Members of the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra perform at the auditorium of the Central Middle School in Muscatine, the United States, Feb. 14, 2019. The performance held on Thursday delighted the local audience, marked the fourth consecutive year for Muscatine to hold such a Chinese Lunar New Year concert. (Xinhua/Wang Ping)
MUSCATINE, the United States, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- It is Valentine's Day night in Muscatine, a small city in the U.S. Midwest state of Iowa, and Chinese chime bells and Peking opera music are delighting the local audience in the packed auditorium of the Central Middle School.
Performers from the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra were demonstrating the sounds of 2,400-year-old chime bells with an authentic and melodious timbre along with other traditional Chinese instruments, enchanting the audience with spell-binding and romantic music.
Meanwhile, wearing lavishly embroidered costumes and elaborate makeup, performers of the China National Peking Opera Company went onto the stage, presenting a 60-minute dazzling cultural feast with their stunning skills in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
This was the fourth consecutive year for Muscatine, a small city on the upper reaches of the Mississippi River, to hold such a Chinese Lunar New Year concert.
The show of the two Chinese art troupes elicited laughter and applause from the audience, many of whom were enthralled by the breathtaking performance displaying Chinese cultural heritage.
"I like the performance very much. It has been the second time for me to watch the Chinese New Year concert, and my wife and four-year-old daughter have been here for four years in a row," Michael Briggs, a local resident, told Xinhua.
"It is a great honor to have such talented musicians come to Muscatine," said Steve Pruitt, a local resident who can speak fluent Chinese. "We've never seen (such instruments) in America. It is especially interesting."
At the opening of the show, Liu Jun, acting Consul General of China in Chicago, wished everybody in attendance a happy and auspicious Year of the Pig.
"We lay great emphasis on people-to-people exchanges and cultural programs to promote mutual understanding between China and the United States. We believe holding such a luxurious Chinese New Year concert is a very important investment in our friendship and in our future," said Liu.
Immersed in China's traditional artistic heritage, the audience was reluctant to leave even after the show. They surrounded the display table, eager to buy some Peking Opera-style souvenirs as a valuable memory.