Artist of the Week 21 Qs for Hongni Wu

by | Apr 11, 2023 | Artist of the Week, Featured, News

This week, Chinese mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu is in Victoria, BC preparing to make her Canadian debut as Dorabella in Pacific Opera Victoria‘s Così fan tutte (running until  April 12 to 18 → tickets here). The cast includes soprano Lucia Cesaroni (Fiordiligi), Owen McCausland (Ferrando), Christopher Dunham (Guglielmo), Phillip Addis (Don Alfonso), and Cécile Muhire (Despina).

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and the Royal Opera’s Covent Garden Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, Wu’s 2022/23 highlights include singing the role of Angelina in Rossini’s La cenerentola at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, and a concert with maestro Paavo Järvi and The Philharmonia Orchestra singing Mahler’s Symphony No.3 at London’s Royal Festival Hall. 

What’s your favourite opera house?
Royal Opera House. It’s like “home” for me.

© Royal Opera House

Heels or flats?

Favourite city that you’ve worked in?
Santa Fe.

If you weren’t a singer, you’d be ___
A lawyer.

Tent or hotel?

What are you afraid of?
All kinds of bugs.

What singers do you admire from the past?
Christa Ludwig and Elena Obraztsova.

Coffee or tea?

What’s your favourite mind-calming practice?
Sleeping is the best way for me.

What’s the best thing about being an opera artist?
You travel to different places every one or two months, eat a lot of amazing food, and meet new talented people.

Are you a cat or dog person?
Dog person.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Eating a lot of donuts and cakes!

What nickname do your friends call you and why?
My friends call me  笑笑, which means “Smile”.

When did you know you wanted to be an opera singer?
Since I was 15 – I never thought how successful I’d be, but I never thought of giving up.

What was the first opera you ever saw?
La Traviata

When was the first time you cried at the opera?
I cried the first time I saw Traviata

Do you believe in fate?
I do.

How long do you spend preparing to get into a character?
It depends. For a new role it usually takes two months.

What is happiness to you?
Being with my family once or twice a year. It is a very precious time for me.

Are you a perfectionist?
I am, but I don’t judge myself once I’m on stage.

What’s the most important lesson you learned from childhood?
A sense of responsibility. And to be nice to people.

Hongni Wu © Ning Photography
Hongni Wu as Angelina in La cenerentola at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova © Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova
Hongni Wu © Ed Choo

Mozart’s Così fan tutte
Pacific Opera Victoria

April 12-18, 2023


A quirky comedy about two men as naughty as Mozart himself… and the women who teach them a lesson.

The follies and foibles of young love are on full display in this timeless comedy of (bad) manners. Encouraged by a cynical old bachelor, a simple bet becomes hilariously complex when young lovers don disguises, aiming to trick their fiancées into infidelity. Will these “new suitors” be successful in their wooing? And if they are – who wins?

This gloriously passionate romp brims with some of the sweetest music Mozart ever wrote, as clumsy romancers get cozy with catastrophe.

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