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US opera singer and Chinese conductor share ideas about cultural exchange

By Chen Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-06-06


US opera singer Carla Canales and Chinese conductor Zheng Xiaoying. [Photo provided to China Daily]

On May 30, US opera singer Carla Canales visited Xiamen, Fujian province, where she met Chinese conductor Zheng Xiaoying, one of the first female conductors in China.

Zheng and Canales shared their ideas about cultural exchange programs and the development of nonprofit arts and organizations.

The 94-year-old Zheng was invited to give a 70-minute English speech online during the inaugural Harmony Academy Masterclass Seminars held by the Cultural Diplomacy Initiative at the Fletcher School of Global Affairs, Tufts University, in February. Canales hosted the online event.

During the meeting on May 30, Canales, who is a 2022-23 Social Innovation and Change Initiative Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School and a Senior Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, gave Zheng a letter from the Fletcher School and the Chinese embassy in the United States, expressing gratefulness about Zheng's dedication to cultural exchange.

Zheng gave Canales a Chinese version of the classic opera, Carmen, which was recorded by the China National Opera House in 1988, as well as recordings of Chinese operas, including The Echoes of Hakka Earth Buildings, an original Chinese music piece composed by Liu Yuan about the Hakka people's history and lives, which was premiered in Fujian in 2000 by Zheng.

As an opera singer, Canales has played the title role of Carmen over 100 times worldwide.

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