GOLD COAST, Australia—“The show was outstanding, truly amazing. I’m actually lost for words, it was very moving and quite mind blowing. You know, the dancing, the color, the acrobatics, and the grace of everything. I was amazed.”
This is how Liza Beamish, award-winning international star of London Opera, Opera Australia and Opera Queensland described her feelings after attending Shen Yun Performing Arts on April 25 at the Arts Centre Gold Coast.
Ms. Beamish is a versatile artist who started her career as a pianist and is equally at home singing jazz with big bands, ballads and musicals with backing tracks and classical opera with full orchestras. It would indeed be hard to find a performer with more all-round experience in almost every genre.
Being a world-class opera singer herself, Ms. Beamish could recognize greatness in others.
“The soprano was beautiful and amazing, carrying power too. A very, very good technique.”
Shen Yun incorporates solo singing performances into the program; the soprano Min Jiang, singing “The Music is Truth”, was encouraged to sing an encore.
“The primary trait that distinguishes the singers of Shen Yun is their use of bel canto technique to sing Chinese text. This means that the singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled,” the website explains.
“She was really coming out loud and clear, I could hear every note. And that is actually a big part of singing and she was terrific. She was lovely as was the tenor.”
Apart from the singing, Ms. Beamish was very impressed with the dancers and the image they portrayed.
“I think the women embody everything you would want women to be in terms of grace and beauty. The men were manly and beautiful. The dancing was graceful and astounding dynamic. The costumes were amazing, it was just … it was a feast for the eyes.”
The Shen Yun Orchestra incorporates ancient Chinese instruments with a Western orchestra through melodies rooted in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture.
“The music … I love orchestra and this was a particularly interesting orchestra because it had … a mixture of Western orchestra and the Chinese instruments involved as well, which creates a really interesting sound and a different sound.”
“So it was kind of perfect, really, because you had the interesting sound of the East and the traditional orchestra sound. It was wonderful, I loved it.”
Traditional Chinese culture had a belief in the Divine.
“I really liked the spiritual aspect of the music and the stories and of course that was coming out in the dance. They explained to us the various aspects of the dance as it went along. I really enjoyed that they told us that and that it gave us more of an understanding as we were watching it. And I loved the spiritual aspect of it as well.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts is based in New York and its mission is to revive the traditional Chinese culture, which was all but wiped out by decades of communist rule.
“I think the music was a perfect complement to the dance and to the stories, so if there was a spiritual aspect to the story then we heard it also in the music.”
“It actually was very emotional, particularly some of them, for example the one with the child and the mother.
“The music is very… it is very emotive music and with that story, along with that story, yeah, it definitely brought a tear to my eyes. It is an emotional experience.”
One of Shen Yun’s contemporary dances was The Lotus Dance, which portrays the current day persecution of Falun Dafa in China.
“They described to us Falun Dafa. I’ve never come across that before, so that was really interesting and great for the audience to be able to participate in that and understand what was happening as we were seeing it. So that gave it a whole extra element to see that,” said Ms. Beamish.
Ms. Beamish has a busy schedule for the next two years, which will include a new initiative to bring opera to the masses via shows in shopping centres throughout Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“It is one of the most outstanding experiences I have ever had in a theatre. It was really a combination of everything that you would want. Great stories and fabulous music, and really spectacular costumes. The dancing was excellent, really, I don’t have enough words to describe, the dancing was so stunning, the singing and everything else was such a great compliment to it all. So I really have… I can’t speak highly enough of it.”
Ms. Beamish was so appreciative of the Shen Yun performance, she wanted to send a message to the performers.
“To the performers, thank you so much for one of the best experiences of my life and congratulation on a really truly wondrous show.”
“I will definitely be raving and driving everybody crazy about it because this show should be seen by the world.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Christine Ford
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006