Yalun Zhang is one of opera's most imposing baritones, and specifically as a leading Verdi baritone of a new generation, capable of interpreting the great roles of the Italian repertoire. Alan Kozinn described him for the New York Times on the occasion of his New York debut in the title role of Rigoletto. "a solid baritone with a reliable technique, a resonant sound and good dramatic instincts."
He has appeared as Amonasro in Aida, Scarpia in Tosca and as Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Metropolitan Opera, Amonasro at Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Ontario (Canada), Staatsoper Mannheim and Staatsoper Hannover, as Ezio in Attila for L'Opera National du Rhin (Strasbourg), Count di Luna in Verdi's Il Trovatore with New Orleans Opera, Opera Pacific, Fort Worth Opera, Nevada Opera, Saskatchewan Opera (Canada), Calgary Opera (Canada), Lyric Opera Ottawa (Canada), Don Carlos in Verdi's Ernani with Staats Oper Hannover (Germany); Gérard in Giordano's Andrea Chénier with L'Opera National du Rhin (France), New Orleans Opera, Florentine Opera, Germont in Verdi's La Traviata with New York City Opera; title role in Nabucco with Staatsoper Hannover, Renato in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera with Washington Opera (DC), Opera Colorado, and Staatsoper Hannover; the title role in Rigoletto with Florentine Opera (Milwaukee), Opera Colorado, and New York City Opera, Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo withPortland Opera, Opera Colorado, and Baltimore Opera; Tonio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci with Portland Opera, Opera Colorado, and New Jersey State Opera; Valentin in Gounod's Faust with both Opera Pacific and Fort Worth Opera; High Priest in Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila with Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera Theater, and Pittsburgh Opera; Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Colorado.
After five seasons as principal baritone in Hannover, Germany, Mr. Zhang joined the roster of the Stuttgart Opera as principal baritone, where his assignments during the past seven seasons include the major Italian baritone parts plus Wagnerian parts such as the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer and Telramund in Lohengrin. He recently triumphed the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer in Beijing and in Naples, Italy..
On the concert stage, he has appeared as soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Boulder (Colorado) Philharmonic and Central Philharmonic in Beijing. Soloist in Verdi's Requiem with Central Philharmonic in Beijing and at Savonlinna Festival (Finland).
Mr. Zhang was trained under the guidance of Nathaniel Merrill, Louise Sherman and Barbara Doscher at Opera Colorado in the early 90s. The initial success in his performances at Opera Colorado as Rodrigo in Don Carlo, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, and especially of his title role in Rigoletto established him as a career artist.
As a young artist, he was the recipient of many awards, including: National Winner of Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Winner of Luciano Pavarotti Voice Competition, Recipient of George London/William Matheus Sullivan Grant, Silver Medalist in the 9th international Competition for Young Singers in Sofia, Bulgaria, First Place in the Loren L. Zachary Voice Competition, First Place in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition.