China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra presents the Canadian Premiere of Enchanting China: An Orchestral Extravaganza, November 29 & 30 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Direct from Beijing, the rousing celebration will showcase an ebullient and diverse program of Peking Opera, classical hits, and traditional folk music on the authentic instruments of the traditional Chinese orchestra. As the world-class musicians perform, the glorious sounds will be illuminated with dance performances and vocal solos from international and local guest artists. ON SALE SPECIAL AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH OCT. 28 at ticketmaster.ca.
“Not unlike Canada, China is an immense country – with many peoples and cultures scattered across its vastness,” explains Music Director Zhang Gaoxiang by translator. “In Enchanting China, we share the voices of these many places – and introduce Canadians to Chinese music’s cultural richness. We hope Vancouver will be intrigued to experience our country’s version of the orchestra – and spellbound by the music that it weaves.”
In addition to leading the orchestra, Gaoxiang will perform alongside them on the Yangqin – a hammered dulcimer made up of 144 strings. The celebrated artist has toured the globe multiple times as both an instrumentalist and conductor, including performances at Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Assembly Hall of United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, among countless others.
Like a traditional symphony orchestra, the traditional Chinese orchestra is composed of four sections. Where a symphony has woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion, a Chinese orchestra has plucked strings, bowed strings, wind, and percussion. The full orchestra comprises of more than 20 unique instruments, including pipas, bamboo flutes, erhus, lion drums, and more.
The program will showcase an eclectic array of vocal songs, featuring soloists from China, as well as local voices and great instrumental works from across the history of Chinese music. Audiences will also be treated to traditional Chinese dance and a taste of Kunqu Opera – one of the country’s oldest extant forms – with excerpts from The Peony Pavilion.