Zheng dazzles audience at junior vocal recital

Andrew C Shermoen

Shuhua “Abby” Zheng, junior vocal performance major, performed in White Concert Hall last Thursday, Nov. 12, as part of her required voice recital. She performed many different songs that spanned several different languages and styles.

Zheng was a former foreign exchange student two years ago and is now an official degree-seeking student of Washburn University. Zheng was studying music in China as well before she came to Washburn which, according to Zheng, are different in some ways. 

“We study a wider range than here,” Zheng said. “Here we focus on specifics, like vocal performance. We don’t have to take a piano lesson, but in China it’s required.”

She was assisted by Cindy Strait who played piano accompaniment in Zheng’s pieces. Jesse Bigelow, a freshman tenor and vocal performance major, assisted by performing a duet with Zheng.

Zheng began the concert with “O del mio dolce ardor” by Cristoforo Gluck, an Italian language piece that complemented Zheng’s high range vocals well.

Zheng said that her favorite song to  perform was “Deh vieni, non tardar” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from his classic “Le Nozze di Figaro,” known in its English translation as “The Marriage of Figaro,” a popular story that is a continuation from “The Barber of Seville.”

Another enjoyable performance was Zheng’s duet with tenor Jesse Bigelow. They performed “The Soldier and the Indian Maid” by Jacques Offenbach, a song from his opera “La Perichole,” a story about two impoverished street-performers who cannot afford to be married. In the scene they performed, Zheng and Bigelow wore stylish sombreros and danced around the stage as they sang a story of a young Spanish soldier falling in love with a young Indian girl.

Zheng’s knowledge of music was clearly shown in her recital, and her voice impressed the supportive crowd. Zheng finished the concert with a Chinese folk song known as “The Sycamore Tree” by Qi Ming Xi.