"Perhaps the conundrum is this – why does the most unnatural of singing voices sound so natural? Years of intense and strenuous training have brought Chan to the point where his voice sounds remarkably pure and his vocal delivery looks completely effortless." (The Straits Times, Singapore)
Chan Wei En is a Singaporean countertenor whose singing is lauded for its “time-stopping” beauty and technical finesse. He leads an active career in Asia and North America performing the major works of Bach and Handel and has appeared in leading roles with numerous organizations including the Singapore International Festival of Art (SIFA), The Opera People (TOP, Singapore), Bachfest Malaysia, Red Dot Baroque (RDB), and many others. Highlights include the title role in Handel’s Oreste with SIFA, conducted by Tian Hui Ng, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Bachfest Malaysia, conducted by Dr. David Chin, and Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina with The Opera People, conducted by Red Dot Baroque’s Alan Choo.
Wei En is no stranger to premiering contemporary works, giving the Boston premieres of Stephan Weisman’s The Scarlet Ibis as Doodle, Ligeti’s virtuosic Nouvelle Aventures, conducted by Efstratios Minakakis, and workshopped Pulitzer Prize winner, Cerise Jacob’s videogame opera, Permadeath.
Wei En has garnered a myriad of awards at numerous international competitions. Most recently as an international finalist for the “2022 Respighi Prize (Music)” organized by the Chamber Orchestra of New York. He had also been nominated for “Best Solo Performer – Vocal” at the 17th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia.
Wei En performs with many organizations and is a board member of Carduus, directed by Holly Druckman. Organizations include Gotham Early Music Society’s Open Gates program, Publick Musick, Capella Clausura, Revels Inc. (Cambridge), Music at the Farm (R.I.), St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Cambridge), First Lutheran Church of Boston, St. Paul Choir School (Harvard Square), Trinity Lutheran Church (Worcester), Parish of All Saints (Ashmont), Canto Armonico, Henry Purcell Society of Boston, Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra, M.I.T Concert Choir, ATCECM (Toronto), the Hong Kong Bach Festival, and many others.
Wei En’s musical journey runs parallel to his work as an arts leader. Apart from his work with Carduus, Wei En is an active council member of Early Music America’s “Emerging Professional Leadership Council”, working with EMA staff and Board of Directors to encourage the development of programming and resources for emerging artists and professionals in the field of early music. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Camerata Nova Anglia’s recital series devoted to exploring the stories of POC singers. His work with CNA has been recognized with grants from The Iguana Music Fund, Cambridge Arts, and an artist/scholar residency with the Sunlit Residency. His work in Singapore has also been recognized by the National Arts Council of Singapore through their generous 2020 Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts (DPG) Scheme. Wei En draws on his many years as an administrator in various industries and largely from his time working with NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship department and experiences organizing numerous grant-funded concerts and arts events in Boston and Singapore.
Wei En earned his M.M. in Voice Performance from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Dr. Ian Howell, and his B.M. from Ithaca College, where he studied with Professor Carol McAmis. Wei En started his vocal training with eminent Singaporean musicians such as Toh Ban Sheng and Tay Cheng-Jim.
Wei En's love for music began with community choirs in Singapore. He was a member of the Hallelujah Oratorio Society and sang with the Amoris Singers.
Follow Wei En on facebook@ChanWeiEnCountertenor and Instagram@weiencountertenor
*Fee support for Wei En Chan may be available to nonprofit organizations through the New England States Touring (NEST) program of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Visit www.nefa.org for more information.