Aussie tenor joins The Met

Lyric tenor Kang Wang will soon join the Metropolitan Opera in New York

Young Australian-Chinese lyric tenor Kang Wang will soon call New York home as he arrives at one of the best known opera companies in the world.

Known as the venue for the world’s greatest voices, the Metropolitan Opera uses its Lindemann Young Artist Development Program to identify and develop extraordinary emerging opera talent from all over the world.

The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University graduate was one of only a handful selected to take part from August 2015 for a two-year tenure and says it’s a dream come true.

“I’m hoping to make the most of my time in New York and improve all aspects of my singing,” he says.

“This offer really came as a big surprise for me, and it still feels surreal when I think that I will be going to the Met to work every day.”

As part of the program, Kang will receive specialised training from the Met’s own artistic staff and invited master teachers along with access to rehearsals for all Metropolitan Opera productions.

An already distinguished career

The stellar appointment tops off an already exceptional career for the 27-year-old who is currently finishing his one-year contract at Theater Basel in Basel, Switzerland in their OperAvenir opera studio.

It also follows a string of notable achievements including the People’s Choice Award of the Dame Joan Sutherland Award, the Italian Opera Foundation Australia Scholarship, and the 2014 Clonter Opera Prize.

Since 2010 Kang has appeared as a guest soloist in over 20 concerts with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, was a special guest soloist in Lisa Gasteen’s return to the stage in 2011 and was guest soloist in concerts by Opera Queensland in 2013 and 2014.

Opera in his blood

Kang also has a great singing pedigree. His parents are both professional opera singers in China, but it wasn’t a career he envisaged for himself until he saw The Great Caruso (about the life of tenor Enrico Caruso) when he was 17.

“I knew then what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.

His father, another tenor, warned him classical singing was not always an easy career choice.

So Kang moved to Darwin to complete a Bachelor of Information Technology (with electives in singing under Mrs Kathy Banks) and worked as a web-developer for three years, while also performing with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

At the end of 2009, he started flying to Brisbane every two months for private lessons with Joseph Ward OBE at Queensland Conservatorium, before beginning his Graduate Diploma and then a Masters of Music Studies in Opera Performance.

“I learned so much during my time at the Conservatorium,” Kang says.

“I had singing lessons twice a week with Joseph Ward, opera classes with Lisa Gasteen, movement classes with Anna Sweeny, language coaching with Teresa Desmarchelier and the opportunity to do a lot of ensemble work.

Kang as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, which he performed while studying at the Con.
Kang as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, which he performed while studying at the Queensland Conservatorium.

“Since graduating, I’ve met some great young tenors with voices as good as mine and even better, so they have become the inspiration for me to keep training harder and harder.

“After the Met program, I’d love to participate in some international competitions and with some agent’s help maybe try to start freelancing in European houses to gain more experience.

“The long term goal for me is to become better and better so one day I will be singing leading tenor roles in the best opera houses around the world.”

The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program was created in 1980 by Maestro Levine and has trained a new generation of celebrated American and international opera singers, as well as coaches and pianists, who perform at the highest standards in productions at the Met and opera houses around the world.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Marino, 0418 799 544, [email protected]