After a half-decade hiatus, the Boston chapter of the nonprofit Zigen Fund is again hosting a benefit concert, to take place at Sanders Theatre on March 3. Featuring a mix of international and local talents, the event celebrates the 2013 Lunar New Year. Proceeds will go towards the Zigen Fund’s mission to support the educational and social development of women and children in impoverished areas of rural China.
Many artists who have previously performed for Zigen are returning to the stage, including international mezzo-soprano singer Guang Yang. A native of Beijing trained at its Central Conservatory of Music, Yang has extensive experience with Western opera and currently performs at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She will be performing a wide range of music including, by special audience request, “I Love You, China,” a technically demanding classic in the Chinese canon that Yang previously performed at the 2008 Zigen Benefit Concert. Also returning to the stage is Maxwell Li, a graduate of Boston’s New England Conservatory and winner of the prestigious Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition. Li will be performing a duet from Giacomo Puccini’s “La bohème,” among other pieces.
Other performers include local singer Xiaoyi Duan, who owns the Sichuan Garden restaurant in Brookline; Jing Wei, the winner of the Metropolitan Opera House Vocal Music Contest Prize; and the North American Chorus Association, a Boston music organization. Rounding out the list of performers is Liwen Wang, another returning performer and graduate of the New England Conservatory. Wang will be performing two arias, one by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and the other by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.
This group of performers, as well as the humanitarian mission of the event, make the concert a unique chance to experience the musical talents of the Chinese-American community. “[This sort of concert is] hard to find among the Chinese community, so I encourage everyone to come and listen,” Wang says.