SFOpera - Adler Profile: Nian Wang

Adler Profile: Nian Wang

Mezzo-soprano Nian Wang is a first-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow who made her Company debut as Ascanius in our summer 2015 production of Berlioz' The Trojans. Learn more about this brilliant young mezzo-soprano.

What have been some of the most memorable and/or nerve-racking experiences of your first year as an Adler Fellow so far?
Sharing the War Memorial Opera House stage with Susan Graham and Bryan Hymel in "Les Troyens" was my most memorable experience as an Adler.

What assignment from the current season are you most looking forward to learning and preparing?
Covering the role Rosina in The Barber of Seville.

You are currently playing Second Lady in The Magic Flute, as well as covering the role of Rosina in The Barber of Seville. But you have also played many pants or trouser roles, such as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, as well as Ascanius in The Trojans.  What are some of the things that you find challenging about portraying a different gender on stage and how do you prepare these roles?
I like playing pants roles. Being a boy on the stage is very fun. The most challenging thing about portraying a different gender for me is keeping in shape. Physically I easily gain fat—even after one big meal—so I must control my diet a little before playing a boy.

What is the best piece of advice that you have received in your career as an opera singer thus far?
To be special.

What is your favorite language to sing in and which language do you find the most challenging?
I like singing in Italian the most. German is the most challenging language for me to sing.

Who or what are some of your artistic influences?
Juan Diego Florez, Teresa Berganza, Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica Von Stade, Susan Graham, and Anne Sofie von Otter are some of my greatest artistic influences.

Who is your favorite opera composer to listen to and/or to sing? What are your dream operatic roles to perform?
I listen to whatever touches me. To be honest, I do not have operatic dream roles to perform. I just do whatever comes to my life. But of course the role should suit my voice!

What was your first exposure to classical music? Do you come from a musical family?
I am not able to remember what my first classical music experience was. I am the only musician in my family.

What kinds of things do you enjoy doing in your free time? How do you relax and unwind after a day at the opera house?
Exploring the city, searching for fun places and Asian restaurants. I like to cook and watch soap operas and movies at home after a day at the opera house.

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