“Yu, a native of Shandong, China, who won second prize last June in the Operalia competition, revealed a flexible, beautifully marbled soprano that trembled with emotion, along with a naturalistic acting style that was fully integrated into her singing. She turned the soaring phrases of “Tacea la notte placida” into a luscious treat, pouring her heart out about the man she loves and letting us know right out of the gate that the action would be based on authentically grand passion.”

Opera News

“The soprano Guanqun Yu was already scheduled to sing Leonora for her first performance at the Met on Oct. 17, but her debut was moved up when a colleague fell ill. It was an excellently sung, impressively assured performance. Ms. Yu’s voice has silvery focus with a dark patina; it soared over the ensemble that ends Act II. Most important, even at this early point in her career, she already uses coloratura not merely to sound pretty but also to express character. Singing both verses of her fourth-act cabaletta with fiery accuracy — a challenge even for more experienced singers — Ms. Yu conveyed a startling intimacy in the huge Met, as if you were peering into Leonora’s fevered thoughts.”

The New York Times

“Yu, who trained in Shanghai and was a winner of the 2012 Operalia competition, has a big, well-focused voice with a warm, gleaming top. She deservedly won an enthusiastic ovation for her opening aria “Tacea la notte placida” and the tricky cabaletta which follows.”


“Guanqun Yu gave a successfully committed performance as the opera’s true hero Leonora. As she came on stage to sing her opening aria “Tacea la Notte Placida” the energy she commanded as she looked about for the arrival of Manrico suggested that of a care­free woman. She threw off the coloratura flourishes in the ensuing cabaletta with relative ease and even held the C at the top of the run on the repetition of the piece.”

Latino’s Post

“A graceful figure on stage, Yu has a warm, lustrous voice that is even in all registers… Her
pluck and poised, generous singing rightly won grateful ovations”

The Classical Review

“The evening overall was a pleasant surprise. The Leonora was probably the chief reason for the evening’s relative success. Guanqun Yu has a lovely, well-produced, fairly large lyric soprano voice that she uses with taste and refinement.”

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