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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.
Kang has been accepted onto the Metropolitan Opera's prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, which helps champion 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.
For Kang, the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most respected and in demand opera stars is 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 teachers, along with access to rehearsals for all Metropolitan Opera productions. The appointment is the latest achievement in 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.
Among his recent accomplishments Kang can also boast a 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, as well as making a special guest soloist appearance in Lisa Gasteen’s return to the stage in 2011. He has also had soloist engagements in productions by Opera Queensland in 2013 and 2014.
Kang follows in the footstep of his parents, who are both professional opera singers in China. However it wasn’t a career he envisaged for himself until he saw the film The Great Caruso, about the life of tenor Enrico Caruso, when he was 17. “That’s when I knew then what I wanted to do with my life,” Kang shares.
However his father, another tenor, warned him classical singing was not always an easy career choice, and Kang initially studied for a degree in Information Technology in Darwin, eventually working as a web-developer for three years, while also recieving singing lessons privately, and 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.
“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,” says Kang. “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 legendary maestro James 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.