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This album opens with the serene pastoral song [1] Flow Gently, Sweet Afton, written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1791 and set to music by Jonathan E. Spilman in 1837.

In La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), a 1910 Italian opera by Giacomo Puccini set in a California gold mining camp, the captured outlaw Dick Johnson, soon to be hanged, sings [2] Ch'ella mi creda (Let Her Believe), begging his executioners to spare his beloved Minnie the news of his tragic death, leaving her in the belief that he has started a new life far away, but never to return.

From the 1924 operetta Rose-Marie, where the story took place in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the song [3] Indian Love Call (composed by Rudolf Friml, with lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II) was immortalized in a 1936 film, where Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy sang the song as a duet.

Inspired by the beauty of nature in Taiwan, the [4] Shepherd's Song of Jianqing, with music by Lin Shengxi and lyrics by Huang Ying, portraits a shepherd tending his flock of sheep on the sunny green hills, though stirred by thoughts of his old country and heroes of the past.

The Irish ballad [5] The Rose of Tralee, with words attributed to C. Mordaunt Spencer and music by Charles Glover, expresses William Pembroke Mulchinock's love for Mary O'Connor. Pardoned after six years of political exile in India, William returned to Tralee, only to find that his beloved Mary had died.

In Franz Lehár's 1929 Viennese operetta Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles), Prince Sou-Chong from China sings [6] Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (Yours is My Heart Alone) to his beloved Lisa, who left Austria to marry him in China.

In 1913, Fred E. Weatherly wrote the lyrics [7] Danny Boy, one of several set to the beautiful old Irish tune "Londonderry Air".

The popular Neapolitan song [8] O sole mio (My Sun) was written in 1898, with music by Eduardo di Capua and lyrics by Giovanni Capurro.

[9] Old Folks at Home (also known as Swanee River), the state song of Florida, is a minstrel song written in 1851 by Stephen Foster.

L'Africaine (The African Woman) is a French opera composed in 1865 by Giacomo Meyerbeer (with libretto by E. Scribe), on the voyage of Vasco da Gama, the first European to sail around Africa to reach India. After great danger, da Gama finds himself in a beautiful exotic country, leading to his passionate outburst of praise, [10] O Paradis (O Paradise).

[11] East Flows the Long River, composed by Qing Zhu in 1920, with lyrics written by the poet Su Shi, who in 1082 visited a historic battleground along the Long River and felt the spirit of the ancient heroes.

The operetta The Desert Song was composed by Sigmund Romberg in 1926, with the hero based loosely on Josef Klems, a German disguised in Arabic costume who led the locals against the French in the Moroccan war of the 1920s (though T.E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia", was often mistaken to be the model for the hero). In the operetta, Pierre, in disguise, woos Margot, a French girl who is attracted to her mysterious captor, with [12] One Alone, and they sing a duet [13] The Desert Song.

William Hsieh trained as a tenor under Donald Brown (1985-86) and Frank Huang (1987-2012), and completed grade 10 (voice) from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2001. He is married to Jean Wai Yee Hsieh, mezzo-soprano, whose voice appears in the duet [13].

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