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(From BusinessWorld (Philippines))
Byline: Juan Antonio Lanuza
On Sept. 17, after arriving in Hong Kong on a Philippine Airlines flight, I quickly settled in The Salisbury, YMCA of Hong Kong, my home away from home in HK. Reason for this was that Madama Butterfly and Le Nozze di Figaro at the HK Cultural Centre beckoned.
I attended the second and last SRO performance of a concert version of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, given by the HK Philharmonic on Sept. 18. Expectations were high. Born in Xi'An, Chinese soprano He Hui sang the role of Cio Cio San. She had won the silver medal in Placido Domingo's Operalia in 2000 and in 2001 shared the stage with Domingo in a concert in Shanghai. In 2003 she won the 1st prize at the 42nd Verdi's Voice International in Busseto, Parma. She did not disappoint the HK audience. She had volume, high notes, coloration and emotion. She carried the orchestra beautifully. This month she is singing Madama Butterfly in Washington DC with Domingo conducting and has already performed in the major opera houses in Europe.