“In recent years, classical music in China has been experiencing a crescendo,” reports Anthony Kuhn Wednesday (8/19) on the National Public Radio website. “China’s conservatories are turning out child prodigy musicians. Cities are sprouting concert halls, and factories are cranking out violins and pianos. And Chinese cultural officials seem determined that their country will become a world-class power in opera, as well. One of the first Chinese divas to capture the international limelight is soprano Zhang Liping. At a major Beijing opera festival this summer, she reprised the role of Madame Butterfly, which brought her acclaim in London in 2003 and New York in 2004. … Zhang has spent more than a decade studying and performing overseas, mostly in Great Britain and Canada. She says that after years of simply studying Western opera, more and more Chinese musicians are now getting a chance to live it. … Chinese culture officials point out that older Chinese were all raised on the Red Classics, and that the genre is closer to Western Opera than other traditional Chinese opera, such as Peking Opera, which includes elements of acrobatics and martial arts.”

Posted August 21, 2009