Kaohsiung tenors show a great affection for hometown/港都男高音 鄉土真情獻聲
In October, the trio of local tenors gave a performance to prelude the concert of Jose Carreras, one of the century's best lyric tenors, whose singing brings forth an outburst of enthusiasm with vocal art in the harbor city.
The trio of opera singers from Kaohsiung is composed of Director of Taiwan Chorus Wu Hung-chang, Tso Chi-ming, and Wang Hui-min. They share similar experience: all born in Kaohsiung, pursuing studies in Italy, returning to Taiwan to play active roles in vocal performance, and engaging in the education and promotion of music. A decade ago, Wu returned from Italy, and devoted himself to music education. Furthermore, in an effort to promote vocal music, he established Taiwan Chorus, which holds at least two concert tours annually to maintain performing standard.
Wu not only sings what he has learned, but also dedicates his life to the archiving of works by Taiwanese composers. Rooted in Kaohsiung, Taiwan Chorus has won an excellent reputation and rendered the musical creations of renowned composers Huang Yau-tai and Hsiao Tyzen. Its continuous performances successfully promoted tunes created by Taiwanese composers, and attracted a huge audience.
"At the beginning, we gave away tickets to attract audience; now the annual concerts are sold out right away and fully packed." From primary school students to senior citizens, the chorus is always suiting both refined and popular tastes. Those who are familiar with the performing group know that Wu as director and lead singer plays a key role in getting things going. To recruit one hundred members, he gathered 30 male singers from government agencies and spent four nights a week to offer them free and strict individual training. He also spares no efforts in preparing appropriate repertoire to better its performance.
Wu aims to file Taiwanese folk songs systematically and turn them into audio data with the establishment of Taiwan Chorus. He shows his everlasting love for Kaohsiung with his vocal performance. In contrast with Carreras's glamour, we hear from him an innate affection for the local land.