Prof. Liao Changyong (Chinese: 廖昌永; born October 25, 1968), sometimes referred in Western media as C. Y. Liao or Changyong Liao, is a Chinese operatic baritone and academic. He won first prize in three different international competitions in 1996 and 1997: the Operalia, The World Opera Competition; the French International Toulouse Singing Competition; and the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. While his performance career has mainly been in China, he has appeared as a guest artist with opera companies and orchestras internationally. He is the head of the voice department at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Life and career
Born in Pi County in the outskirts of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Liao was trained by vocal pedagogue Zhou Xiaoyan and tenor Luo Wei at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music from which he graduated in 1995. In 1996 and 1997 he won three major international singing competitions which catapulted his career: the Operalia, The World Opera Competition, the French International Toulouse Singing Competition, and the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. That same year he was a featured soloist in concert with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Queen Sonja of Norway in attendance.
In 2000 Liao made his debut at the Washington National Opera as the Count di Luna in Verdi's Il trovatore at the Kennedy Center with Plácido Domingo conducting. In 2001 he portrayed Enzo in Attila with the Opera Orchestra of New York (OONY) at Carnegie Hall, and was heard again with that ensemble the following year as Captain Israele in Gaetano Donizetti's Marino Faliero. In 2002 he sang the role of Méphistophélès in Berlioz's La damnation de Faust with the China Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2003 he made his debut at the Dutch National Opera as the Japanese Prince in Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of Soul. That same year he made his debut with the Michigan Opera Theater as the Count di Luna, and was also seen with that company as Renato in Un ballo in maschera. In 2004 he sang the role of Pasha Seid in Verdi's Il corsaro with the OONY under Eve Queler at Carnegie Hall.
In 2005 Liao portrayed the role of Renato to Claire Rutter's Amelia and Patrizia Patelmo's Ulrica for his debut at the Florida Grand Opera. In 2007 he sang the title role in Verdi's Rigoletto in Shanghai. In 2008 he was a featured soloist in the opening of the Beijing Music Festival. In 2010 he was a guest soloist in the New York Philharmonic's concert series "Concerts In the Park", performing Rossini arias with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. That same year he was the baritone soloist in Karl Orff's Carmina Burana with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He sang that work again in 2013 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under conductor Long Yu.
Liao has been a fixture in western opera performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing for more than a decade. Recent appearances at that theater include Count Capulet in Roméo et Juliette (2005), Rodrigo in Don Carlo (2008), Giorgio Germont in La traviata (2011), Figaro in The Barber of Seville (2013), Count Ankarström in Un ballo in maschera (2013), Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro (2015), and Vaskov in Kirill Molchanov's The Dawns Here Are Quiet (2015). He has also performed with frequency at the Shanghai Grand Theatre, including a 2013 concert with pianist Lang Lang, and a performance at the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards.
- Who's who in Asia and the Pacific Nations. International Biographical Centre. 1999. p. 246. ISBN 9780948875632.
- "Chinese student wins Toulouse Int'l Voice Competition". English.news.cn. September 12, 2010.
- Zhang Qian (March 12, 2007). "Verdi's 'Rigoletto' goes minimalist". China Daily.
- Robert Turnbull (March 4, 2010). "China's First Lady of Opera". The New York Times.
- Juliet Chung (March 4, 2010). "The Met Grooms a Young Star". The Wall Street Journal.
- Classical. News of Norway. 54–57. p. 97.
- "Washington Opera; Il Trovatore". Kennedy Center Performance Archives. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Anthony Tommasini (April 26, 2002). "Opera Review; A Neglected Donizetti With A Heroic Doge". The New York Times.
- Anne Midgette (April 26, 2003). "OPERA REVIEW; Early Verdi With All Stops Out". The New York Times.
- "China Philharmonic Orchestra Debuts French Dramatic Legend". Embassy of the People's Republic of China In The State of Israel. January 21, 2002. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Donald V. Calamia (October 16, 2003). "Michigan Opera Theatre begins season with 'A Masked Ball'". Pride Source.
- Anne Midgette (March 26, 2004). "OPERA REVIEW; One Verdict on Verdi Singing, With Room for an Indulgence". The New York Times.
- "Un Ballo in Maschera- Miami". Opera News. 70 (1). July 2005.
- Gala: Beijing Music Festival. Beijing Review. 51. 2008. p. 42.
- Anthony Tommasini (July 14, 2010). "Let It Rain! (After the Music, of Course)". The New York Times.
- Satoshi Kyo (July 7, 2010). "Review: Carmina Burana". Time Out Hong Kong.
- Alan Yu (March 25, 2013). "A stunning experience with Sydney Symphony in Carmina Burana". bachtrack.com.
- Review: Beijing. Opera. 56. 2005. pp. 177–178.
- "Liao Changyong". operabase.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Clifford Coonan (April 18, 2015). "Laureus Sports Awards ceremony shows China's difficulties". The Irish Times.
- Hu Bei (November 17, 2013). "In the mood for a melody". Global Times.