From: Beijing, China. LA Opera: Angelotti in Tosca (2022, debut).
Grammy Award-winning bass Wei Wu trained at the People’s University of China, Beijing, before continuing his education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which this year bestowed upon him the Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.
Mr. Wu’s 2021/22 season began at Bard Summerscape in a role debut as Allan in Chausson's Le roi Arthus. He then joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover the role of Timur in Turandot. Other engagements include appearing with New Orleans Opera as Hunding in the first act of Die Walküre, and returning to Opera Philadelphia as Sparafucile in Rigoletto. The season also features the rescheduled tour of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Austin Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, where he reprises the role of Kobun. Future seasons include his return to Opera Philadelphia.
For the COVID-19 impacted 2020/21 season, his original engagements included the Inspector in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Woman with Eyes Closed with Opera Philadelphia (postponed), his role debut as Gremin in Eugene Onegin in a return to Minnesota Opera (cancelled), and Ferrando in Il Trovatore with Portland Opera in his company debut (cancelled). He was also scheduled to return to the role of Kobun in the touring production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Austin Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City (all postponed). In concert, he planned to debut with the Grand Rapids Symphony as the Bass Soloist for Mozart’s Requiem (postponed).
Mr. Wu’s original engagements for the COVID-19 shortened 2019/20 season featured company debuts with Opera Philadelphia as the Bonze in Madama Butterfly (postponed) and with Pensacola Opera as Ferrando in Il Trovatore (cancelled). He returned to Washington National Opera as Sarastro in The Magic Flute and Lodovico in Otello (both performed), NCPA Beijing as the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann (performed), Pittsburgh Symphony as Rocco in Fidelio (performed), and appeared with the PROTOTYPE Festival as the Nephew in Garrett Fisher's Blood Moon (performed).
In the previous season, Mr. Wu returned to Washington National Opera as the Sacristan in Tosca, sang the role of Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Maryland Lyric Opera, and debuted with Minnesota Opera as Arnold “Chick” Gandil in the world premiere of Joel Puckett’s The Fix. With NCPA Beijing he appeared as the King in Aida, and he appeared in concert with The Orchestra Now for Verdi’s Requiem.
In the 2017/18 season, Mr. Wu sang Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville with Washington National Opera, appeared in concert with the West Virginia Symphony for Verdi’s Requiem, and sang the Bonze in Madama Butterfly with The Princeton Festival.
The bass’s performances in the 2016/17 season included creating the role of Kobun in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs in his debut with Santa Fe Opera, Timur in Turandot with Pittsburgh Opera and Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville with NCPA Beijing, and he covered Gualtiero Walton in I Puritani for the Metropolitan Opera. On the concert stage, he joined the Kansas City Symphony and Choral Arts DC for the Mozart Requiem, and appeared with Washington Concert Opera as Phanuel in Hériodade.
Mr. Wu’s 2015/16 season included engagements singing the Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila at the NCPA Beijing, Bonze in Madama Butterfly with North Carolina Opera in his company debut, Father Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with Pittsburgh Opera, and the Ghost of Nino in Washington Concert Opera’s production of Semimirade. In his final year as a Cafritz Young Artist of Washington National Opera, his role assignments included covering the role of Zuniga in Carmen, and Wilcox in the world premiere of Luna Pearl Woolf's Better Gods.
In the 2014/15 season, he appeared as Colline in La Bohème, the King in The Little Prince, Javelinot in Dialogues of the Carmelites, covered the Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas, and sang Mr. Shaw in the world premiere Penny. He made his debut with Washington Concert Opera in Guntram under the baton of Antony Walker, and joined the Glyndebourne Festival to cover Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio. Mr. Wu also made his Alice Tully Hall debut singing in concert with performers from China’s I Sing Festival, and debuted with NCPA Beijing as the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann under director Francesca Zambello.
In his first season with Washington National Opera, Mr. Wu has made his debut in the world premiere production of The Lion, The Unicorn and Me as the Inn Keeper, Lizard, Ox and The Shepherd, and he also appeared in Breaking, part of the American Opera World Chinese Initiative. He has also appeared in The Magic Flute as the Second Armored Man at the Kennedy Center.
A native of China, the bass first came to the United States as a young artist covering the title role in the world premiere of Guo Wenjing's Poet Li Bai at Central City Opera in 2007. He also served as the lead cover of Li Bai throughout the production’s subsequent tour in Rome, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Denver and Los Angeles. While a student at University of Colorado, Wei Wu performed roles including: Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro (University of Colorado), Colline in La Bohème (Colorado Springs Philharmonic), Ferrando in Il Trovatore and Tom in Un Ballo in Maschera (China National Opera), and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte (Opera Arkansas).
Mr. Wu is a regional finalist and district special award winner (Rocky Mountain Region) for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition in 2010 and 2012. He was also the winner of the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition in 2011 and 2012, and placed third in the 5th Taiwan Vocal Competition. He is featured as Kobun on the cast recording of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, which received the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.
Mr. Wu received his B.M. in Vocal Performance from the People’s University of China, Beijing, and received his Performance Certificate and M.M. in Voice Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder.