“Chen-Ye Yuan conveyed the power of Verdi’s vocal writing, and his portrayal of the twisted, pathetic jester was eloquent and deeply felt. In addition, his quick vibrato lent his commanding voice a vulnerability that he used to good effect.” – Opera News
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 the title role in Rigoletto, Escamillo in Carmen, Marcello in La bohème, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Silvio in I pagliacci, and Bhaer in Little Women, which aired on PBS’s Great Performances and was released on the Ondine label.
The 2014-2015 season saw Mr. Yuan’s debut with San Diego Opera as Chou En Lai in Nixon in China, his return to the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing as Escamillo in Carmen, Amonasro in Aïda with Zubin Metha conducting, and Carlo Gerard in NCPA’s new production of Andrea Chenier with Sir David McVicar directing. Additionally, he joined the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra and the GuiYang Symphony Orchestra as Giorgio Germont in La traviata and the Guang Zhou Symphony Orchestral for Penderecki’s Three Chinese Songs with Maestro Penderecki conducting. The 2015-2016 season and beyond includes his debut with the Auckland Symphony as Chou EnLai in Nixon in China, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, his return to the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing as Wolfram in Tannhäuser, and a return to Houston Grand Opera for Nixon in China.
Recently, Mr. Yuan made his debut with Santa Fe Opera in the role of Mr. Umeya in the world premiere of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. Additionally, he was seen in the premiere Zhou Long’s symphonic epic, JiuGe, at the Beijing Music Festival, as Seiko in Tea: A Mirror to the Soul with Vancouver Opera, Germont in La traviata at the ShangHai Summer Music Festival, as Michele/Schicchi in Il tabarro/Gianni Schicchi in his debut with Opera Carolina, Eugene Onegin at the NCPA in Beijing with Valery Gergiev conducting, and as the title role in Nabucco with Massimo Zanetti conducting, also with NCPA.
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.