Shenyang offers master class

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 January, 2009, 12:00am

Rising Chinese Lieder star to perform works of Schubert and Wolf next month

Tianjin-born, 25-year-old Lieder star Shenyang will take the stage for one night only next month as part of the 37th Hong Kong Arts Festival. The performance, dedicated to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poetry, takes place on February 17 at 8pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong City Hall.

Bass-baritone Shenyang will sing music composed by Franz Schubert and Hugo Wolf, two masters of Lieder - music-dramas in which words, melody and accompaniment play equal parts. The genre was developed in the 19th century when German master composers found inspiration in poetry.

The night's programme, which features Vlad Iftinca on piano, includes a variety of works by Schubert: Der Sanger, D149; Harfenspieler I-III, D478-480; Wanderers Nachtlied I, D224; Grenzen der Menschheit, D716; Ganymed, D544; and Prometheus, D674. Pieces by Wolf include: Der Sanger; Harfenspieler I-III; Der Rattenfanger; Wanderers Nachtlied I; Grenzen der Menschheit; Ganymed; and Prometheus.

Shenyang is now in his second year of the Lindeman Young Artist Development Programme at New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard Opera Centre, where he won the prestigious 2008-09 Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Award. In April, he makes his Metropolitan Opera debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni.

Shenyang shot to fame in 2007 when he won the coveted BBC Cardiff Singer of the World award, following in the footsteps of previous winners Bryn Terfel, Karita Mattila and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. His performance of a piece from Rachmaninov's Aleko reduced BBC commentator and vocal coach Mary King to tears and caused Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House in London, to describe his voice as 'one in a million'.

He also won the 2008 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, in addition to first prizes in the Fifth Shanghai International Opera Master Class, the Verona L'Orfeo Singing Competition, the Chamber Opera of Schloss Rheinsberg Opera Competition, and at the International Opera Competition in Verona.

Recordings under his belt include Super Bass, in Putonghua, and Winterreise in English and Putonghua.