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China: Yi Li

Tenor - born 1984

Yi Li was born in Jinan and began studies at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2007. He received a full scholarship to enter the Artist Diploma Opera Program at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in 2010 and is currently working on his degree. Yi has won first prize at international competitions including the 2009 21st International Singing Competition in Marmande, France and the 2012 Opera Columbus Irma M Cooper Vocal Competition (USA). Other honours include third prize at the Central Region finals for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and finalist at the 2009 Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition in Spain.

Operatic roles that Yi has performed include Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, with CCM, Alfredo La traviata, with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, Pinkerton Madama Butterfly, with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, Rodolfo La bohème and Cavaradossi Tosca. He covered Belfiore La finta giardiniera at San Francisco Opera in 2012. He has participated in a number of summer events including San Francisco Opera's Merola Program in 2012, CCM Spoleto in 2011 and Opera Studio Nederland in 2008.

Future plans at CCM include Alfredo La traviata and Tamino The Magic Flute.

In his spare time, Yi enjoys cooking and basketball.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011: Concert one repertoire

Dies Bildnis (Die Zauberflöte, Act I No 3) – Mozart

The Queen of the Night’s ladies-in-waiting show Prince Tamino a portrait of Pamina. He exclaims at her beauty, and falls in love with her. Mozart’s opera is set to a libretto by his friend and fellow Freemason Emanuel Schikaneder. It was first performed a few months before Mozart’s death.

Ah! mes amis(La fille du regiment, Act I No 6) – Donizetti

Tonio is in love with Marie, the ‘daughter of the regiment’, and has joined the regiment to be near her. The troops give him their consent to marry her, and he sings his rejoicing in an outburst of coloratura, including nine top Cs.

È la solita storia del pastore … Anch’io vorrei dormir così (L’arlesiana) – Cilea

Federico is heartbroken because he loves a girl of ill-repute, and his family is making him marry someone else. In this lament, he wishes he could sleep like a shepherd boy. Now, he will never find peace. He will never forget his own true love.

Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther, Act II - Massenet

Werther, a poet, was in love with Charlotte, but her late mother wanted her to be with Albert and they are now married. But Werther returns to Charlotte. They read together - the poems of Ossian, which Werther once translated for her. He sings one of them, asking why the breath of spring awakes him, when he cannot return to the glory of his youth. He realises that he and Charlotte will never be together.


Yi Li, China, concert one

Tenor Yi Li from China sings in concert one.