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WQXR Celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage with the Metropolitan Opera


Monday May 6 2024 • 7:00pm - 8:15pm ET
Available for viewing
In-person event


Join us for an evening of cultural celebration as WQXR and the Metropolitan Opera honor Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a concert and discussion! The event will include performances by singers Siman Chung, Yi Li, Ying Fang, and pianist Katelan Trần Terrell who will perform familiar repertoire and musical selections that reflect the rich tapestry of their heritage.

This event will also feature a conversation with the singers moderated by Debra Lew Harder, including composer Huang Ruo – who will talk about his upcoming NY premiere of An American Soldier – and Tony Award-winning scenic designer Mimi Lien.

That’s not all—indulge in complimentary pre-performance light bites, courtesy of Pearl River Mart, beginning at 6pm.

*Seating is first come, first served, and entry is not guaranteed. Please arrive early to secure your spot!

Debra Lew Harder

Credit: Photo by Kevin Monko

With doctorates in both medicine and music, concert pianist and broadcaster Debra Lew Harder believes in the power of art to transform people’s lives. 

In 2021, Debra was named the new Radio Host for the Metropolitan Opera, where she serves as the “voice of the Met,” and hosts the live Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts — the longest-running continuous classical music program in American radio history. She also hosts SiriusXM Channel 355 live broadcasts during the week, and interviews the incredible artists associated with each performance.

As a solo pianist, Debra has performed with orchestras and in solo performances at Wigmore Hall in London, The Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, and more. She recently performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. As a collaborative pianist, she has performed with many artists, including violinist Mark O’Connor and Philadelphia Orchestra members Barbara Govatos, Hirono Oka, Efe Baltacigil, and concertmaster David Kim. 

A devoted music educator, Debra is the co-director of Medicine + Music, a co-curricular program at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.  She was on the applied music faculty of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges for many years. Her commitment to the arts community includes service on the boards of the William Appling Singers and Orchestra, the Advancement of Music Committee of the Presser Foundation, and on the East Asian Advisory Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Huang Ruo

Credit: Photo provided by the Met Opera

Huang Ruo has been lauded by the New Yorker as “one of the world’s leading young composers” and by the New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz. As a member of the new generation of Chinese composers, his goal is not just to mix both Western and Eastern elements, but also to create a seamless, organic integration. Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film.

Huang Ruo was the first composer-in-residence of Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam. He is also in residence at the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Additionally, Huang Ruo is currently on the composition faculty at the Mannes College of Music at the New School in NY. He is the artistic director and conductor of Ensemble FIRE (Future In REverse), and was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States–China Relations in 2006.

Katelan Trần Terrell

Credit: Photo provided by the Met Opera

Pianist and vocal coach Katelan Trần Terrell has collaborated with such artists as Ian Bostridge, Antonio Pappano, Emmanuel Villaume, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

A passionate recitalist, Katelan Trần Terrell has performed at Alice Tully Hall, The Red House, Weill Recital Hall, and Wigmore Hall, where she and tenor Matthew Swensen were the recipients of the 2019 Jean Meikle Prize for Best Duo at the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition. She has been a music staff member at the Metropolitan Opera since 2019, a faculty member at the Chautauqua Institution Voice Program as pianist/coach since 2018, and is a coach this season at the Opera Academy of the Polish National Opera in Warsaw.  

Terrell is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues, SongFest, and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at Snape Maltings. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music under Nelita True and Thomas Schumacher. She then completed her Master of Music in Collaborative Piano at the Juilliard School under Jonathan Feldman, Margo Garrett, JJ Penna, and Brian Zeger.

Yi Li

Credit: Photo provided by the Met Opera

Proving himself a formidable talent and a rising star to watch in the opera world, Tenor Yi Li is quickly gaining attention across the globe. Recently, Li débuted the role of Cheng Quing in Meredith Monk’s ATLAS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and moved into bigger repertoire – débuting the role of Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West in Maryland Lyric Opera’s inaugural season. Mr. Li subsequently returned there as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Turridu/Luigi in Il tabarro/Cavalleria rusticana, as well as the Metropolitan Opera as the Young Lover in Il tabarro

Mr. Li has also joined the esteemed roster of the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Manon Lescaut, Roméo et Juliette, and Der fliegende Holländer. Concert engagements include Angel Island Oratorio at the Santa Fe Opera, the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Jackson Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Canterbury Chorale at Carnegie Hall, Indianapolis Opera’s Opera’s Rising Stars Concert and a Chinese New Year Concert with Shenzen Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. 

Finding success on the emerging artist competition circuit, Yi Li’s talent has been recognized by several elite foundations and organizations. Mr. Li was a Grand Final Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist at Operalia: The World Opera Competition, Winner of the Sullivan Musical Foundation Award, China’s representative at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, 3rd Prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, Finalist in the 49th International Singing Competition of Toulouse, and won the Grand Prize in Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition and CCM’s Corbett Scholarship Competition. He also received a grant from Giulio Gari Foundation and performed at their annual gala

Mimi Lien

Credit: Photo by Emma Pratte

Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera.  Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer.  She hails from New Haven, CT and is based in Brooklyn, NY.                                            

In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction.  Selected work includes Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, TONY Award, Lortel Award, 2013 Hewes Design Award), John (Signature Theatre, 2016 Hewes Design Award), Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum, LA Drama Critics Circle Award), Preludes, The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA, Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), Black Mountain Songs (BAM Next Wave). Her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 and 2015, and her sculptures were featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. 

Her designs for theater, dance, and opera have been seen around the U.S. at such venues as Lincoln Center Theater, Signature Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, the Public Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Joyce Theater, Goodman Theatre, Soho Rep, and internationally at Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre (Russia), Intradans (Netherlands), National Theatre (Taiwan), among many others. Mimi Lien received a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University (1997) and an M.F.A. in Stage Design from New York University (2003). 

She is a company member of Pig Iron Theatre Company and co-founder of the performance space JACK.

Siman Chung

Credit: Photo provided by the Met Opera

Siman Chung, countertenor from Busan, South Korea, returned to the Metropolitan Opera for the 2021-22 season to participate in their productions of Rodelina and Akhnaten. Siman Chung made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2015, singing Handel’s Messiah. He attended Mannes School of Music in NY, where he sang the leading role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s opera Flight, with Mannes Opera. He is a grant recipient from The Sullivan Foundation, and saw First Prize at the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. In addition, he won the “Best Countertenor” Prize at the Francisco Vinas International Singing Competition in Barcelona.

Ying Fang

Credit: By Arthur Moeller

Chinese soprano Ying Fang has been praised as “indispensable at the Met in Mozart” (The New York Times) and for “a voice that can stop time, pure and rich and open and consummately expressive” (Financial Times).

In the 2023-2024 season, Ms. Fang returns to Opéra national de Paris as Zerlina in Don Giovanni conducted by Antonello Manacorda, Dutch National Opera as Poppea in Agrippina and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Riccardo Minasi, the Metropolitan Opera in her role debut as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Santa Fe Opera in her role debut as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. On the concert stage, she reunites with conductor Raphaël Pichon in the Mozart Requiem on tour with Ensemble Pygmalion, a project which also features a recording by the Harmonia Mundi label, and joins Maestro Pichon for Mozart’s C Minor Mass in her debut with the Munich Philharmonic. She joins Noord Nederlands Orkest Ein Deutsches Requiem, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s 4th symphony with Susanna Mälkki, and sings Carmina Burana with the St. Louis Symphony under the baton of Stéphane Denève with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Carnegie Hall.

A native of Ningbo, China, Ms. Fang is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award, the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award, the Rose Bampton Award of The Sullivan Foundation, The Opera Index Award, and First Prize of the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. In 2009, she become one of the youngest singers to win one of China’s most prestigious awards – the China Golden Bell Award for Music. She has been hailed as “the most gifted Chinese soprano of her generation” by Ningbo Daily.

Event Details

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1 hour and 15 minutes
The Greene Space
44 Charlton St
New York , NY 10014 United States

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