Chinese tenor Zhengyi Bai has been recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “charming verve and dramatic intensity.” In the 2023/24 season, Bai will return to San Francisco Opera to sing Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, sing the role of Colin in The Anonymous Lover with Boston Lyric Opera, as well as Goro in Madama Butterfly with Virginia Opera.
In the 2022/23 season, Bai joined the Metropolitan Opera, covering Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier and as a Resident Artist with Opera San José, singing Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, Dr. Caius in Falstaff and the Hunchback Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten and the cover of Goro with San Francisco Opera.
In opera, Bai’s recent roles include Fong See in On Golden Mountain (Los Angeles Opera), the First Prisoner in Fidelio (San Francisco Opera), Dancing Master/Lamplighter in Manon Lescaut (San Francisco Opera), Remendado in Carmen (San Francisco Opera), and Alessandro in Il Re Pastore (Merola Opera). In recitals and concerts, he has performed in “The Schwabacher Recital Series” in San Francisco and “The Future is Now” Concert with San Francisco Opera Orchestra. In the spring of 2021, Bai performed in San Francisco Opera’s Adlers at the Drive-In, which heralded SFO’s return to live performance.Read more
Born and raised in Shandong province of China, Bai began his studies as a piano performance student and a collaborative pianist. It was in his junior year in college he discovered his true instrument: his voice. With a solid musical foundation of piano study, Bai flourished in his vocal studies, completing his initial vocal training in Shandong, China, and continued his opera training in the United States. Bai was a participant of the Merola Opera Program, and then invited to join the renowned Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera.
“Tenor Zhengyi Bai, who emerged as the star of the evening, deployed a bright, ravishingly clear tone that carried his selections aloft with disarming ease, as well as an alluringly strong lower register that provided a solid foundation throughout.”
“That scene also foreshadowed the two most jaw-dropping performances to follow intermission. One was Bai’s extraordinary rendition of the “Aria of the Worm” from Corigliano’s 1991 opera “The Ghosts of Versailles,” a dark, fearsome celebration of the resilience of nature’s lowest and most contemptible creations. Bai negotiated the music’s punishingly high vocal line with dramatic intensity and steely lyricism, culminating in an unhinged but magnificently controlled shriek when the aria goes, as it were, to 11.”