Liang Zhao

Over and Above

Dr. Liang Zhao, a baritone, is a graduate of the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Michigan State University, where during his doctoral study he was a Fellow for Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum within the university’s residential arts and humanities program.

He teaches Beginning Voice Class, Diction for Singers, Opera workshop and one-on-one voice lessons. His primary focus is opera, but he also is trained in musical theater, jazz and other genres. He has been teaching voice since 2017 and is dedicated to fostering an inclusive educational experience for undergraduate students. He joined the Hope College faculty in 2024. 

Liang has performed on stages in America, Europe, and his native China, including a range of Bel Canto concerts in Tuscany and the Verdi Square Festival Concert in New York City. His recent operatic roles include performances in five operas since 2018, both classical and modern works. In the 2018 season, he was a Young Artist at Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. 

Another 2018 milestone was securing a coveted position at the ¡SING! International Artists Festival in China. He toured with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra performing excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen alongside a diverse selection of classic Chinese repertoire, under the baton of Maestro Dane Lam. This tour marked Liang’s solo debuts at prestigious venues such as the Suzhou Grand Theatre, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall and Beijing’s National Centre of the Performing Arts.

His vocal teachers have included Marc Embree and the legendary bass-baritone James Morris.  He also has participated in master classes and workshops in diverse genres including Chinese art songs, jazz, and opera, and has performed works in Italian, French, German, English, Russian and his native Mandarin. 

His dissertation, which focuses on social justice issues in musical higher education and highlights historical marginalization, received the top dissertation award in 2024 from Michigan State University in 2023. He has since made presentations on the topic at international conferences on international education and applied linguistics. 


  • D.M.A., voice, Michigan State University, 2024
  • M.M., voice, Manhattan School of Music, 2017
  • B.M., voice, Wuhan Conservatory of Music, 2015

Honors and Awards

  • The American Prize in Opera Performance (college or university larger program, for Albert Herring), 2023
  • Second prize, National Opera Association Production Competition (for Albert Herring), 2022
  • Second prize, Huang Long Music Competition, opera division, 2017

Selected Performances

  • Soloist, Fauré Requiem, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, East Lansing, Michigan, 2023
  • Jazz Vocal Recital, First United Methodist Church, Owosso, Michigan, 2023
  • Soloist, A Celebration of the Beautiful Voice Galas, Fairchild Theatre, Michigan State University, 2022, 2023 and 2024 
  • Soloist, Chinese New Year Gala, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, 2019

Opera Roles

  • Ford in Falstaff, 2023
  • Mr. Gedge in Albert Herring, 2022
  • David in A Hand of Bridge, 2021
  • Escamillo in Carmen, 2018
  • Mandarino in Turandot, 2018
  • Mr. Lundie in Brigadoon, 2017
  • Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte, 2016
  • Publio in La clemenza di Tito, 2016

Selected Presentations

  • “Music for Social Justice: Implications for International Teaching Instructors of Voice,” at Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), 2024
  • “Raciolinguistic Biases: Implication for International Teaching Instructors of Voice,” at American Association for Applied Linguistics, 2024

Outside the College

Outside of teaching and performing, Liang enjoys cooking homemade meals for friends and family. He also enjoys watching food-related documentaries and indulging in his hobby, fishing.

Liang Zhao

Phone Number616.395.7650

Miller Center for Musical Arts 221 Columbia Avenue Holland, MI 49423
A map showing the location for  Liang Zhao Miller Center for Musical Arts 221 Columbia Avenue Holland MI 49423