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 Prominent Chinese Opera Singer to Perform at SRU April 20 



April 8, 2004

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail:

For photo of Dr. Zhong: CLICK HERE



            SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Dr. Mei Zhong, a prominent opera singer and concert soloist who has performed extensively in China and the United States, will sing April 20 at Slippery Rock University, accompanied by pianist Dr. James Helton, assistant professor of music at Ball State University. The public is invited.

           The concert is 8 p.m. in Swope Recital Hall. Tickets are $5 for general public, $3 for students.

            Zhong has performed in operas and recitals in both China and the United States, including seven years performing with Henyang Baihua Theater in China, a professional opera and dance company. Her many leading roles include her favorite role as Butterfly in “Madama Butterfly.” Her numerous U.S. performances, solo recitals and concerts have taken her to Alabama, California, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. Zhong is assistant professor of music performance at Ball State University.

           She is the recipient of several awards and honors. She received first prize in the National Vocal Competition for The Alice Abel National Vocal and Instrumental Awards in 2000, after winning the Idaho District Vocal Competition in 1999 and 2000. She was also selected as one of 12 teachers for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern program in 2000.  In 2002, she was honored with the Master Teacher Award by Idaho State University.

           Her lecture-concert "East Meets West" was presented for the 2001 College Music Society International Conference at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Two of her papers “How does a Puccini Melody Unfurl in Time?” and “Anthology of Chinese Songs”were presented at the 2003 International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Hawaii. Also in 2003, Zhong presented her lecture-recital/premiere of newly arranged Chinese folk songs at the International College Music Society Conference in Costa Rica.

           The publication of her book “Tempo in the Soprano Arias of Puccini’s La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly” has won her reviews in vocal circles. Several of her articles have also been published, including her research paper "Problems of Tempo in Puccini's Arias," which appeared in  “The College Music Symposium.”

           An active performer, pianist Helton has been heard in many states throughout the U.S. as recitalist, collaborator and orchestra soloist. He has worked with Pulitzer Prize- winning composers George Crumb, William Bolcom, Lucas Foss and Joseph Schwantner in concerts broadcast over public radio and television. For New World Records, Helton collaborated with the Blair Woodwind Quintet on works by composer Michael Kurek producing a Grammy-nominated CD.


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