He Hui discusses Journey to the West in the Gramilano Questionnaire

Asked about her greatest achievement, He Hui answers:

“I think that my greatest achievement is my career because I’m a Chinese woman that has a great career in the world of Italian opera. It wasn’t easy to absorb a different culture and way of living and thinking, but music is a universal language because it’s made from emotions and themes that are part of all of our lives. I’m proud of what I achieved. Today I can say that I have been brave and I hope that my story can motivate people. I’m so happy that it has inspired a movie, Hui He: the soprano from the Silk Road by Andrea Prandstraller and Niccolò Bruna and a book, Journey to the West: He Hui, a Chinese Soprano in the World of Italian Opera by Melanie Ho.”

Read all of He Hui’s answers in the Gramilano Questionnaire here.

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Journey to the West featured in Cha's "Writing Hong Kong"

An excerpt from Journey to the West was published in the tenth anniversary issue of literary journal Cha, themed "Writing Hong Kong". 

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While an Asian Butterfly is not a rarity, it is hardly de rigueur either. In many ways, the art of opera is blind to race: audiences accept a Chinese soprano playing an Ethiopian princess, an African-American playing Italian noblewoman or a Swedish soprano as the Chinese Turandot. What matters—what has always mattered—is the voice. In the past few decades, and especially with the advent of live and high-definition broadcasts, movement and acting have taken on greater importance. Cio-Cio-san, for example, is not just Japanese, but a fifteen-year old girl and sopranos are thus tasked with making a character often half or sometimes a quarter their age feel believable. It is now the expectation; when a soprano’s voice works but the movements and facial expressions are off-key, the audience takes note.

Review in Caixin: Biography Hits High Notes of Chinese Soprano’s Career

A review of Journey to the West is published in Caixin Global, part of the influential Chinese financial media group Caixin. 

Reporter Joshua Dummer writes: "The book overall is engaging and passionate enough that even an opera philistine like me (I’ve only ever been to one once and I fell asleep) felt the need to listen to a Verdi opera after finishing the book, to see if I could appreciate what Ho and He clearly love."

Launch of Journey of the West with He Hui

Journey to the West: He Hui, a Chinese soprano in the world of Italian opera was launched on October 11 at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong. He Hui spoke about her life as China's first prima donna and then signed copies of the autobiography. 

He Hui signing copies of  Journey to the West: He Hui, a Chinese soprano in the world of Italian opera.

He Hui signing copies of Journey to the West: He Hui, a Chinese soprano in the world of Italian opera.

He Hui signing a copy of  Journey to the West  for Antonello De Riu, the Italian Consul General in Hong Kong. 

He Hui signing a copy of Journey to the West for Antonello De Riu, the Italian Consul General in Hong Kong.