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YUNPENG WANG

{Baritone}

Rising Stars YunPeng Wang lg 1015
Wang sings in the Met’s Live in HD transmission of Madama Butterfly in April.
© James Salzano

Y UNPENG WANG was in middle school in Shenzen, China, when he got hooked on opera by The Three Tenors. “I was amazed by the quality of the sound. I wanted to be one of them.” The baritone was about to graduate from the Central Conservatory in Beijing when he sang at a local dinner party that was attended by the dean of Manhattan School of Music, who invited him to come to New York to study at MSM on a full scholarship. Wang calls it “an absolute miracle.” While at MSM, Wang won the school’s Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition, singing “Ah! per sempre” with such passion and elegance that he brought tears to the eyes of at least two judges. Now twenty-seven, Wang is in his third year in the Lindemann Program at the Met, where this season he sings Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Yamadori in Butterfly. Wang says that he has “an old soul.” He loves to listen to vinyl records, which he hunts for in second-hand stores and on eBay, and names Verdi as his favorite composer, although he realizes the challenges of singing older characters at his age. “My favorite aria is ‘Di Provenza.’ Now, when I was a teenager, I wasn’t a very obedient kid. So when I sing that aria, I can borrow my dad’s feelings from my teenage years and put those into that role.”

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