Musicians Enjoy Unique Orchestra

March 28, 2012 Updated: August 14, 2015

WASHINGTON—Rick Digirolamo and Lisa Patrice experienced a nice surprise at Shen Yun Performing Arts when they attended the performance on March 27 at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Mr. Digirolamo and Ms. Patrice are both musicians, and the combination of Chinese and Western instrumentation of the Shen Yun Performing Arts orchestra was something new for them.

“We actually we went down there to look at them at the intermission just to see what they were like and who was playing what so it was really very interesting for us,” said Ms. Patrice.

The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts features large-scale choreographed classical Chinese dance, singing, instrumentation, and live orchestra accompaniment.

According the Shen Yun website, Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique, blending a distinctly Chinese sound of ancient instruments like the erhu and the pipa with Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass.

“The result—two great classical music traditions producing one fresh, unexpected sound,” the website says.

“We really enjoyed the orchestra,” said Mr. Digirolamo, “very much so, everyone was wonderful,” .

“The combination of the the classical Western music with the Chinese instruments was very interesting and very well done,” said Ms. Patrice.

Of the overall experience, Ms. Patrice commented on the hi-tech digital backdrops, the dancers, and the story-based dances, saying she “loved” Shen Yun. A musician at heart, she emphasized “it was the instruments, I liked the instruments best.”

Mr. Digirolamo was pleasantly surprised by the voice performances, indicating that it was a nice change to see opera included in a production.

Reporting by Lisa Ou and Andrea Hayley.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.

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