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May 14, 2021

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China’s Philomela to woo home audience

The “Philomela of China” Yunus Dilber is presenting a concert at Shanghai Oriental Art Center on May 29, demonstrating both Western opera and Chinese art songs.

Dilber is a lyric soprano with coloratura techinique. Born in Kashgar, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, she enrolled in the Department of Vocal Music and Opera at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music. After finishing her master’s degree at the conservatory, she joined the roster of the Finnish National Opera company, later adding a position with Sweden’s Malmo Opera.

She is now a Finnish citizen and professor of the Central Conservatory of Music.

Having won recognition on international stages, Dilber hopes to perform in front of her home country audiences more often.

“Coming to this age, my growing experience and all the collections in life can help in my singing,” said the 62-year-old.

“Time and experience can erase the anxiety I used to have. Now I’m fully confident in handling details, and that’s what the finest art is about.”

Dilber has been praised for restraint in her use of ornamentation and for vocal balance.

“I don’t like showing off skills,” she said. “One needs to be thoughtful when using skills. Loyalty to the original work is the priority while skills are decoration. Otherwise, the skills will ruin the work.”

The first half of her Shanghai concert will feature Western programs, including Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and “Seligkeit.” In the second half, Dilber will lead audiences into a musical world of Chinese poetry.

Date: May 29, 7:30pm

Tickets: 80-580 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong New Area


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