Fa­ther, daugh­ter charm Carnegie Hall with song

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By HEZI JIANG in New York hez­i­jiang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Dai Yuqiang’s sonorous voice res­onated off of ev­ery wall in the mu­sic hall, win­ning the au­di­ence’s ap­plause and cheers. It was the voice that moved Lu­ciano Pavarotti to take him as his first and only Chi­nese stu­dent.

But stand­ing on the Carnegie Hall stage on the evening of Sept 30, Dai bore a ti­tle more im­por­tant than the most fa­mous tenor from China: He was co-per­former with his 20-year old daugh­ter, so­prano Dai Ziyi, a stu­dent ma­jor­ing in voice at the Man­hat­tan School of Mu­sic.

“She’s bet­ter than me,” Dai told China Daily be­fore the con­cert. “I hope peo­ple get to know to her by com­ing to hear me sing.”

“It’s im­por­tant for a young per­former to ex­pe­ri­ence the stage, to have peo­ple like her and sup­port her,” he said. “That will be a huge encouragement for her and she will work harder.”

“I got very ner­vous when my fa­ther first told me about this con­cert,” she said. “It’s go­ing to be my first con­cert in the US, and it’s at Carnegie Hall.”

Any jit­ters seemed to van­ish once she started to sing. It was ap­par­ent that she had in­her­ited not only her fa­ther’s tal­ent, but also his charisma and charm, which won her just as many cheers as her fa­ther got.

The two took turns sing­ing Chi­nese songs and se­lec­tions from op­eras and the con­cert reached its high point when they per­formed to­gether I Love You, My Chi­nese Home­land on the eve of the Chi­nese Na­tional Day for the Chi­nese in the au­di­ence so far from home.

Dai Ziyi, who has trained in voice since she was 9 years old, hopes to be an opera singer like her fa­ther. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the pres­ti­gious mid­dle school af­fil­i­ated with the China Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic in 2014, she con­tin­ued her stud­ies in the US.

“My big­gest weak­ness is that my English is ‘lit­tle’, and my Ital­ian is only ‘ poco poco’,” said the older Dai in Chi­nese. “I hope she can not only speak flu­ent Man­darin, but also English, and maybe even Ital­ian and French. That will make her a true opera singer.”

Like other US col­leges, mu­sic schools are also see­ing a rise in Chi­nese stu­dents. Pang Xuan, the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of the con­cert and also a grad­u­ate of the Man­hat­tan School of Mu­sic, is optimistic about the trend.

“We are push­ing for cul­tural ex­change be­tween East and West,” said Pang, who brought re­gional Chi­nese folk songs to the Carnegie stage in a con­cert last Oc­to­ber.

“I’m sure there will be more Chi­nese mu­si­cians ap­pear­ing at Carnegie Hall and more Chi­nese works per­formed here — works that rep­re­sent our cul­ture,” Pang said.


Fa­mous tenor Dai Yuqiang and his daugh­ter, so­prano Dai Ziyi, took the stage at the New York's Carnegie Hall on Sept 30.

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