By LISSA ALEXANDER
Audiences attending Vancouver Island Opera’s (VIO) first performance in their recital series can prepare for an enchanting afternoon. Taiwanese soprano Szu-Wen Wang will return to the Island this weekend, following her praised performance in VIO’s Madame Butterfly in 2009.
Wang will whisk audiences away on a European journey with some Mozart, Rossini and music by American composer Samuel Barber, created with poems written by Irish monks from the eighth to 13th centuries. She’ll also sing some operatic arias, among other pieces.
Wang began taking singing lessons about 20 years ago and has been singing in Canada for about five years. She has enjoyed performing many operatic roles including playing Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Patience in Patience but one of her favourite roles was playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, she said.
“It totally suited my voice,” she said. “And the story of Cinderella is such a nice story, everybody loves it.”
Wang said playing Cio-Cio-San in VIO’s Madame Butterfly was challenging, but was another memorable role.
“I learned a lot from it and I think it was a great experience,” she said.
Wang said she’s looking forward to coming back to the Island this weekend for the Oceanside Recital Series. Her piano accompianist Nikolai Maloff is extremely talented, she said, and the music they will be performing is very beautiful.
“I hope everybody enjoys it,” she said.
Wang holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Taipei National University of the Arts and a master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in vocal performance from the University of Texas.
Her performance with VIO’s recital series is happening this Sunday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville (formerly the Oceanside Community Arts Council). Tickets are $15 at the door.
For more information visit www.vancouverislandopera.com.