PRATIE PLACE

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tyler Thompson Sings Chinese Opera

Tyler Thompson is an African American 4th grader who sings and loves Chinese opera. He lives in an African-American neighborhood, but attends public school in Chinatown. Tyler was in first grade when, hearing his "angelic voice," his music teacher began teaching him Mandarin folk songs.

He learned so well and was so enthusiastic she cast him in the school's Chinese opera production; as one of the leads, he must combine mime, song, and acrobatics. Tyler doesn't speak Chinese so he learns by rote from tapes. He must have a great ear, because his Mandarin accent is supposedly "impeccable."

Since the Wall Street Journal article, Tyler has become a media darling; he says he likes the publicity and that when he grows up he wants to be "the same as I am now -- a Chinese opera singer." Onstage, he gets a "tickly feeling" in his stomach.

Tyler's neighborhood friends, Walter, Je'lon and Marcus, think his singing is weird. "But as long as I'm supporting them in what they wanna do, they support me in what I wanna do," he says.

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5 Comments:

At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey u dont know who i am but u rock at singing

 
At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey u dont know who i am but u rock at singing :)

 
At 1:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, but i have to say. Tyler's singing abilities are way overrated. the boy simply cannot sing. and what so hard about singing in Chinese? i don't care if he's blue, green, or purple, but he can't sing. his voice is not good. being a singer myself, i know. i plya in the chinese orchestra taht he sings with. also, anyone can sing in any language if they really want to. it's jsut immitating sounds. why don't i get "Wowed" if i sing in Italian or Japanese (i'm chiense, by the way). this is ridiculous. people need to stop getting so hyped up about him. if he really were a good singer, i woudlnt' be saying this. but he isn't.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I think you are amazing! I am part of the National Music Association in the USA and you are very gifted. Dont listen to others you put you down. It is only because they are JEALOUS.

 
At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinese and have studied the music. When an audience gives a standing ovation, it is because the are moved by talent. Novelty gets applause, Tyler gets ovations because of his talent. If you sing in Italian, Japanese or your native tounge and get an and don't get "wowed", I'm sorry. But it doesn't make Tyler's accomplishment any less impressive. If you are a part of the troupe you should encourage him & get them to put a video up! You guys are great and he is a goldmine!

 

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