Proving himself a formidable talent and a rising star to watch in the opera world, Tenor Yi Li (he/him) is quickly gaining attention across the globe. Recently, Li debuted the role of Cheng Quing in Meredith Monk’s ATLAS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and moved into bigger repertoire – debuting the role of Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West in Maryland Lyric Opera’s inaugural season. Mr. Li subsequently returned there as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Luigi/Turridu in Il Tabarro/Cavalleria Rusticana, as well as The Metropolitan Opera as the Young Lover in Il tabarro.
Engagements last season included a return to Maryland LyricOpera for Turandot – singing Pang and covering Calaf, the China Now MusicFestival as Danny in An American Soldier, a house debut at Opera Tampa as Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana, the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Jackson Symphony, Angel Island Oratorio at the Sante Fe Opera, and a gala concert for the 10th Anniversary of Finger Lakes Opera. This season, Li will return to Maryland Lyric Opera for as Fenton in Falstaff and Cassio in Otello, perform as a soloist in Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion with the Seattle Symphony, rejoin the China Now Music Festival in partnership with Bard College, and sing Handel’s Messiah with the Naples Philharmonic. Future engagements include a return to the role of Rodolfo in La bohème.
Other operatic engagements include the role of Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles with Toledo Opera; Nicias in Thaïs with China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Nashville Opera, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Cassio in Otello at The National Center Performing Arts in Beijing; the role of Alfredo in La traviata with Finger Lakes Opera; and his performance in Huang Ruo’s innovative contemporary opera, Paradise Interrupted. Mr. Li has also joined the esteemed roster of The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Manon Lescaut, Roméo et Juliette, and Der fliegende Holländer.
Concert engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Canterbury Chorale at Carnegie Hall, Indianapolis Opera’s Opera’s Rising Stars Concert and a Chinese New Year Concert with Shenzen Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.
Mr. Li recently graduated from Washington National Opera’s revered Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program where his assignments included Rodolfo in La bohème and productions of Die Zauberflöte and Dialogues des Carmélites. At San Francisco Opera’s world-renowned Merola Program, assignments included Belfiore in La finta giardiniera, Smith in Bizet’s La jolie fille de Perth, and Lionel in Martha.
Mr. Li’s training includes an Artist Diploma in Voice from University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he performed Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Ruggero in La rondine. During his time there, he also performed The Duke in Rigoletto at Cincinnati Opera and Don José in Carmen at CCM Spoleto Festival. He also holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Sichuan Conservatory in China, where performances include Alfredo in La traviata, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La bohème, and Cavradossi in Tosca.
Finding success on the emerging artist competition circuit, Yi Li’s talent has been recognized by several elite foundations and organizations. Mr. Li was a Grand Final Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist at Operalia: The World Opera Competition, Winner of the Sullivan Musical Foundation Award, China’s representative at the Cardiff Singer of the
World Competition, 3rd Prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, Finalist in the 49th International Singing Competition of Toulouse, and won the Grand Prize in Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition and CCM’s Corbett Scholarship Competition. He also received a grant from Giulio Gari Foundation and performed at their annual gala.