In our mission to represent San Francisco and the Sister City Committee - which brought us here as part of the city's delegation to Expo 2010- we continued on to the Shanghai Conservatory where we had spent a wonderful few hours on our inaugural China tour last year. We sang a few numbers - including Chen Yi's Spring Dreams - then the conservatory chorus sang Beethoven and Chinese songs, representing the two different axes of its vocal program - bel canto and Chinese.
Matt expressed his thoughts about the Beethoven sung by the conservatory chorus.
Legendary Conservatory professor Mme. Zhou Xiao Yen greeted us as warmly as she had the year before and participated in the session - observed by our travelling patron group. The conservatory group had sung a Chinese song wishing that strangers would come back and stay. Mme. Zhou said that that should be our case as well - and she and Professor Zheng Zhou said that they would like us back every year. It might not be possible every year, but we feel a strong attachment here and we certainly won't wait too long.
After we worked together on the Conservatory choruses Beethoven oratorio peace, Matt asked the students and director to help us with Chen Yi's Spring Dreams by singing it with us - in the hopes it might become more Chinese.
Last year when we were here, we finished with an impromptu performance of the Chinese folk song Molihua with a mezzo soprano from the Conservatory. We decided to make it a tradition, and Matt invited everyone to join in.
Madame Zhou bids us goodbye.