Guanqun Yu is one of the leading sopranos of the younger generation and appears regularly at the most prestigious opera houses worldwide.
Her engagements in the 2019/20 season include Desdemona (Otello) at the Staatsoper Hamburg and Opernhaus Zürich, where she will also sing in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. At Los Angeles Opera she will perform in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro (Contessa) under the baton of James Conlon. At the traditional NDR Klassik Open Air in Hannover she will portray the part of Micaela in a concert version of Carmen under the baton of Eivind Gullberg Jensen.
In the 2018/19 season Ms. Yu sang Bohème (Mimi) at the Opernhaus Zürich, Carmen (Micaela) and Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, concert performances of I due Foscari (Lucrezia) in Munich and Budapest, Trovatore (Leonora) at Teatro Comunale Bologna, Clemenza di Tito (Vitellia) in Los Angeles and Otello (Desdemona) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Important engagements in Ms. Yu’s 2017/18 season included Lucrezia in concert performances of I due Foscari at the Salzburger Festspiele, Simone-Amelia at the Staatsoper Hamburg, and Mimi at the Bayerische Staatsoper München. She also sang Elettra in Idomeneo as well as Liu and Micaela at the Opernhaus Zürich, and she returned to New York as Liù, while concerts brought her to Scandinavia and Germany.
In the 2016/17 season, Ms. Yu sang Micaela and Donna Anna in Frankfurt, returned as Mimi to Deutsche Oper Berlin and as Liù to Cologne, and made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro. Engagements in the 2015/16 season led Ms. Yu to Berlin, Zurich, Marseille, and once more to Bregenz Festival. She gave her debut that season as Mathilde in Guillaume Tell at the Staatsoper Hamburg, and as Contessa at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.
In 2014/2015 Ms. Yu sang Fiordiligi and Desdemona in Cologne, debuted as Nedda in Klagenfurt and as Rosina/Contessa in Los Angeles in the sequel opera productions Ghosts of Versailles and The Marriage of Figaro. She received a Grammy for her interpretation of Rosina. Additionally, she portrayed Liù at Bregenz Festival and Maria Boccanegra in Frankfurt and Dresden.
2013 saw Ms. Yu’s her debut as Contessa in Peking as well as her return to the Metropolitan Opera as Fiordiligiand to Valencia as Maria Boccanegra a.o. The soprano also debuted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2013 in a stunning performance as Desdemona.
Ms. Yu made her triumphant Metropolitan Opera debut in fall 2012 as Leonora in Il Trovatore, jumping in for a colleague who was ill. Her highly celebrated performance was heralded by The New York Times saying: “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…Ms. Yu conveyed a startling intimacy in the huge Met, as if you were peering into Leonora’s fevered thoughts.”
She was awarded in the Operalia Singing Competition and sang Lucrezia in Verdi’s I due Foscari next to Placido Domingo in Valencia. In the same season she returned to Valencia as Desdemona under the baton of Zubin Mehta, while her debut as Contessa followed in Beijing in 2013.
In 2008, Ms. Yu became member of the opera studio at Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In 2010 she debuted in Jeanne d’Arc under the baton of Bertrand de Billy at the Musikverein in Vienna. This was followed by, a.o., Donna Elvira in Bologna, Lina in Stiffelio at Teatro Regio di Parma (published on DVD) in 2012 and her debut as Trovatore-Leonora at the Verdi Festival Busseto.
Born and educated in China, Ms. Yu sang such major roles as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Gilda (Rigoletto) as part of the opera education programme during her studies in Shandong and Shanghai, during which time she also participated in concerts at important events. She first became known outside of China by winning the first prize at the famous Belvedere Singing Competition.