For a few classes here at Hanover, attending cultural events is part of the requirements. However, I have discovered that while the term “cultural event” sounds like it could be boring, they are actually really exciting and interesting. Recently, I attended two of these events.
The first one was highlights from “La Traviata,” an Italian opera written by Giuseppe Verdi. I actually attended this because a few of my friends really wanted to go, so I tagged along.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. While some of the translations were hard to follow because they were singing in Italian with English subtitles displayed above them, the actors were so great, they really displayed the emotions they felt and the audience got the meaning without the subtitles.
Their fantastic acting abilities really made the opera a great experience. As an actor myself, I was amazed at both how loud and how long the performers were able to sing. It was also really fascinating to see theater from a different culture.
Just last week, I also attended the concert by a Chinese band called Shanren. The band had been around Hanover all week and had been doing workshops in a few classes. A few of my friends attended the workshops and told me that they really enjoyed what they learned, so we all went to see the actual concert.
My friends were right, and watching the band was a very entertaining experience. There were four men in the band: Qu Yabo, Chen Yuyong, Ou Jianyun and Xiao Budlan.
Each of these guys were from a different province in southwest China, so it was cool to see the differences in their locations through music. None of the members spoke English well, so they had an interpreter named Samuel Debell.
The band members would each have a time slot where they would perform music indigenous to their specific province. They would explain the meaning and translation of a song before they played it, and the interpreter would tell us what to look for in their music, what their songs meant to them, and what they should mean to the audience.
For some of the classes at Hanover, you may be required to attend different events that sound like they could be a real drag. However, if there is anything I have learned in the three months I have spent in college, it is to keep an open mind.
You never know, someday you might attend an event that will later become your passion for life.