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Under Lü Shao-chia’s baton, Chu Tai-li to perform Sister Angelica
By Yali Chen
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2012-03-17 01:25 PM
Under the baton of world-renowned conductor Lü Shao-chia, the National Symphony Orchestra and Italy-based soprano Chu Tai-li are set to perform one of the most important operas by Giacomo Puccini on March 29 and 31 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.

The first-half program for Taipei’s two concerts will open with L’ascension (The Ascension), an orchestral work composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1932-33. Messiaen described it as “4 meditations for an orchestra.” The second-half features Puccini’s Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica).

Puccini’s Il trittico, a set of three one-act operas including Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi, received mixed reviews when it premiered at the Metropolitan Opera House on December 14, 1918, with Geraldine Farrar as Angelica.

"Puccini’s operas are always my favorites because they deal with very genuine human emotions, not religion or Catholicism,” says Lü, who serves as music conductor of the Taipei-based NSO. “The second opera of the trio, Suor Angelica, has been least performed, but I think it is the Puccini’s most beautiful piece.”

Taiwan-born soprano Chu grew up in a musical family. At the age of 17, she went to Italy to receive her singing lessons and graduate with distinction. The first opera she performed at school was the Sister Angelica.

Chu’s tone of voice is warm and intense, and with her musical talent, she has established a reputation in Taiwan as “Maria Callas of the East.”

On March 23 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Austrian percussionist Martin Grubinger will appear on stage with the NSO under Lü’s baton. They will perform Avner Dorman’s work "Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!" – a concerto for a percussion duo and large orchestra.

Tickets for the three concerts on March 23, 29 and 31 are now available at http://www.artsticket.com.tw

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