Opera Singer Reflects on Themes in Shen Yun: ‘If you seek strong values, then life will be better’

“I’m a project manager for a high-tech company, and as a hobby I’m a singer. I perform some opera, some musical theatre, so … I really appreciate the level of artistry in the show.”

“I thought it was wonderful. I’m so happy that we came to see the show. It was actually a Christmas gift for Anne-Marie and I didn’t know what to expect. I was very impressed. I loved the narrators [emcees] that gave us a bit of the story because otherwise it would be just beautiful, but we wouldn’t have a context for what was happening, so I really enjoyed that too. The musicians too were just phenomenal. I loved the soprano as well, she was quite something.”

“[The combination of Eastern and Western instruments in the orchestra] was very seamless. I was very surprised at how well everything went together. The Chinese instruments … the two-stringed instrument [erhu] just blended in perfectly with all of the other instruments. It was only when we were able to see the virtuoso doing the solo that you could really hear it brought out in the foreground. And by the way her performance was exquisite, just exquisite.”

“When I heard the erhu piece, I was struck by the delicacy of the sound that came out. Not only that, but the artist herself was very sensitive with her playing and with her interpretation, and she was really doing a duet with the pianist, and the two of them together was exquisite.”

“I was very impressed [by the soprano]. The moment that sound came from her mouth, it was so pure, so powerful. I’ve studied voice for 22 years with an opera singer myself, and I’m familiar with the bel canto technique, and she was really outstanding.”

“[Due to the performance,] I know so much more of the history and I have a greater appreciation of the culture. I really knew nothing about it before and that’s why, as I mentioned, the narration between the acts I thought was very helpful, very informative. The two narrators, they did very well. I loved the humour they brought into it and truly I come away from this with an appreciation for Chinese culture. It seems more at home now.”

“The effects with the screen [animated backdrops] and the characters jumping in and out was just fantastic. This subject of divinity and the spiritual characters flying through the air and manifesting themselves onstage, it went so well. It was seamless, and it allowed the show to portray something that probably couldn’t have been done before, it’s really well done.”

“My eyes were glued, and my attention was glued to what was happening in the story. I laughed out loud sometimes spontaneously. It was very nice.”

“[The last piece,] it was a very strong message. What came across to me was the message that this group is trying to get across, that there’s a better way, and that if you seek strong values, good values, then life will be better, the world would be better.”

“[I’m taking home] a very nice memory. I think we’ll be talking about this show for some time. As I said, it was a Christmas gift from me to her, and I’m very glad that the two of us could share in this. It’s lovely.”

Thomas Franzky, opera singer, project manager
National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada
Shen Yun New York Company
December 30, 2017