Chinese countertenor Chuanyuan Liu, praised for his “natural, sensitive feel with embedded lyrical nuance,” (The Millbrook Independent), was recently named a national semifinalist in the 2020-2021 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (now the Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition), after advancing from the Eastern Region and the New York District. Chuanyuan strives to be an open-hearted performer through honesty, compassion, and reflection, and has been seen performing works ranging from the Baroque to world premieres.
Despite the turbulence in the 2020-2021 season, Chuanyuan was able to be inspired to create and participate in numerous digital concerts and opera projects. In the fall of 2020, he curated and performed in neither here nor there, a recital highlighting the Asian/-American experience featuring vocal music by Asian-American composers and poets, as he has felt compelled to be an advocate of underrepresented communities since the start of COVID-19. Chuanyuan worked closely with featured composers, including a world premiere of Where Would I Go? by Filipino-American composer Dante De Silva. Chuanyuan was also featured as a guest artist for Fill in the Blank Ensemble, a singer-initiated concert series dedicated to filling in voids within the classical music community, and Vision Possible Charity Concert Series, a fundraising concert marathon to benefit various non-profit charity organizations. At Bard College, Chuanyuan performed the role of Anna I in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, performed excerpts from György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments in collaboration with musicians from The Orchestra Now (TŌN), and performed in multiple streamed concerts with music ranging from traditional baroque arias to living composers and marginalized voices in classical song.
As a 21-st century singer, Chuanyuan delights in finding new meanings in traditional operatic settings and has performed in a number of opera and scene productions. In the spring of 2020, Chuanyuan co-wrote and performed as Mercédès in the premiere of devised opera production Rest in Pieces: In Memory of Opera, directed by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe. In Rest in Pieces, Chuanyuan and a group of 13 other singers drew from five traditional operas, created a story and platform where those characters find themselves forging a new, self-determined path within the larger-than-life world of opera.
Chuanyuan’s previous roles and scene credits include Arsamene (Serse), Orphée (Orphée et Eurydice), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Nireno (Giulio Cesare), Sandmann (Hänsel und Gretel), Fidalma (Il matrimonio segreto), Nerone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), and Damon (Acis and Galatea). Previous training and professional programs include Chautauqua Institution, Oberlin in Italy, Curtis Summerfest, Collaborative Piano Institute, Virginia Baroque Performance Academy, and Chicago Summer Opera.
Chuanyuan is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in Opera Vocal Performance at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He received his Master of Music in Vocal Arts from Bard College-Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Statistics from University of Virginia.
In the 2021-2022 season, Chuanyuan will assume the role of Cardinal 1/Oracle 1 in Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei at CCM. He is also looking forward to making his professional debut at Pittsburgh Opera this February in the world premiere of In A Grove, performing the Priest and the Medium, with music by Christopher Cerrone and libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann.