Sumi Jo Essay

994 words - 4 pages

Sumi Jo

Sumi Jo has captured the heart, the mind, and the imagination of the world with her remarkable musicianship and her equally commanding personality. More than that, she stands for Korean culture and art worldwide. Sumi Jo was born in Seoul, Korea in 1962. She graduated from Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome after 3 years of study in keyboard and vocal music.

A disciple of Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland, a Korean vocalist, Sumi Jo has emerged as one of the most beautiful voices in contemporary Opera. As a coloratura soprano, Sumi Jo is a true diva of the highest order. Nature has been bountiful to her by endowing her with a fabulous voice and memory. Admired for the astonishing emotional expression, authenticity, and warmth of her coloratura voice and for her impeccable artisanship pursing her originality, Sumi Jo has claimed as “a voice from above” by the immortal maestro Conductor in the 20th century, Herbert von Karajan.

Sumi Jo manages to create a warm, human relationship between herself and audiences on the stage. That is the way Sumi Jo likes to work. She tries to arouse the men through uninhibited emotional demonstrations as the music is being sung. She swoons, prays, scowls, fumes, entreats, and sings. She is not afraid to voice her feminine enthusiasms. She totally indulges herself in a particularly beautiful passage of her song and translates the musical sounds of composers into human experience. Her instinctive and innate musical intelligence provides her with an articulateness that enables her to transmit her artistic style clearly and precisely.

Sumi Jo’s first break as a soprano came in 1986 as Gilda in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto in Trieste, Italy. Successfully celebrating her debut, her exquisite timbre and musicality was immediately recognized. Since then, fully in control of her voice and her artistic and spiritual goals, her international career took off. In 1987, she made her Salzburg Festival debut as Oscar in Verdi’s Un Ballo in maschera under the musical guardians of maestro Karajan. Remarkably, it was only a year had elapsed since her graduation from Santa Cecilia Academy, Rome, Italy.

Sumi Jo’s fervent attempts to sing has been leading her to portrait many great opera composers’ heroines with many international productions. She has performed Donizetti’s opera, Lucia De Lamermoor in Strasbourg, Barcelona, Paris, and New York; Bellini’s opera, La Sonnambula in Santiago del Chile; Strauss’s opera, Der Rosenkavalier in Los Angeles; Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto in Bilbao and Oviedo in Spain, Bologna and Trieste in Italy, and Detroit and New York in USA; Rossini’s opera, Il Turco in Italia in Spain; Ravel’s opera, L’Enfant et les Sortileges in Boston and Pittsburgh in USA; Rossini’s opera, Le Comte Ory in Rome and Aix-en-Provence Festival in France.

Within the musical profession itself normally hard-to-please critics vie for superlatives with which to praise her fruity coloratura voice, its...

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