Mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in the 2018/19 season, subsequently 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 Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Carmen, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Siébel in Gounod’s Faust and, in the Young Artists Summer Showcase, scenes from Pelléas et Mélisande and Il barbiere di Siviglia. In the Linbury Theatre, she received strong praise for her portrayal of Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra – “Wu is particularly impressive in the title role, singing this hugely difficult music with great skill and acting the role with great passion” (The Express).
The 2021/22 season sees Hongni Wu return to Covent Garden as Flora and makes two house debuts in the US: for San Francisco Opera as Bao Chai in Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber, and for Santa Fe Opera as Comrade Chin and Shu Fung in the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s M. Butterfly. In concert, she adds Verdi’s Messa da Requiem to her repertoire with the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra under Yang Yang, and returns to Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yu Long. On the recital platform, she debuts on the main stage of Guangzhou Opera House in a solo programme of Mahler and Strauss.
Recent highlights on the concert platform include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, Das Lied von der Erde with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra under Tan Dun, Respighi’s Il tramonto at Shanghai Symphony Hall in a chamber programme with bass-baritone Shenyang and the Polaris Quartet, and a national tour of China in Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion conducted by the composer himself.
A 2018 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Wu completed her Professional Studies and Master of Music Degree at the Manhattan School of Music (where she was recipient of the Stan Sesser Career Award), received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Xinghai Conservatory of Music, and participated in the Scuola di Bel Canto summer programme in Urbania, Italy. During her time at the Manhattan School of Music, Hongni Wu performed the roles of Angelina (La cenerentola), 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”. Further performing experience includes Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with Opera Maine, Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) with the Martina Arroyo Foundation, the title role in Carmen with the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, and Mrs. Umeya in Qingling Song at Guangzhou Opera House.