Join Gao Hong as she celebrates 45 years of music making with the world premiere of her multi-media project “Chinglish.” Gao Hong will perform live on the pipa in two groundbreaking multi-media performances and a storytelling traditional Chinese piece dating back over 100 years.
March 24, 2017
The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University 2004 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105
Tickets: The O’Shaughnessy ticket office by calling 651-690-6700, visit oshag.stkate.edu
Prices: $17, $20 at the door, For seniors, students, groups of 10 or more, or economically disadvantaged: $14, $17 at the door.
All seating is General Admission.
What happens when you confuse “Mountain Dew” with “mildew”? “Cleveland” with “cleavage”? When you’re Chinese and speak no English and your new husband is American and speaks no Chinese? Chinglish is the true story of renowned pipa player Gao Hong and her personal odyssey from her native China, to Japan, and finally to America. Whether she’s telling us about her refusal to believe that ducks can fly or recounting an immigration officer’s emotional response to the love letters she exchanged with her husband, her story is both hilariously funny and movingly poignant. Music is also essential to her performance, and she speaks as eloquently through her live playing as she does through her storytelling. Her journey is also captured in an accompanying video backdrop, bringing music, visual images, and spoken word together to recount her extraordinary story. Created with director and designer Roger Bechtel, Chinglish presents Gao’s funny and moving story in concert with her original compositions for the pipa, performed before a multimedia backdrop. Gao Hong composed all the music and performs her pipa live as she uses looping and special effects to relay her stories.
About Gao Hong
Gao Hong, is a chinese pipa master and composer. master of the Chinese pear-shaped lute, the pipa, began her career as a professional musician at age 12. She graduated with honors from China’s premier music school, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she studied with the great pipa master Lin Shicheng. In both China and the U.S. Gao has received numerous top awards and honors, including First Prize in the Hebei Professional Young Music Performers Competition and an International Art Cup in Beijing. In 2005 Gao Hong became the first traditional musician to be awarded the prestigious Bush Artist Fellowship, and in 2012 she became the only musician in any genre to win four McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians. The Minnesota State Arts Board has awarded her with an Artist Assistance Fellowship, two Artist Initiative Grants, two Folk and Traditional Arts Grants, two Arts Learning Grants and a Cultural Community Partnership grant. She was the winner of a 2012 and 2015 Global Music Award and USArtists International grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Elizabeth & Michel Sorel Charitable Organization, Inc. in New York City has awarded her a Sorel Medallion in Recording grant.
About Roger Bechtel
Roger Bechtel, Professor of Theater at Carleton College, is both a theater artist and a scholar. He is the artistic director of the Chicago-based multimedia performance company Big Picture Group. BPG’s inaugural production of .duck was named one of the ten best productions of the year by the Chicago Tribune, and its devised performance True + False won the Critic’s Choice award at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. As an actor and director, he has worked Off-Broadway in New York City and at a host of regional theaters, including the McCarter Theater at Princeton, the Yale Repertory Theater, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Attic Theater in Detroit, where his Hamlet won a best actor award. He is the author of the book Past Performance: American Theatre and the Historical Imagination, and has contributed chapters to several other books, including The History of Collective Creation, The Oxford Handbook of American Drama, and The Wooster Group and Its Traditions. He received an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and a Ph.D. in Performance Theory and Criticism from Cornell University.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.Gao Hong is a fiscal year 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.