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For many, Chinese opera remains something of a mystery. Some have never had the chance to view these works that, while being very beautiful and entertaining, are also incredibly different from the Western style of opera. “Dr. Sun Yat-sen,” a piece by Huang Ruo and Candace Mui-ngam Chong, does a nice job of mixing Chinese and American opera styles in order to reach a broad audience. Granted, it is still a very different experience than one would expect from, say, a Mozart opera, but it is definitely worth viewing.
Conductor Carolyn Kuan is delightful. She and her orchestra produce an outstanding array of sounds, ranging from relentless percussion in sections that moves the action and helps the audience to feel the anxiety and fear of the characters, to graceful sustained passages that underline the romantic nature of the characters’ action on stage. Kuan has done an outstanding job with this difficult piece, as has the orchestra.
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