Pure Unadulturated Light

Need to hear a message full of hope and heart at the beginning of a New Year?  Here you are…

I came across the following news story the other day and was shocked to learn what hard times mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao has had over the past two years.  The news clip tells her story:  ABC News.Opera Singer Had only Months to Live…

I first heard Zheng sing in 2000 at Houston Grand Opera (HGO) in the Czech opera, Katya Kabanova.  She played Varvara, Katya’s free-spirited friend, the lone bright spot in the opera. She spread her joie de vivre the best she could in the story about social, political, and personal oppression. 

For that stay in Houston she brought her then-fiancé, Troy Donahue, with her.  He was to die the following year at 65 of a heart attack.

Later, in 2004 she returned to HGO to sing the part of Magali in Daniel Catán’s world premiere of Salsipuedes.



Zheng Cao and Scott Hendricks in Salsipuedes


Salsipuedes cast: Chad Shelton, Heidi Stober, Ana Maria Martinez, Zheng Cao, Scott Hendricks, Laquita Mitchell. Photos by Brett Coomer

Zheng made a lasting impression on me – to even remember these appearances from years ago! – because she had a beautiful voice and was full of life and a super performer.

I know we all wish her a long life, good health, and all the happiness in the world!

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