Born Yalin Zhang in Tianjin (China), he studied voice at the Royal College of Music in London (graduating in 1993) and
eventually became a Canadian citizen.
He began his career in 1994; it took him to Dublin, Wexford, Cardiff, Hannover, Kiel, Cologne, Warsaw, Cleveland, Sarasota,
Sacramento, Victoria, Toronto, Dresden (where he had huge success at the Semperoper as Don José and Calaf), Lübeck,
Wiesbaden, Münster, Weimar, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Volksoper Wien, Bratislava, Prague, Budapest,
Lisbon, Marseille, Brussels, Zürich, Chiemgau Festival, Schwerin Castle Festival, Wrocław, Catania or Tallinn.
His most frequently performed roles were Calaf (275 times) and Radames (220 times) – an unfortunate decision, since when
trying to harden and darken his sound for dramatic parts, he ended up producing a guttural sound; I like him much better in a more
lyrical repertory, where his top notes could be quite spectacular. He also sang Rodolfo, Manrico, Don Alvaro,
Cavaradossi, Alfredo, Hoffmann and even Lohengrin.
In 2019, he moved to China, where he taught voice and occasionally also still sang.
Reference 1 and picture source: Zhang's website;
Many thanks to Jiyu Chen for his help in preparing this page.