The Scene


William Guanbo Su

William Guanbo Su


Heralded by the New York Times for “musical taste, honest execution of Handelian ornaments and bel canto filigree, and a solid voice,” William Guanbo Su is a 2019 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals winner.

He is currently in his final year as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. This season he sings Zuniga in Carmen, the First Officer in Dialogues des Carmélites, Second Armed Man _in Die Zauberflöte_—while also being responsible for Sarastro, Mandarin in _Turandot_—while also being responsible for Timur, and the Duke of Verona in Roméo et Juliette. Last season, he sang excerpts of Enrico in Anna Bolena and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni in the Houston Grand Opera Studio Showcase and later presented Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 39; both programs were presented digitally. He made his company debut as the Usher in Rigoletto before his performances of Sparafucile in outdoor performances of Rigoletto, Second Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte were cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, as were the Second Knight in Parsifal, and the Sadistic Sailor in Breaking the Waves.

Also in the 2021-22 season, he makes his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Jailer in Tosca. His spring and summer engagements of 2021 also included his debut with Austin Opera as Angelotti in Tosca and his return to the Aspen Music Festival as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Garibaldo in Rodelinda, all role debuts. His future engagements include a return to Austin Opera for in bel canto repertoire.

Previously at the Aspen Music Festival, Mr. Su sang his first performances of Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. As an ambassador for Opera for Peace, he sang Verdi’s “O tu Palermo” from I vespri siciliani for that organization’s digital concert celebrating World Opera Day 2020. He is a former Gerdine Young Artist of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, at which he sang Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and covered Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He joined Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited for its production of Perla’s An American Dream. While at The Juilliard School, he sang the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Pluton in Hippolyte et Aricie.

His performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Portland Baroque Orchestra and Beethoven’s Mass in C in the 2019-20 season were also cancelled due to the pandemic. He made his recent Carnegie Hall debut with the Cecilia Chorus of New York singing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and returned to the famed stage a year later for Handel’s Messiah with the same organization.

In addition to winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals in 2019, Mr. Su won second prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at Houston Grand Opera. He won first prize in the Liederkranz Foundation’s Song/Lieder Competition in 2017 and, in 2018, received third prize in the Gerda Lissner Opera Competition.

William Guanbo Su received his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and his Bachelor of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He completed further studies at the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria.

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