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, who this year bestowed upon him the Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.

For the COVID-19 impacted 2020-2021 season, engagements include 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. He also returns to the role of Kobun in the touring production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Austin Opera (postponed), Atlanta Opera (postponed), and Lyric Opera of Kansas City (postponed). In concert, he debuts with the Grand Rapids Symphony as the Bass Soloist for Mozart’s Requiem.

Mr. Wu’s original engagements for the COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 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 Die Zauberflöte and Lodovico in Otello (both performed), NCPA Beijing as the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann (performed), Pittsburgh Symphony as Rocco in Fidelio (performed), and appeared with the PROTOTYPE Festival as the Nephew in 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 Il Re in Aida, and he appeared in concert with The Orchestra Now for Verdi’s Requiem.

In the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Wu sang Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia 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 2016-2017 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 Il barbiere di Siviglia 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 withWashington Concert Opera as Phanuel in Hériodade.

Mr. Wu’s 2015-2016 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 Better Gods.

In the 2014-2015 season, he appeared as Colline in La bohème, The King in The Little Prince, Javelinot in Dialogues of the Carmelites, covers the Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas, and sings Mr. Shaw in the world premiere Penny. He made his debut with Washington Concert Opera in Guntram under the baton of Maestro Antony Walker, and joined the Glyndebourne Festival to cover Osmin in Die entführung aus dem Serail. 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 Les contes d’Hoffman 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 titular role in the world premiere of 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 Le nozze di 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 (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 2011and 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.

 

Washington National Opera – Tosca

Wei Wu provided particular pleasure as the Sacristan, creating a multi-dimensional character in deft strokes. And how refreshing to hear this role truly sung in a rich, resonant tone, rather than the all-too-familiar approach that relies on staccato yelps.”

Tim Smith, Opera News

The Orchestra Now – Verdi Requiem

The bass occupies a special place in all Verdi’s works, as if that voice represents peace and reconciliation – a grounding amidst the drama. Wei Wu’s bass did exactly that, and with a volume and depth that was wonderfully rich and warm, while also able to powerfully carry over the orchestra at climactic moments.”

Matt Costello, OperaWire

Washington National Opera – Il barbiere di Siviglia

As Don Basilio, Wei Wu, one of the most promising alumni from the Domingo-Cafritz program, demonstrated excellent comic timing to go with his vibrant, muscular bass.”

Tim Smith, Opera News

Santa Fe Opera – (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

…and the Chinese bass Wei Wu almost stole the show. Familiar to Washington audiences from his years in the Domingo-Cafritz program and repeated appearances since, he seems to have realized his considerable potential, singing with a rich gorgeous sound that never flagged, backed up by a twinkle in his eye that made this character a delight.”

Anne Midgette, Washington Post

“Bass Wei Wu was a magnificent presence as Kobun, delivering his puckish aphorisms with resonant grace, and dropping at one point to a phenomenal, rumbling low E like some kind of Buddhist Sparafucile.”

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

Pittsburgh Opera – Turandot

Bass Wei Wu was impressive as Calaf’s father Timur, featuring a clear and muscular tone (not to mention a fantastic costume and wig).”

Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post -Gazette

Washington Concert Opera – Hérodiade

Wu, in particular, had something of a breakthrough night in the role of the court astrologer/adviser Phanuel, which showcased his beautiful, rich, low bass voice.”

Anne Midgette, Washington Post

Washington National Opera – The Little Prince

The textures come through the different characters’ musical themes (think Peter and the Wolf) which artfully support the strengths of the splendid cast of the mostly Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists as if the songs were made on them “like a glove” (despite the opera having originated in Houston almost a decade ago.) So, The King gets plenty of clashing brass featuring bass singer Wei Wu’s impeccable diction and clarity of sound.”

Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene

 

“The King (Wei Wu) with no other subjects was a standout vocally–suitably bombastic and had a superlative bass.”

Brian Bochiccio, mdtheatreguide.com

 

“There was certainly plenty to like that evening, including Wei Wu, a bass in the Domingo-Cafritz program whose singing I’m starting to look forward to, […]”

Anne Midgette, the Washington Post

 

Washington National Opera – The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me

“Wei Wu sounded vigorous as the Innkeeper and Ox (among other roles).”

Anne Midgette, the Washington Post

 

Washington National Opera – Penny

“Wei Wu, like Otaño and O’Halloran another current Domingo-Cafritz member, once again impressed with his resonant bass and increasingly authoritative stage presence.”

Anne Midgette, the Washington Post

 

Wei Wu sings “O wie will ich triumphieren” from Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.