Zheng Zhou

Languages: English, Chinese

Bass-baritone Zheng Zhou possesses a “rich, creamy baritone” (Los Angeles Times) voice, and has excelled with major opera companies and orchestras in a wide range of styles from Mozart, Donizetti and Schubert to Verdi, Mendelssohn and Orff. He has been hailed by the St. Louis Dispatch as "a superior musician," while his performance of Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor led the San Francisco Examiner to exclaim, "Zheng Zhou shone. His fiercely concentrated, vocally and theatrically incisive Enrico would have been an asset in any Lucia.” The American Record Guide declared him “a sensationally good voice… that has the weight and depth of a bass and the comfortable upper range of a baritone” on his Art Songs CD.

He is currently a vocal professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His extensive training and experience abroad with the Metropolitan Opera, Madrid Teatro Real, San Francisco Opera, Vancouver Opera, China National Symphony, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival, Schubert Institute and Carnegie Hall, among many others, help him to contribute a well-rounded, international perspective on vocal studies in China. He has also guest taught at various other institutions, including the Concorso Internazionale: Musica Sacra (2013) as a judge, China Festival Hamburg: The Lieder Project (2014), the Arezzo Summer School (2016), and at Florida Gulf Coast University (2016) for a masterclass and recital."

Mr. Zhou made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1993 as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, and later returned to sing Ping in Turandot and Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. His San Francisco Opera debut came in 1992 in La Forza del Destino; with that company he has also sung in Milhaud's Christophe Colomb. He sang the roles of the Father and Ludovic in Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bête at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and subsequently on tour across the United States, Europe (including Brussels, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna), Mexico and Japan, and can be heard on the recording of the work. He has also appeared in two other Glass operas: in the world premiere of The White Raven with Expo '98 in Lisbon, the Teatro Real in Madrid, and in the 2005 U.S. premiere in the opening season of the Lincoln Center Festival with New York City Opera, as well as in The Civil Wars as Abraham Lincoln with the American Composers' Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. His other operatic engagements include the premiere of Bright Sheng's Song of Majnun with the San Francisco Symphony, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Tulsa Opera, and the roles of both Figaro and the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro with Illinois Opera Theatre and the Philippine Opera Company in Manila. Recently he has sung Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Vancouver Opera, Tonio in Pagliacci at Harrisburg Opera, Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida at Intermountain Opera and Eugene Opera, and King Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. He also premiered the role of Father in Jason K. Hwang’s new opera The Floating Box at the New York Asian Society, and the role of the bookman Manli in Chan Ka Nin’s new opera Iron Road in Toronto. Other roles include Mephistopheles in Berlioz's masterpiece La Damnation de Faust with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Frère Laurent in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, the title role of Mefistofele in Boito’s opera with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and Sparafucile and the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Don Carlo respectively, both with the Shanghai Opera House. Since returning to Shanghai, Zhou was also given the opportunity to perform in several of China's most prestigious venues, including debuting as Pang Haogang in the premiere performance of Weiya Hao's opera The River of Spring at the Shanghai Grand Theater in 2015, reprising the same role in a performance at the Tianjin Grand Theater in 2016.

Zhou's orchestral repertoire includes Bernstein's Chichester Psalms (Tanglewood Festival with Seiji Ozawa), Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem (at Carnegie Hall and with the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, Colorado Symphony, the China National Symphony, and the Shanghai Symphony with John Nelson in the work's Chinese premiere), Carmina Burana (Baltimore Symphony, the L.A. Master Chorale, the Pacific Chorale, Portland Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and Washington's Cathedral Choral Society), Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem (Milwaukee Symphony) and A Sea Symphony (South Bend Symphony), Elijah (Illinois Symphony and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic), Messiah (the New England Symphonic Ensemble and St. Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall), Verdi Requiem (Eisenstadt Music Festival in Austria, New Mexico Symphony, and China National Symphony), Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (Master Chorale of Washington D.C., Greenville Symphony), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Tulsa Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Asian Youth Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra), Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette Symphonie Dramatique (New Mexico Symphony), Qigang Chen's Poème Lyrique (San Francisco Symphony), and the Mozart Requiem (China Philharmonic Orchestra). With the New York Festival of Song he has sung Des Knaben Wunderhorn and a program of Russian music.

Mr. Zhou can be heard as Abraham Lincoln on Nonesuch Records' recording of Philip Glass' The Civil Wars, as the baritone soloist in Johannes Somary's Song of Innocence on Premier Recordings, in Jerrold Fisher's Hosannah on Compact Disc Digital Audio, in Jason K. Hwang’s chamber opera The Floating Box on New World Records, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on SLAU, and his exclusive Art Songs CD on Brioso Recordings. He has appeared on the San Francisco Opera's Schwabacher Debut Recital Series, and has given recitals at Tanglewood and in Baden bei Wien, Austria. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois, St. Louis Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, and a diploma in lieder performance from the Schubert Institute in Vienna.