Mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu spent two seasons as part of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, making her house debut as Flora in Richard Eyre’s popular production of La traviata under Antonello Manacorda. Further roles on the main stage included Mercédès in Carmen, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Siébel in Gounod’s Faust and, as part of the Young Artists’ Summer Showcase, scenes from Pelléas et Mélisande and Il barbiere di Siviglia. In a production of Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra at the Linbury Theatre, Wu received unanimous praise for her gripping portrayal of the title role.
Of Hongni Wu’s sensational debut as Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos at Opéra National de Montpellier last season, Forum Opéra wrote “the timbre of the voice is fresh, radiant and assured.” She enjoyed further acclaim as Bao Chai in Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber at San Francisco Opera, and for the creation of the dual roles of Comrade Chin and Shu Fung in the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Madama Butterfly at Santa Fe Opera.
Wu’s 2022/23 season includes performances as Angelina in La cenerentola at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova under Music Director Riccardo Minasi, which she reprises later in the season for Opera Maine, a role debut as the Kitchen Boy in a new production of Rusalka at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Semyon Bychkov, and her Canadian debut as Dorabella in Così fan tutte at Pacific Opera Victoria under Artistic Director Timothy Vernon. In concert, she joins Paavo Järvi and Philharmonia Orchestra for Mahler’s Symphony No.3 at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
Whilst studying at the Manhattan School of Music, Hongni gave performances as Angelina, Sesto (La clemenza di Tito) and La libellule (L’enfant et les sortilèges), garnering praise from the New York Times for her “technical agility, warm colourings, and ample sound,” and was a 2018 winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Equally comfortable on the concert or recital stage, Hongni Wu recently performed Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Yu Long/Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and Tan Dun/Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra. Other performances include Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, Respighi’s Il tramonto at Shanghai Symphony Hall in a chamber programme together with bass-baritone Shenyang and the Polaris Quartet, and Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion on a national tour of China, conducted by the composer. In recital, Wu has recently appeared on the main stages of Guangzhou Opera House and Shanghai Symphony Hall in a solo programme of Mahler and Strauss.