"Strikingly attractive voice of ebony colour - “(Abendzeitung)"
Standing out in opera, concert and song recitals alike with her colourful timbre, flawless voice, and remarkable receptivity, the young mezzo-soprano is critically acclaimed as a "voice that is something to look out for.” (Operawire).
Current season highlights include Yajie Zhang's return to the Bavarian State Opera in Rossini’s La Cenerentola as Tisbe, as well as appearances in the new productions of G.F. Haas’ opera Thomas, The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček, Wagner’s Parsifal, and in Weber's Der Freischütz. A member of the Young Singers Programme at the Bavarian State Opera since the 2020/21 season, she sang her Munich debut in Castorf’s new production of Walter Braunfels’ Die Vögel, Dryade in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, and Annina in La Traviata. Yajie Zhang gave her operatic debut as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre. Since then, she has performed at Trier State Opera, the Opera Braunschweig, and at the National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, where she portrayed Nicklausse/Muse in Offenbach’s Les Contes d‘Hoffmann under Pinchas Steinberg before her recent return to Beijing in the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
Yajie Zhang's personality and her richly facetted mezzo-soprano were captivating from the very beginning.” (RBB Kultur).
As a recipient of fellowships from the Richard Wagner Foundation (2016) and the Lied Akademie Heidelberger Frühling (2016/2019), she has performed in concerts and recitals at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Schleswig- Holstein Musikfestival, Berlin's Pierre Boulez Hall, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, and NCPA in Beijing.
An avid concert and oratorio singer, Yajie Zhang sang Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra under Yu Long at the Beijing Music Festival in 2019, followed by a spectacular jump-in with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste with Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder. That same year, she appeared as a guest with the Shanghai Camerata under David Stern at the Shanghai Baroque Festival. She opened the 2020/21 season with concerts at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, performing works by Zemlinsky and Mahler alongside musicians of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Peter Hirsch.
The young mezzo-soprano has received numerous awards at various competitions, including the 2018 DEBUT Classical Singing Competition, the 2019 International Song Competition Das Lied in Heidelberg, the Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, and the International Opera Competition in Portofino, Italy. By 2017, she had already attracted international attention as the youngest contestant at the International Vocal Competition ’s-Hertogenbosch (IVC), where she was awarded the Grand Prix as well as the Opera and Junior Jury prizes.
Born in the Anhui province of China, Yajie Zhang began her vocal studies in Shanghai, during which time she was also a member of the Zhou Xiao Yan Opera Centre. In 2020 she completed her studies in Hannover with Marek Rzepka and Justus Zeyen, complemented by master classes with Brigitte Fassbaender, Thomas Hampson, Roman Trekel, Wolfram Rieger, Burkhard Kehring, Hartmut Höll, and Thomas Quasthoff.
As of the 2022/23 she joins the ensemble at the Oper Leipzig. Roles in the new season include Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Flora in La Traviata and Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes.
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