Artist Of The Week: Hui He

Dramatic Soprano Sings Her First ‘La Boheme’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Opera National de Paris)

What do you do when you have sung the title roles of “Madama Butterfly,” “Il Tabarro,” “Suor Angelica,” “Manon Lescaut” “Turandot,” and “Tosca,” six of the most challenging and iconic Puccini roles? You take on a lighter and popular work; “La Bohème.” After having sung these challenging roles, Hui He will make her role debut as Mimì in Puccini’s most famous opera. Moreover, she will bring this new interpretation to the Puccini Opera Festival in the Torre del Lago.

The soprano has become one of the most important dramatic singers of her generation, performing at every major house in the world and bringing her vocal  expertise to each role she portrays. Now with Mimì, Hui He has an opportunity to show another facet of her voice in a dream role. In a recent interview, He noted, “Singing Mimì was always in my dreams since when I was 18 years old. The first time I heard opera, it was a CD of ‘La Bohème.’ I didn’t even understand one word but I was so touched and I cried from listening to the beautiful music.” The role will also mark her eighth Puccini character and a chance to let audiences see her in a different type of opera.

A winner of the Operalia competition, He has become one of the most acclaimed and sought-after Aidas and is set to bring her acclaimed turn next season to the Teatro San Carlo as well as this summer to the Arena di Verona. Other engagements include her first HD at the Metropolitan Opera in “Madama Butterfly” and her role debut in the title role of Verdi’s “Alzira.”


For those not familiar with the soprano, He has a number of recordings that audiences can discover. She recently recorded a Verdi album for Sony Classical and also has a Verdi and Puccini album for Oehms Classics. The soprano also has two Aida DVDs from the Arena di Verona and Maggio Musicale.

Here is the soprano singing the opening aria from ‘Il Trovatore…”

… and here she is singing from ‘Tosca.”


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