Right after her debut as a painter at World Art Dubai 2021, Hui He returns to the opera stage, taking on the role of Elvira in Giuseppe Verdi’s Ernani, in four  concert version performances on June 14, 16, 18 (8pm) and 20 (4pm) at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon. 

This Ernani will be Hui He’s debut at Lisbon’s São Carlos and her second production of Verdi’s masterpiece, which she played for the first time in 2018 at the Opéra de Marseille alongside Francesco Meli and Ludovic Tézier, welcomed by wonderful audience and critical acclaim.

Critics have described her Elvira as having “a rare sensitivity, perfect purity in handling her huge and generous voice” (Olyrix), “fiery temperament and a technical mastery of the role’s belcanto difficulties” (Forum Opéra). 

In Lisbon’s Ernani, Hui He will be joined by such great colleagues as Gregory Kunde (in the title role), Simone Piazzola (Don Carlo) and Fabrizio Beggi (Silva). The cast is completed by Rita Marques (Giovanna), Sérgio Martins (Don Riccardo) and João Oliviera (Jago). Maestro Antonio Pirolli will conduct the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa. 

Looking forward to her Portuguese debut, Hui He said: “I am very excited to make my debut at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, a theatre of great tradition, which has seen legendary performances on its stage. The role of Elvira is challenging because it requires dramatic temperament, lyricism and belcanto skills. The first Elvira at the Venetian premiere in 1844, the soprano Sophie Löwe, probably possessed these characteristics, and in fact just two years later, in 1846, she was also the first Odabella in Attila, also at La Fenice. I am facing again this character, after having studied another Verdi role, Alzira, which I will debut in Bilbao in 2022. I am delighted to share this Ernani with fantastic colleagues: Gregory Kunde, who was a wonderful Calaf in my debut as Turandot at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in 2019, and Simone Piazzola, a magnificent baritone with whom I had the great pleasure of singing in Il Trovatore at the Arena di Verona and Un ballo in maschera at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma”. 

Afterwards Hui He will return to Shanghai for Cavalleria rusticana and her debut as Nedda in Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, she will be Tosca at the Hamburg Staatsoper and at the Teatro Petruzelli in Bari. The soprano will also be engaged in the now traditional concert tour in China.