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There are giant chunks of narrative [Ching] just set to music which is different ... In addition to full productions at the University of Missouri, Opera Memphis, Opera America's 2003 convention, Washington State University, University of Idaho, and elsewhere, Ching also toured the piece with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, using a piano and violin as accompaniment, throughout North Dakota, including some of the locations the expedition stopped at.Memphis's Tri-State Defender deemed the work an "epic success"; its review of the "enthusiastically received" work noted that "The years of preparation, study, writing, composing, editing and creating that were required to produce this panoramic and worthy opera is mind-boggling." The review found the score "monumental", "masterful", "magnificent and often haunting".reflects the profile of his teachers." And the Chicago Tribune reported that "Composer and librettist Ching ...borrows snatches of Puccini tunes and weaves them into his own conservative-eclectic idiom, tossing in bits of American pop ... The vocal writing is expert, the orchestration light enough to allow the singers to project the text clearly.Ching might well be tempted to craft a concert suite without the transitional material." His early miniature opera Leo: Opera in One Cat is a jazz-based 15-minute one-act opera, with a libretto by Fernando Fonseca based on Cal Massey's story "Leo Spat".It premiered in June 1985 at Houston Grand Opera's Texas Opera Theater, and subsequent venues included South Street Theater in New York City in October 1985.Buoso is charming and unpretentious ...." Opera News noted that Ching uses "a more modern musical mode, yet avoiding excessive atonality.
[T]he music stands remarkably well on its own – rather like a string of pearls....He told the Memphis Daily News, "Barbara and I always had a plan that I would be able to stay home and write and she would be the one carrying the economic ball.The time was right and the job came through." Ching's Piano Concerto, commissioned by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, had its well-received premiere in 1997.He wanted to go into music but his family discouraged him." Ching started piano at the age of six and was quite skilled at it, at one point considering a career as a concert pianist.In addition, he studied flute, violin, and oboe, mostly for the sake of composition.