Berlioz's Les Troyens- Lyric Opera of Chicago

Amid a huge cast, other fine contributions bear noting...and tenor Mingjie Lei offered a silvery-voiced ballad that came as near as anything to stopping the show.


Lawrance B. Johnson, CHICAGO ON THE ASILE

Dido asks Iopas to sing his “poème des champs” [“poem of the fields”]. Mr. Lei assumes the center of the court’s stage to perform “Ô blonde Cérès.” Lei’s song is light and natural, with supple embellishments and use of rubato at strategic moments in the text. Lei’s high pitches are unforced and extend the vocal decoration with elegance. 

Salvatore Calomino, OPERA TODAY

Lyric’s success starts with its matchless casting in the lead roles of Cassandra, Dido and Aeneas and fine talent in key supporting roles, particularly with Anna, sister of Dido, and their melting Act 2 duet and tenor Mingjie Lei’s bell-clear aria as the poet, Iopas. All gave Lyric’s production a rock-solid foundation.

Tom Mullaney, ARTS AND ABOUT


Iopas, played wonderfully by Mingjie Lei, arrives to tell her that a fleet of ships has arrived bearing refugees who need help....Didon asks her aide, Iopas, to sing a song to the goddess Ceres. And here, in the middle of an intricate opera, is a folk song. A hard, challenging folk song, but it is very different than anything you’ve heard so far, and is both a standout moment for Lei, but also a wonderful grounding from all the grandeur.

Suzanne Magnuson, SPLASH MAGAZINES

Berlioz composes some of the opera’s most beautiful and poignant music for its central romance, from the Act III duet “Les Chants Joyeux” in which Anna urges her sister Dido to fall in love again to the Act IV duet “Nuit d’Ivresse” in which Aeneas and Dido sing of their love. In between is the lyrical tenor aria “Assez, Ma Soeur (O blonde ceres),” sung ever so sweetly by Mingjie Lee’s Iopas, with harp accompaniment.


Lyric triumphs with its first-ever take on Berlioz's 'Trojans'

Two promising young lyric tenors from the Ryan Opera Center, Mingjie Lei (Iopas) and Jonathan Johnson (Hylas) lofted their tender songs most becomingly.


The passion between Dido and Aeneas is embodied in a lavish, erotically charged ballet sequence choreographed by Helen Pickett. Adding to the beauty here is a “country song” performed by the poet Iopas (an exquisite turn by Mingjie Lei).


A celebration follows during which young Iopas, sung by tenor Mingjie Lei, sings a moving ode to nature showing off his clear lyric tenor voice.

Ossama el Naggar, CONCERTONET

Several current members of Lyric’s Ryan Center feature in the cast and standouts include tenors Mingjie Lei as Iopas.


A World Class Cast for Berlioz’ “Les Troyens” – Lyric Opera, Chicago, November 13, 2016. Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei was an attractive Iopas.


Lyric's production is fantastic. Every singer is right-on both vocally and dramatically...There are two young singers on which you'll want to keep your eye: Mingjie Lei, Iopas, a poet who does his best to provide entertainment to a lovesick Dido)...

Keith Dorwick, British Theatre Guide

Tenor Mingjie Lei was altogether appealing as the poet Iopas.

Sarah Bryan Miller, SAINT LOUIS TODAY

Even just a few seasons ago, one heard many complaints about Lyric Opera’s casting of Ryan Opera Center members in supporting roles. Well, something very good has happened to the Ryan Opera Center—either it is attracting a higher caliber of singers, or the training has vastly improved.

In all three operas that have opened this season, and particularly in Les Troyens, the supporting singers are uniformly excellent. This is a major and welcome difference, personified here by tenors Jonathan Johnson and Mingjie Lei as Hylas and Iopas, who sing with limpid beauty and dramatic commitment.


the young Mingjie Lei was potently charming as Iopas.

Lev Bratishenko, MUSICAL TORONTO

Mingjie Lei beautifully floated Iopas’ hymn to Ceres


Mingjie Lei etched a nice cameo in the poet Iopas’s nostalgic reminiscence of his homeland.


* Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project


Als heimlicher Star entpuppte sich der chinesische Tenor Mingjie Lei, einer der Teilnehmer des diesjährigen Young Singers Projects der Festspiele. Auf kleinstem Raum schuf er in einer Mozart-Arie Opernatmosphäre und vermittelte mit schöner Stimme eine Gewaltladung an Emotionen.

"The Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei emerged as the unexpected star of the Salzburg Festival's Young Singer's Project.  Out of the confines of a single Mozart aria, he created the atmosphere of an opera and delivered an emotionally charged, powerful performance with his beautiful voice."


Ein Jungstar im Stile großer Maestri-Usbeke Aziz Shokhakimov

Theresa Selzer , Die Presse

"Misero, O Sogno” where Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei lent his powerful, captivating voice.


* Salzburg Festival YSP final Concert

Der Chinese Mingjie Lei wiederum ließ bei „Ich baue ganz auf Deine Stärke“ aus Mozarts „Entführung“ einen herrlich runden Tenor hören, der sich wie Balsam in die Gehörgänge einschlich. 


 " Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei , A glorious robust tenor sound that soothes the ear sang the Ich Baue ganz from Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem serail"

Helmar Dumbs,

Die „Baumeisterarie“ aus Mozarts „Entführung“ brachte die erfreuliche Bekanntschaft mit dem chinesischen Tenor Mingjie Lei – was für ein wunderschön lyrisches, warmes Timbre! Kommen Tiefenschärfe und bessere Artikulation dazu, zeichnet sich da eine große Mozart-Hoffnung ab.


    "Ich baue ganz" from Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail was sung by the joyful Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei - with his astoundingly beautiful, warm, lyric tone, he proves to be a Mozartian to watch.


Salzburger Festspiele: Junge Stimmen überraschen

Wer wollte, nach dem diesjährigen Konzert, bestreiten, dass der polnische Bariton Andrzej Filończyk dank seiner Stimmstatur und seinem Stilempfinden, nach seinem "Puritani"-Auftritt zu schließen, eine eminente Begabung ist? Erfreulich auch, wie sich die positiven Eindrücke bestätigten, die der wunderbar leichte, dabei exzellent wortdeutliche chinesische Tenor Mingjie Lei (an der Tiefe sollte er noch arbeiten) und die imposante Elbenita Kajtazi (in einer Donizetti-Szene) hervorriefen, nachdem sie in ihren Soloauftritten beim Young Conductors Award aufgefallen waren.  


"Mingjie Lei wonderfully effortless and beautifully articulate"

 Karl Harb, Salzbuger Nachrichten

Ryan Opera Center Rising start in Concert

Tenor Minglie Lei, mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen and soprano Diana Newman joined forces for the Act II trio, “À la faveur de cette nuit obscure” from Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory.” Lei was beautifully restrained and the women effected a beautiful blend of sound. This was one the first of many vignettes of the evening that displayed the fine acting qualities of the singers, as they drew out the comedic elements of the scene. 


* Musica Sacra-- Handel's "Messiah" at Carnegie Hall


From his opening recitative, the tenor Mingjie Lei impressed with a beautifully plush voice and elegant musicianship. On the word “peace,” his messa di voce — a gradual swelling and tapering of sound on a single sustained note — was tasteful and deeply moving. 






* Opera Philadelphia,  Don Carlo


"... Mingjie Lei (Lerma and the Royal Herald) revealed an especially attractive, limpid tenor."


David Fox, reclining standards


"... Mingjie Lei (Lerma/Herald) — exhibited uncommon vocal beauty."


David Shengold, Opera News




* Gerda Lissner Foundation IVC 2015 Finals


Tenor MINGJIE LEI, a second-prize winner ($5,000), displayed charm and likability in addition to a lovely, sensitively deployed voice in “Una furtiva lagrima.” 


Brian Kellow, Opera News




* Gerda Lissner Foundation IVC 2015 Winners Concert at Carnegie Hall


" We heard sixteen singers in a space of two hours and, although everyone was at least good and most were excellent, a few stood out for various reasons.....The first singer who comes to mind is Mingjie Lei. And why? Because his delivery of "Una furtiva lagrimaproduceduna furtiva lagrima in our eye! We have heard Donizetti's star-making aria from L'Elisir d'Amore countless times but never felt such an identification with Nemorino.  Mr. Lei's Nemorino didn't come across as a doofus but as a very real person who is about to realize his deepest dream. We saw the situation through his very eyes." 


Meche Kroop, VOCE DI MECHE




* New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's Jan. 9 concert: Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Prokofiev


"Chinese Tenor Mingjie Lei...the tenor's ravinshing and slightly smaller voice with a beautuful top wafted the sweet strains of "Ah! Leve-toi, soleil!", (Arise, oh sun!), filled with wonderment,which caressed the ear and touched the heart." 






* Messiah "Fully Loaded:" Kent Tritle Brings it Home


"The quartet of singers each had unique gifts to offer their captive audience. Young tenor, Mingjie Lei, a product of the prestigious Curtis Opera Theater, displayed the voice and confidence of the up and coming Bel-canto tenor that he is. His tone were bright, without an edge, sort of a soothing balm to th ears" 






* A fun night at the opera with Curtis


"....Tenor Mingjie Lei had a particularly rich tone..." 






*Curtis Opera Rossini's "La scala di seta"


"...Conductor Lio Kuokman led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra superly .....It's an equal of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. and several members of the cast sang with equal beauty, none more so than tenor Mingjie Lei, If ever Curtis' Opera department was about to produce another tenor like Juan Diego Florez, Lei could be the one. HIs voice is smoothly produced across its full range and it's projection was equally seamless and unforced." 






* A Streetcar named desire, Merola Opera Program


"...tenor Mingjie Lei, as the Young Collector, combined ringing sound, an astonished expression, and spot-on timing for the evening's brightest comic episode."