Robert
Feng

Robert Feng
(He/Him) Robert Ellsworth Feng is a Chinese-American bass and librettist who creates striking and powerful performances. 

As a singer, Robert is hailed by Opera News as "a booming, well-crafted bass," and as a librettist, Robert will see the premieres of two of his operas at Opera America and Fredonia University respectively. Robert has a particular affinity and aptitude for contemporary opera and new music. Robert is currently a Young Artist with Hawai'i Opera Theatre. 

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Biography

Robert Feng

Hailed by Opera News as "a booming, well-crafted bass," Chinese-American singer Robert Ellsworth Feng is a born collaborator who creates powerful performances. Robert’s 2023-24 season begins as a Young Artist at Hawai'i Opera Theatre where he will perform the roles of Papa in An American Dream and Colline in La bohème. He also appears with Washington National Opera / Vision Into Art / Beth Morrison Projects in Paola Prestini’s Sensorium Ex (Ensemble/Corp cover) and Glens Falls Symphony as the Bass Soloist in the Mozart Requiem. In the summer of 2023, he appeared with Seagle Festival as an Emerging Artist as Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, the Constable/Russian Solo in Fiddler on the Roof, and covering Archbishop Sejas in Daniel Crozier’s With Blood, With Ink.

Other performance highlights include Gianni Schicchi (Betto di Signa), Nolan Gasser's The Secret Garden (Ben Weatherstaff), The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate King), Dichterliebe (Soloist), and Madama Butterfly (Bonze/Prince Yamadori) with Hawai'i Opera Theatre, Robert le Diable (Bertram) with St. John's in the Village, the Mozart Requiem (Bass Soloist) with Mid America Productions, The Garden of Alice (Mad Hatter/Frog Footman/Card #7) with City Lyric Opera, the world premiere of Harmony (Rev.Joseph Twichell) by Robert Carl and Russell Banks with Seagle Festival, Juana (Padre Antonio), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (Il Tempo), and Anna Bolena (Rochefort) with Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble, Don Giovanni (Il Commendatore) with Opera on the Rocks, Les pêcheurs de perles (Nourabad) and Don Giovanni (Il Commendatore) with Kor Productions, Tobias Picker’s Emmeline (Pastor Avery), La traviata (Dottore Grenvil) and Les pêcheurs de perles (Nourabad) with Manhattan School of Music, Prince Igor (Khan Konchak) with Russian Opera Workshop, and Massenet’s Chérubin (Le Philosophe) with Peabody Conservatory.

Not limited to performing standard repertoire, Mr. Feng remains active in premiering and performing works by living composers, often participating in the creation of new roles. Such roles include the afformentioned Rev.Joseph Twitchell in Robert Carl/Russell Banks’ Harmony, the Interviewer/Body in the workshop premiere of Felix Jarrar's You do not recognize the bodies in the water at OPERA America, Ensemble and CORP cover in the workshop premiere of Paola Prestini’s Sensorium Ex with Beth Morrison Projects, and Body Guard/Detective in the world premiere of Tony Small’s Qadar with the Smithsonian Museum.

Robert’s work as a librettist began at Peabody Conservatory, having written for composers Terrence J. Martin for his song cycle Projections and Nicholas Bentz for his monodrama Mikylvxka Hllupo. Robert would later go on to write his first opera with Mr.Bentz titled Having Guests for Dinner: a horror comedy which was digitally premiered by New Opera West in 2020, and received live performances from Hartford Opera Theater and New Opera West in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Having Guests for Dinner will receive a full length workshop premiere in Fall 2023/Winter 2024. His second opera "You do not recognize the bodies in the water" is a supernatural thriller with music by Felix Jarrar, which received its workshop premiere in November 2022 with OPERA America. His third opera will be set to music by Christopher Drago Fistonich titled "The Enigma of Amigara Fault", based off of the short story by Junji Ito. Robert has since written the libretto for an oratorio detailing nuclear war titled "Annihilation" and is working with Nicholas Bentz on their next opera "Salmo", a grand space opera.

Robert placed first in the Dorothy Lincoln Smith Regional Voice Competition, second in the NY Classical Music Society International Voice Competition, third in the Beethoven Club of Memphis Savell Vocal Competition, third in the Lyra Mozart International Voice Competition, and third in the Opera for Earth Vocal Competition. Robert is also the recipient of the MI Opera Role Award, Seagle Festival Guild Scholarship, the George Woodhead Prize in Voice, the Peabody Career Development Award, the Special Prize in the Ise-Shima International Singing Competition, and was awarded the Honorable Mention in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition. Robert holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University - Peabody Institue and Manhattan School of Music, and is an alumni of Seagle Festival.

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Experience

Experience

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

Young Artist

2022 - Present
Young Artist at Hawaii Opera Theatre. 2022-23 Season: The Secret Garden (Gasser/Harrison) - Ben Weatherstaff; Dichterliebe (Schumann) - Soloist; The Elixir of Love (Donizetti) - Dulcamara cover; The Pirates of Penzance (G&S, outreach) - Pirate King; Gianni Schicchi (Puccini) - Betto di Signa 2023-24 Season: An American Dream (Jack Perla) - Makoto Kobayashi; La bohème - Colline

Studio Artist

2020 - Present
Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio Artist, 2020-Present.

Seagle Festival

2021 - 2023
Schroon Lake, NY

Emerging Artist

2023 - 2023
Emerging Artist for Seagle Festival's 2023 season. Frère Laurent in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Soloist in The Boys of Summer, Constable/Russian Solo in Fiddler on the Roof.

Emerging Artist

2021 - 2021
Seagle Festival Emerging Artist. Harmony (Carl/Banks, world premiere) - Rev.Joseph Twichell; La bohème (Puccini) - Colline cover

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Opera