As a young singer, baritone Chen-Ye Yuan developed his craft as a member of some of the finest training programs in the business, including the Houston Grand Opera Studio and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. Mr. Yuan proved his mettle as an up and coming singer when performing the role of Germont in La traviata with San Francisco Opera. Since being a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he has been invited back to sing numerous roles including, Tonio in I pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Marcello in La bohème and Bhaer in Little Women, which aired on PBS’s Great Performances and was released on the Ondine label.
Recently, Mr. Yuan was seen as Seiko in Tea: A Mirror to the Soul with Vancouver Opera and Germont in La traviata at the ShangHai Summer Music Festival. Mr. Yuan’s engagements for the 2013-2014 season include his debut with Santa Fe Opera in the role of Mr. Umeya in the world premiere of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the premiere Zhou Long’s symphonic epic, JiuGe, at the Beijing Music Festival, Du Bao in The Peony Pavilion with the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, his debut with Opera Carolina as Michele/Schicchi in Il tabarro/Gianni Schicchi, Eugene Onegin at the NCPA in Beijing with Valery Gergiev conducting and the title role in Nabucco, also with NCPA. Future seasons will see his debut with San Diego Opera and his return to both Houston Grand Opera and Vancouver Opera.
Mr. Yuan’s clear and supple voice, matched with his facility to portray vastly different characters, have earned him international acclaim. For his Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera, The Evening Herald described him as “… outstanding in the title role, combining great vocal power with heartfelt emotion.” Mr. Yuan has put his stamp on this title role having performed it with Houston Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Sacramento Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera St. Louis, and the Welsh National Opera which was broadcast live on the BBC.
In addition to performing with many of the United States and Canada’s premiere opera houses and symphonies, Mr. Yuan has favored the stage of many highly acclaimed venues stretching across Europe and Asia, including his native country China. He is widely known for his compelling interpretations of the standard repertoire such as Mozart, Beethoven, Puccini and Verdi; however, this auspicious baritone is no stranger to the challenge of a world premiere. Mr. Yuan sang the Dragon King in the premiere Legend of YaoJi. In Beijing, at the National Center for the Performing Arts, he showcased his seasoned artistry in the roles of Cheng Ying in Chinese Orphan and Zhou LuoPing in A Village Teacher. Also in Hong Kong, Mr. Yuan debuted the role of Umeya Shokichi in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.
Other recent engagements for Mr. Yuan include Marcello in La bohème with the Hang Zhou Philharmonic Orchestra and Chou En-Lai in Adams’ Nixon in China, a role with which Mr. Yuan is especially familiar, with San Francisco Opera and the Culture Center in Hong Kong.