Guest lecture: Soprano, author and educator Juliet Petrus

Celebrated American and Italian soprano, author, and educator, Juliet Petrus, is a trusted Western interpreter of Chinese art song.

This event is organised by the The Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds.

Petrus’s book Singing in Mandarin: A Guide to Chinese Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2020 is the first guide to look at Mandarin for classical singing.

Come and listen to Juliet speak about her journey becoming a specialist in Chinese art song, and how she has built her career in China over the past 13 years.

Learn about what makes Chinese for classical singing different from spoken Chinese. Hear samples of Chinese art song repertoire, still relatively unknown in the West, and about the lives of the Chinese composers who make up the body of this music.

Join Juliet in an evening of cross-cultural celebration through classical vocal music.

About Juliet Petrus

American and Italian coloratura soprano, Juliet Petrus, is a trusted Western interpreter and educator of Chinese vocal music worldwide, and the author of Singing in Mandarin: A Guide to Chinese Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020). Her performances of Mandarin repertoire have led her to solo appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, at the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, on Chinese Central Television (CCTV), including in 2019 on the famous Chinese New Year program ‘Chunwan’ 春晚, at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and across the United States and Europe. Her own solo recital and masterclass appearances with pianist, Lydia Qiu, include a ten-city tour of Northwest China, as well as Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanjing, Chengdu, Jinan, and Chongqing. Along with her book, her album A Great Distance: A Collection of Chinese and American Art Song (MSR Classics, 2015) has helped educate Western singers and audiences about Chinese art song.

Juliet began her journey to China in 2011 with the iSING! International Young Artists Festival. She was awarded a Confucius Institute Scholarship in 2014 to study Mandarin at Tongji University in Shanghai; she then went on to also take classes at Shanghai University. In 2020 she was awarded the ‘People to People’ Award from the US Confucius Institute for her contributions to cross-cultural understanding through music. In 2022, she was recognised by the Chinese-American organization Committee of 100 as a Next Generation Leader. In addition to her work in Chinese music, her Western repertoire includes leading roles in Rameau and Handel operas, the Queen of the Night (Hamburger Kammeroper, Austin Lyric Opera); Carmina Burana (St Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Alabama Symphony), and roles with Baden Stadttheater (Austria), Grimeborn Opera Festival (London), and Florentine Opera (Milwaukee).

While she has worked professionally as a violist, pianist, and choreographer, she holds degrees in voice performance from the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. She is currently a London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) recipient pursuing her doctorate at the Royal College of Music in London. Her research focuses on pedagogical methods to best address the challenges faced by Western-language speakers learning to sing in Mandarin/native-Mandarin-speaking singers learning to sing Western operatic repertoire, and the cross-cultural pedagogical impact of the Chinese Master Teacher, Madama ZHOU Xiaoyan, on both groups.

Visit her website.