“as Gunther, he gave dignity as well as lyrical phrasing and polished diction”
As winner of the 2007BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Shenyang was immediately propelled into the spotlight and an array of international engagements followed, including debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich and Washington National Opera. This versatile Chinese bass-baritone has since established himself as one of the finest voices of his generation, amassed an expansive repertoire for both the opera and concert stages, and enjoys collaborative relationships with many of today’s pre-eminent conductors.
After studies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, The Julliard School, Salzburg Young Artist Project and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, Shenyang launched his operatic career in roles by Rossini, Mozart and Handel. In a nod to a more dramatic future repertoire, Shenyang has in the the last two seasons made several key role debuts: Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Leonore with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck; Jochanaan in concert performances of Salome with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Liebreich; and Gunther in Götterdämmerung with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden, released on Naxos and described by Opera as “full of character…with lyrical phrasing and polished diction.”
Highlights of Shenyang’s 2020/21 season include his return to Glyndebourne Festival where he debuts, under Robin Ticciati, as Kurwenal in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and, on the concert stage, appearances with Kirill Petrenko and Berliner Philharmoniker as Creon in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Marin Alsop and ORF Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, Klaus Mäkelä and Oslo Philharmonic in Mussorgsky’s Songs of Dances and Death, andLong Yu and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
The concert stage has always played a pivotal part in Shenyang’s season planning, taking him to all corners of the globe in a varied repertoire: Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Tiresias) with Concertgebouworkest/Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Berliner Philharmoniker/Daniel Harding, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Sir Antonio Pappano, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with both the Sydney Symphony Orchestra/David Robertson and the San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson-Thomas; Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin, New York Philharmonic/Alan Gilbert and Oslo Philharmonic/Klaus Mäkelä, and Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with both Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest/Marc Albrecht and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding.
A passionate Lieder singer and curator of programmes, Shenyang presented ‘The Distant Beethoven’ to great acclaim at Shanghai’s 2020MISA Festival, focused around the composer’s Scottish and Irish folksongs, and performs a selection of Western compositions based on Chinese poetry including songs by Tcherepnin, Copland and Sigurd von Koch at Shanghai Oriental Arts Center this season. As the recipient of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Award, he gave his New York recital debut at Lincoln Center in 2009 with pianist Vlad Iftinca and joined Daniel Barenboim at Carnegie Hall for Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer. In 2015, Shenyang and the Stradivari Quartet presented Schubert’s Die Winterreise in a specially commissioned arrangement at Shanghai’s Symphony Hall, a programme he recently repeated with the Borusan Quartet at Istanbul’s Is Sanat Hall. Shenyang features on the recent Delos release, ‘A Lost World’ showcasing Schubert songs and duets together with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Brian Zeger.
Shenyang is committed to promoting the vocal treasures of his native heritage, and recently headlined two world premieres: Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion, first performed at the 2018 Dresdner Musikfestspiele before performances with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, and an extensive tour across China, and Xiaogang Ye’s orchestral song cycle, Song of Farewell, firstly in Beijing before taking it to Berlin’s Philharmonie with China National Symphony Orchestra.
“The finale revealed in Shenyang a Friar Laurence of impeccable diction, dark-hued and often thrilling delivery, and great musical sensitivity. His air, ‘Pauvres enfants’ was direct, unfussy, an excellent foil for the orchestra around him.”
(Seen and Heard International, September 2019)
“Shenyang’s Gunther is full of character”
(Opera Magazine, January 2019)
“Shenyang’s impeccably voiced Gunther”
(Gramophone, November 2018)
“the Chinese baritone Shenyang as Gunther – a thankless role but one to which he gave dignity as well as lyrical phrasing and polished diction.”
(Neil Fisher, Opera Magazine, April 2018)
“[Shenyang’s] earnest and full-bodied tone was a good counterbalance to Hagen’s brazen lack of decency.”
(Bachtrack, January 2018)
“Shenyang showed off an enormous, rich barrel of a voice as the Speaker.”
(New York Classical Review, December 2016)
“Chinese bass-baritone Shenyang graced Figaro with a plush instrument and fluid singing”
(Opera News, January 2016)
“The opening night boasted the dashing, resonant Figaro of Chinese star Shenyang”
(Seattle Times, January 2016)
“For his debut in Seattle it was Chinese bass-baritone Shenyang in the title role of Figaro…He gave a technically secure performance, revealing his celebrated vocal qualities in the last act.”
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