Last night was the premier of the Divas in Beijing concert series, which began with a performance full of energy, spirit and amazing Soprano sound from Angela Gheorghiu. The Romanian soprano is called the most gifted and glamorous opera singer of our time and her talent was on full display. The program included inspired renditions of opera classics, including Puccini's "Un Bel di Vedremo" (from Madama Butterfly) , and Verdi's "Pace, Pace," as well as an a version of the Cuban standard "Siboney," during which she had the audience clapping together in time as she danced across the stage during an orchestral section of the song. The entire house rose to it's feet as one in an ovation as that ended.
The concert series will continue next week with performances from Sumi Jo; Renee Fleming; Marcello Giordani, Salvatore Licitra and Ramon Vargas, baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Performances will take place in both the magical new National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing) and the historic Great Hall of the People, which faces Tiananman Square.