Chinese opera stars head to Melbourne for the New Year – just don’t expect the Blue Danube.

In a trans-cultural first, Melbourne will celebrate the Year of the Snake with a Chinese New Year’s Day Concert showcasing some of China’s hottest opera talent. Star singers from China’s leading opera houses perform a mix of Puccini, Rossini, Mozart and Gounod alongside classical Chinese arias and popular folk songs. Joining them will be guest Australian soprano Greta Bradman and Orchestra Victoria.

“Singing alongside the Chinese tenors is an incredible thrill,” Bradman told Limelight. “They are such superstars of the operatic world in China and have a wealth of experience between them. I’m humbled by their good humour, grace and excitement about being in Australia.”

In a bid to outdo Messrs. Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras, Melbourne will be getting no less than four of China’s leading tenors. Chi Liming has been heralded by Western media as “the most promising tenor in the world” while Xue Haoyin was the winner of the 2005 Royal Opera House Young Artists Competition. Both have appeared on numerous world stages. Their singing mates are Gu Xin, President of the China Oriental Performing Arts Group and Yang Yang, recognised...