Zheng Zhou

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For the provincial capital of Henan, People's Republic of China, see Zhengzhou.

Zheng Zhou is an American operatic baritone who has sung at many of the world's finest opera houses. His opera credits include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Illinois, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Teatro Real, the Philippine Opera Company, and Vancouver Opera to name just a few. His concert work includes performances with the American Composers' Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Colorado Symphony, the China National Symphony, and the Shanghai Symphony among many others.[1]

Zheng 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 the Father and Ludovie in Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bete at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and subsequently on tour across the United States, Europe, Mexico and Japan.[2]

Zhou has become particularly associated with the works of Philip Glass. He appeared in the world premiere of White Raven in Lisbon in 1998 and reprised his role in Madrid, and in the 2005 U.S. premiere of the opera for the opening season of the Lincoln Center Festival with New York City Opera. He has also recorded and performed the role of Abraham Lincoln in Glass' the Civil Wars: A Tree Is Best Measured When It Is Down.

Various reviews agree that 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."[3] The Opera Quarterly wrote that "Zheng Zhou brings a fine, manly baritone to Lincoln's Verdian utterances" in Glass' The Civil Wars,[4] while the International Record Review described him as "gloriously full-voiced."[5]

Mr. Zhou can be heard on his Art Songs CD[6] on Brioso Recordings performing the works of C.P.E. Bach, Hugo Wolf, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Georgy Sviridov; as Abraham Lincoln on Nonesuch Records' recording of Philip Glass' The Civil Wars;[7] as Ludovic on Nonesuch Records' recording of Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bete;[8] as the baritone soloist in Johannes Somary's Song of Innocence on Premier Recordings; in Jerrold Fisher's Hosannah on Compact Disc Digital Audio; and in Jason K. Hwang's chamber opera The Floating Box on New World Records.[9] He has appeared on the San Francisco Opera's Schwabacher Debut Recital Series.[10]

Mr. Zhou holds degrees from the University of Illinois, St. Louis Conservatory, the Shanghai Conservatory, and a diploma in lieder performance from the Schubert Institute in Vienna.[11]