The Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble
A Contemporary Chamber Opera
A Five-Hundred-Year-Old Love Story Across Cultures, Space and Time
Featuring Lili Lau and William Liu
Guest Performance by the Seniors’ Research Group of
Chinese Opera and Music
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 7:30 pm
The Roundhouse (181 Roundhouse Mews)
General $25 / Students, Seniors, Artists $15
William, a modern Vancouver man, begins to sense that his previous life was that of Chen Ah Xing, born in ancient southern China and engaged to his true love Xiu Ying. Torn apart by circumstance and family fortunes, their romance was doomed, and Ah Xing would die in an accident without ever being reunited with his love. Five hundred years later, on the Ching Ming Festival (the Day of Remembrance), William has created a boat that will travel across time and space and plans to travel from Vancouver’s English Bay to ancient China, to reunite with Xiu Ying and have one more chance at the great love they were both destined for.
This novel chamber opera, which premieres at the Roundhouse at 7:30pm on April 13, is a fusion of Chinese opera and Western opera, with an ensemble of instruments drawn from both cultures. Jirong Huang, Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble (VCME), has created a beautiful and moving work that draws from Eastern and Western culture and traditions to bring this epic love story to life, featuring acclaimed soprano Lili Liu and bass William Lau.
Lili Lau is best known for her leading roles in major Hong Kong productions. She is dedicated to the preservation of Chinese Opera in Canada and to performing and teaching Beijing and Cantonese opera in Vancouver. William Liu has performed for audiences across Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Spain and the United States. As a concert soloist, he has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Bach Choir, Vancouver Oratorio Society and UBC Concert Choirs.
Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music will also present a free workshop at 1:30pm on the same day, in Multipurpose Room B at the Roundhouse. “Introduction to the World of Chinese Opera” features VCME composer-in-residence Alan Lau, and members of the Seniors’ Research Group of Chinese Opera and Music. Established in 1981, the Seniors’ Research Group is one of the oldest Beijing opera societies in Canada with weekly rehearsals held at the Strathcona Community Centre. Lau has collaborated with Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble on numerous concerts, and is the co-author/assistant editor of international research projects, including Qupai in Chinese Music (Routledge, 2016) and the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Chinese Music.
Formed in 1989, Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble is the first professional Chinese music group established in Canada. The ensemble performs an eclectic repertoire that embraces traditional Chinese and contemporary Canadian music. Its primary educational goal is to advance the understanding and appreciation of Chinese instruments, music and culture in Canada.