“Yap certainly lived up to expectation. Her voice was clear and powerful, and superbly controlled even for the most demanding songs…” ~ The Malay Mail

“Yap is a singer of rare musicality and stunning virtuosity. Her voice left the audience in awe with its sheer power, wide range and histrionic ability…” ~ The Star

“Carmen” – “Micaela is a complicated role to play. Cecilia brought humanity to Micaela, … Her voice was clarity and sweetness, sorrow and loss”. ~ Kakiseni.com

“Viva Verdi” – …very secure technique, blossoming in the higher range, with ease and freedom in the singing that was welcome, as well as some real dramatic flair with no sacrifice to beauty of tone.” ~ The Flying Inkpot, Singapore

Cecilia Yap, the esteemed soprano from Malaysia, is a prominent and highly regarded figure in the country’s vibrant musical scene. Having received her training at the prestigious Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Rome, Yap’s vocal style reflects a deep-rooted connection to the rich traditions of Italian bel canto. Throughout her journey, she has been fortunate to have influential mentors such as Lorraine Nawa Jones Marenzi, as well as opera directors Marcello Ferroni and Marcella Govoni, who have played a pivotal role in shaping her artistic development.

During her time in Italy, Yap garnered notable accomplishments, including winning the 7th Cascinalirica International Vocal Competition in 1994, where she stood out as the sole Asian finalist. L’Opera magazine aptly described her as a singer possessing “dramatic flair, refined vocal expression, and interpretation.”

Cecilia Yap’s illustrious career is marked by her ability to captivate audiences with her exceptional talent and versatility. With a repertoire that encompasses a wide range of musical genres, she has showcased her remarkable vocal prowess and garnered widespread recognition. Notably, Yap has been honoured with the highly esteemed Best Solo Performance of the Year award at the prestigious Malaysia BOH Cameronian Arts Awards, both in 2002 and 2023.

Collaborating with esteemed producers, Yap has showcased the treasures of Western Classical music on stage, presenting stunning renditions of the following masterpieces:

  • Vivaldi: Gloria in D (RV 589) and Dixit Dominus (RV 594)
  • Bach: St. Matthew’s Passion, Mass in B minor, and Cantata BWV137
  • Handel: The Messiah and Dixit Dominus (HWV 232)
  • Haydn: The Creation
  • Mozart: Requiem Mass in D Minor (K.626) and Great Mass in C minor
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Tourning in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2019 with the Aula Symphony Jakarta, under the baton of Prof. Stephen Tong)
  • Mendelssohn: Psalm 95, Op.46, as well as oratorios Elijah and St. Paul and Symphony no. 2 in B-flat (Lobgesang).

Notably, Yap performed the Asian premiere of Handel’s Gloria (HWV deest) in Singapore in 2008. In 2015, she collaborated with internationally acclaimed Bach scholar and interpreter Masaaki Suzuki to deliver a captivating performance of Bach’s Magnificat in D, BWV243, and Cantata BWV137 with Aula Simfonia Jakarta.

Within the realm of opera, Yap has portrayed unforgettable characters, including Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen, Liu in Puccini’s Turandot, and Cio Cio San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, showcasing her versatility and dramatic prowess.

Currently, Yap serves as the Vocal Director of the Kuala Lumpur City Opera (KLCO), where she has directed acclaimed productions such as Puccini’s La Boheme (2016), Donizetti’s Le fille du Regiment (2017), Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (2017), Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (2018), Verdi’s La Traviata, Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (2019), and Bizet’s Carmen (2022) and Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir d’amore’ (2023).

In recognition of her outstanding contributions in promoting Italian excellence, culture, and prestige abroad, Cecilia Yap was bestowed with the prestigious honour of Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy. This esteemed accolade was presented to her by His Excellency Ambassador Cristiano Maggipinto at the Italian Ambassador’s residence in Kuala Lumpur on January 29, 2018.

Yap has some exciting upcoming engagements. She will be performing as Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, captivating audiences with her talent. In addition, she will have the privilege of premiering a song cycle composed exclusively for her by Canadian composer Josephine Wu, based on the beautiful poems of Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi from the 19th century.