Born in China and al citizen of the United States, Ding Gao is a resident of the state of New York. A bass-baritone who has enjoyed a lot of success and popularity in the United States and worldwide (Europe, Canada, Hong Kong), Gao is a recipient of a performance certificate from Yale University where he performed, among other rôles, Don Basilio in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lord Sidney in the first original language production in the United States of Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims, Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. He also performed Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Yale Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro de Carvalho.
In the 2000–01 season Ding Gao appeared in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Washington Chorus conducted by Robert Shafer, which was also recorded, Verdi’s Requiem with the Utah Symphony with Keith Lockhart and the National Chorale conducted by Martin Josman, Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with the Lima and Mississippi Symphonies conducted by Crafton Beck and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the New Haven Chorale and Greenwich Choral Society conducted by Paul Mueller. Summer of 2001, Ding Gao appeared as Don Basilio in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Utah Festival Opera, and as the title rôle of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the El Paso Opera.
During the 2001/02 season, Gao was invited by the Nashville Opera and Opera Memphis to sing the rôle of Timur in Turandot. In addition, he performed Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with National Chorale, Handel’s Messiah with Charlotte Symphony, Mozart Requiem with Springfield Symphony and “A Night at Paris Opera” with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro Julius Rudel. Upcoming engagements include Verdi Requiem, with National Chorale, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic and St Cecilia Chorus.
Highlights of Gao’s orchestral and oratorio engagements in recent years included Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Berkshire Choral Festival, Verdi Requiem with the Washington Oratorio Society, the Pensacola Symphony, the Canterbury Choral Society of New York and the Jacksonville Symphony. Other important performances to be mentioned were Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with the Winter Park Bach Festival, and Handel’s Messiah with the El Paso Choral and the Oratorio Society of Utah. Gao also made his début with the Seattle Opera as Nilakantha in Delibes’ Lakme, and with the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart in a concert of operatic excerpts, to be filmed for television.
In past seasons Ding Gao sang Bonze in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with the Houston Grand Opera, the Verdi’s Requiem with the Washington Oratorio Society, Don Basilio in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Washington International Opera, as well as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen, and Monterone in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the New York City Opera. Other outstanding appearances are Colline in Puccini’s La Boheme with the New York City Opera, the Speaker in Mozart’s Zauberflöte with the Austin Lyric Opera, Timur in Puccini’s Turandot with the Edmonton and Manitoba operas. The same rôle, Timur in Turandot, was performed on a European tour in 1997, together with Rossini’s Stabat Mater and the Teatro Lirico D’Europa.
In 1995 Gao won both 1st prizes in the Sullivan Foundation Competition and in the Fourth Altamura/Enrico Caruso International Voice Competition.