Soong Ching-ling, Dr. Sun Yat-sen

by Beth Stewart

Santa Fe Opera, 2014

"The emotional fulcrum of the opera turned out to be the soprano Corinne Winters as Soong’s daughter Ching-ling, whose idealistic enthusiasm and girlish admiration capture the heart of Sun and encourage him onward in his revolutionary work. Ms. Winters is an outstanding actress as well as a singer of extraordinary grace and finesse. The aria in which she laments the miscarriage she suffered during an attempt on Sun’s life was profoundly moving. Musically, too, her appearances are among the richest in the opera, weaving together ethnic instruments with Western strings in an alluring and innovative way."
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times

"Central to the production was Corinne Winters, a potent, luminous performer, as Soong Ching-ling. Winters generated the energy that drove the production and became an iconic figure for the suffering caused by revolution."
Simon Williams, Opera News

"Corinne Winters soared effortlessly as Soong Ching-ling, Sun's love interest..."
Craig Smith, Opera Magazine

"The most compelling bits come in moments of personal meditation... Also impressive was soprano Corinne Winters, as Soong Ching-ling, lamenting the loss of her baby in her Act 3 aria, “This loving homecoming.” This was the opera’s most private moment, and even if its material seemed cut from cloth strikingly different from the rest of the opera, its heartfelt performance drew in the audience, which rewarded Winters with the only “solo applause” in the course of the evening. "
James M. Keller, The New Mexican

"In tender dialogue with soprano Corinne Winters’ Ching-ling, [Joseph Dennis] also provided a complimentary vocal timbre. Real chemistry was established between the two in the scene of wedding vows, accompanied by the guchan, a type of zither customarily played by a person in solitude. Winters endowed Ching-ling with a tender anticipation to meeting him, making her, in the process, the opera’s most sympathetic character. Her final aria (“This loving homecoming…”) laments the miscarriage of her only child, a sacrifice made in the exigencies of saving her nation. It was accompanied by the plaintive quanzi (a tiny pipe-flute). The lyrically tender elegy induced the most sustained applause of any of the evening’s singing."
Rodney Punt, San Francisco Classical Voice

"SFO’s production of Dr. Sun Yat-sen marks the company’s finest venture thus far into 21st century opera. Musically and visually, it ranks high among all the many contemporary operas ever mounted debutante Corinne Winters, commands the stage in her two powerful arias and elsewhere; it’s a glowing voice, vibrant and colorful."
John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter

"Corinne Winters is dazzling as Ching-ling, her beautiful soprano glowing and gleaming as appropriate."
Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

"Ching-Ling’s aria of heartbreak (“There’s an unspeakable ache in my heart”) at having miscarried while running from assassins, [was] sung stirringly by Corinne Winters in a clarion, ringing soprano...a high point in the evening."
Mary Helen Klare, Albuquerque Journal

"The singing was all quite good, beginning with the demure but high-flying soprano of Corinne Winters as Sun’s young wife."
Charles T. Downey, The Classical Review

"The qingyi are the young women that are virtuous and admirable—perfect for the role of Soong Ching-ling, played by Corinne Winters. She is a lyric soprano who is beginning to make her mark on the international stage. In this role, she displays a truly beautiful and limpid sound with enough strength to allow her to sing a wide repertoire from Debussy’s Mélisande to Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake's Progress."
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones

"The rest of the cast of was equally fine. Corinne Winters, especially, was an impressive Ching-ling. Winters is a graceful singer and an outstanding actress on the opera stage. Her lament in Act III, Scene 1 was profoundly moving."
Maria Nockin, Opera Today