“Nadir’s Aria,” Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles
“De’ miei bollenti spiriti,” Verdi’s La traviata
Proving himself a formidable talent and a rising star to watch in the opera world, Tenor Yi Li is quickly gaining attention in the lyric tenor repertoire. This season, Li performs the role of Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles with Toledo Opera, sings Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Canterbury Chorale at Carnegie Hall, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Bob Jones University, and returns to The Metropolitan Opera for Roméo et Juliette. Additionally, he will reprise his role in Huang Ruo’s Paradise Interrupted, an innovative contemporary opera that the Wall Street Journal hailed “a mesmerizing new work that is part opera, part dynamic art installation,” in Los Angeles this spring; last season, he performed this opera with Lincoln Center Festival, Singapore International Festival of the Arts, and Lincoln Center 2nd Annual Global Exchange.
Some highlights from Mr. Li’s recent seasons include the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Nashville Opera, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Malcom in Macbeth with Middlebury Opera Company; Cassio in Otello at The National Center Performing Arts in Beijing; the role of Alfredo in La traviata with Finger Lakes Opera; and concert engagements with Indianapolis Opera’s Opera’s Rising Stars Concert and a Chinese New Year Concert with Shenzen Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Additionally, he joined the esteemed roster of The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Manon Lescaut, Roméo et Juliette, and Der fliegende Holländer.
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.