Musical and opera diva Sarah Brightman and a few other international
and Chinese classical music stars will join the gala New Year Concert at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing on New Year's Eve.
This New Year Concert will highlight symphonic works under the baton of Tan
Lihua, artistic director of an expanded 130-member Beijing Symphony Orchestra.
It will also feature operatic arias and duets with Ralf Weikert from Austria
directing a 180-member choir including talent from the National Symphony
Orchestra, the China Central Opera Theatre and the China Opera and Ballet
Since the 1970s, Weikert has collaborated with the Vienna State Opera, the
Hamburg State Opera, the Deutsche Opera Berlin, the Bavarian State Opera in
Munich and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
Under Weikert's baton, Broadway diva Brightman will sing her trademark songs
selected from "Phantom of the Opera," "West Side Story" and "Time to Say
Brightman's last visit to Beijing was in the spring of 2004, during her
widely acclaimed Harem World Tour. Highlighted by two sold-out concerts at the
15,000-capacity Capital Stadium, the Harem World Tour is cited as one of the
most successful and highest-grossing tours by a Western artist in the Chinese
Italian tenor Marco Berti will sing an aria from Verdi's "Il Trovatore" and a
Mongolian folk song with Chinese soprano Zhang Ye.
Lyric tenor Berti is in constant demand for the leading roles of Verdi and
Puccini in all the major houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State
Opera, the Teatro Communale in Florence, the Opera Bastille in Paris and the
Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger will play Grieg's "Piano Concerto in A minor"
while Chinese violinist Xue Wei who has been described as "one of the
outstanding violinists of our time" by Gramophone will play Weniawsky's
"Polonaise in D major."
With his formidable technique and musicality, and his innate sense of
architecture and phrasing, Haefliger has received the highest praise throughout
the world for performances that possess a rare combination of power, elegance
He has performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston
Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco
Symphony Orchestra among many others.
He also established himself as a superb recitalist and became a frequent
performer at premier recital venues and festivals.
Tan also reveals that his orchestra plans on paying a special Olympic tribute
with each New Year's concert until the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games arrives. This
year will feature John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare," written for the 1984 Los
Angeles Summer Games.
"Rosen aus dem Sden" will be the only waltz of Strauss in the concert.
Ravel's "Borelo" will give the audience a sense of sensual Spanish dance rather
than graceful waltz. And the concert will end with Tchaikovsky's "1812