The Committee of 100 mourns the passing of mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, 46. Cao passed away on February 21 in her San Francisco home after a long battle against cancer.
A Shanghai native, Cao developed her voice in San Francisco, dazzling audiences with notable performances throughout her career, including her roles as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Ruth in Stewart Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, based on the novel by Amy Tan. Cao later founded the Merola Opera Program Zheng Cao Opera Fund, which sponsors an incoming Merola artist who is a mezzo-soprano of Asian American or Pacific Islander descent. Cao joined C100 in 2011.
Cao is survived by her husband, oncologist David Larson, M.D., her parents, and sister. C100 will always remember Zheng Cao’s joy, music, and resilience through the years and deeply values her contributions to the Chinese American community.