"An Enchanted Evening Under the Stars"
The 2018 Evening Under the Stars Gala marks the 30th anniversary of Portland and Suzhou sister city friendship. It is the culmination of weekend-long festivities that encompassed sister city friendship tree planting ceremony, photo exhibit at the City Hall and Suzhou Chinese Orchestra performances at PSU’s Lincoln Hall.
We kicked off this year’s Gala with the Lee Association Dragon and Lion Dance led by Terry Lee. For the first time in PSSCA Gala history, the entertainment program featured prominent artists from both Suzhou and Portland. As the 2018 Gala Chair, the highlight of the entertainment program is the process of producing and presenting a variety of high quality performances with seamless delivery. Our distinguished guests from both cities were treated to a visual and auditory feast that embodied the integration and unity of East and West cultural elements: a beautiful melody of Kunqu Opera from the Peony Pavilion by a famed master from Suzhou juxtaposed with heart-warming arias of Puccini and Verdi sang by Portland Opera stars; Suzhou Chinese Orchestra musicians whose skillful performance on traditional Chinese musical instruments - Pipa and Guzheng - enchanted our audience while BodyVox dancers morphed their physical beauty with that of natural setting at Lan Su Garden.
I continue to be amazed at how we managed to pull off a stunning show without the luxury of rehearsal time when artists from various professional companies in both cities who have never met before came together in the last hour! Deep gratitude is also expressed for our generous donors and sponsors! (link to sponsors) It speaks volumes of all involved whose discipline, commitment and goodwill transcend language and cultural barriers, the strongest testament to the long-lasting relationship of Portland and Suzhou.
Happy 30th Anniversary!