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Chinese Soloist Stuns Audience at Kennedy Center

Fan Jingma, a Chinese soloist who held his first performance in the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, stunned audience that packed the hall with his beautiful voice on Sunday night.


"It is unbelievingly wonderful," Sid Foulger, sponsor of the performance, acclaimed on the stage, extending his congratulations to Fan after the successful concert.


His voice is impeccable, said a professor teaching Chinese culture at the Yale University, who gave just his surname, Su. Fan has a good understanding of the music, Su added.


Fan made a good selection of songs for the night, which included Ombra Mai fu from Xerxes by Handel, Mattinata, an Italian song by Leoncavallo, Vesti la Giuba from I Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, O Denny Boy, an Irish Folk Song, Lan Hua Hua, a Chinese Folk Song, and Nessun dorma from Turandot by Puccini.


Fan, described as "a distinguished Chinese gentleman" by a stuff member of the Concert Hall, impressed the audience with his passion for the opera when he knelt down to express the extreme pain of "a clown" who has just got to know his wife ran away with another man.


Living abroad for more than a decade, Fan has mastered a number of foreign languages and he can sing songs of different languages just in the exactly right way. The languages, including French and Italian, he uses are learned from the real life, said Professor Su.


With songs of different languages coming out so smoothly from him, Fan seemed to be a magician of voices. But he said he had "struggled for many many years" to find a good way to sing Lan Hua Hua, a "national treasure" of China as he put it.


The orchestra for the performance was the McLean Symphony, based in suburban McLean, an all-volunteer group with a roster of over 70 players. The artists performed "Defend the Yellow River," a Chinese piano concerto.


(Xinhua News Agency November 4, 2003)

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