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Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, May 2017

The Chinese singers are excellent. None are known in the West. They sing and act with a gentle beauty. Marcellina (Zhang Zhuo) is beautiful, with loads of charisma; and Conte Almaviva (Zhou Zhengzhong) is tall, stately, and extra firm of voice. And it’s all sung in the original Italian.

All the Chinese speak in almost flawless English, but Castro speaks in Spanish. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Mark Pullinger
Gramophone, May 2017

There are good vocal performances here, especially from baritone Zhou Zhengzhong as the predatory Count Almaviva. Li Ao is a likeable Figaro, his sturdy baritone having an oaky warmth. Xu Lei’s Cherubino—if a little hyperactive—is well sung, as is Huang Ying’s Susanna. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Mark Mandel
Opera News, March 2017

The best singing here is that of Ying Huang as Susanna, who sings in every duet and is the character to whom the others relate, …Lei Xu, the Cherubino, is a beautiful, graceful young woman with a lovely, small voice, and is not the least bit boyish. Of the supporting cast, only the Basilio, Xiang Li, rises above the ordinary.

The best overall performance is that of Zhengzhong Zhou as the Count: his bearing is noble, his behavior restrained, his singing accomplished, his sensitivity to text clear. With him, one looks forward to that climactic and (most?) sublime Mozart moment, “Contessa, perdono.” Alas! Before he sings “perdono,” a surtitle that might better have been deleted triggers a spoiling burst of audience laughter. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review



Ken Meltzer
Fanfare, March 2017

The principals, all young Chinese artists with international careers, are first-rate both from a vocal and dramatic perspective. Soprano Huang Ying is a marvelous Susanna. She acts and sings superbly throughout, and handles the challenging tessitura of “Deh, vieni, non tardar” with ease, making it one of the highlights of the opera, as well it should be. The Countess of Yu Guanqun is notable for her dignified portrayal, lovely voice, and superb sense of Mozart style. As Yu Guanqun spun her magic in “Dove sono” with superb breath control, pristine legato, and sumptuous vocal quality, I thought of Mozart’s highest praise for his own instrumental performances: “It flowed like oil.” Soprano Xu Lei is totally convincing as the lovesick young boy Cherubino. She too is a first-class Mozart singer, able to portray Cherubino’s ever-present ardor within the parameters of a pristine delivery and vocal line. As Figaro, Li Ao commands the stage from start to finish. His rich bass-baritone, secure throughout the registers, is ideally suited to the role. He moves naturally, with great confidence, and his mercurial changes of expression are a constant delight. As the Count Almaviva, Zhou Zhengzhong’s Italianate baritone, with its lyric warmth and wonderfully focused vibrato, reminds me of a young Mario Sereni. He dispatches the Count’s great act III aria with aplomb. The secondary roles are all well sung… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review





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