(Photo: Zane Gan)
San Francisco Opera has released “In Song: Meigui Zhang,” the latest installment in its Webby Award-winning “In Song” series. The series features artist portraits through songs and stories, with past episodes showcasing a range of genres, from opera to mariachi.
Among the works brought to light by Zhang’s rapid rise is the Kazakh folk song “A Lovely Rose”. Virtuoso musician Zhou Yi adapted the piece for voice and pipa, a traditional Chinese string instrument played by Yi.
The duo anticipated the collaboration of the two artists in “Dream of the Red Chamber” by Bright Sheng, from June 14 to July 3, 2022 at the War Memorial Opera House. Zhang, making her debut with the company, plays the beloved character Dai Yu in the opera based on one of China’s four great classic novels, while Yi joins the SFO Orchestra as a qin soloist.
“In Song: Meigui Zhang” also features “Villanelle” by Eva Dell’Acqua with text by Frédéric van der Elst; and “Das Veilchen” (“The Violet”) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, put into poetry by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Pianist Ken Noda accompanies the Zhang.
The 19-minute film, shot in New York and China, includes footage of Zhang reconnecting with his family in his hometown of Chengdu.
After participating in the Merola Opera Program in 2018, Zhang was selected to join the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. She has since performed in several Met productions, including Verdi’s “Macbeth”, Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” and the company’s new production of the French version of Verdi’s “Don Carlos”.
“In Song: Meigui Zhang” can be viewed for free on the San Francisco Opera website, YouTube, YouTube (Mandarin subtitles), Facebook and Instagram.