perfectly through the choreography and the music.”
Developing his thought in a different direction, he said “One is drawn towards a completely different culture and a totally different thought process. The cultural diversity appealed to me the most.”
Mr. Unterreiner has always had great interest in sophisticated culture and the relationships between different cultures. Therefore for him, “Bringing ancient culture and traditions to the present is remarkable.”
“In a manner of speaking, the rediscovery of ancient culture, to bring out all that was buried is of great importance. I’m pleased that today’s people learn about the past and are connecting again to the roots and traditions of the past. What an important mission.”
Changing the subject, Mr. Unterreiner commented on being able to hear the songs in the original language, Chinese.
“It’s exceptional to listen to the songs in another language. I have worked with Asian opera singers and it pleases me tremendously to listen to such voices in a different language. But, especially because the language we hear today is not heard on the stage of any opera house.”
He was pleased that the performance includes contemporary Chinese history, and presented a human rights issue artistically. “Making such a statement is very important in today’s times. However, making the statement in a cultural context was very impressive.”
Because of all he had seen before the intermission he was looking forward to the second part of the performance.
“I think that there is a blending of different concepts. Therefore, I’m certain that I will gain the most complete understanding of the intent of the artists by the end of the show.”
With reporting by Florian Godovits.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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