AN EXQUISITE EVENING WITH SOPRANO SUMI JO
SAT 30 APRIL 2022, 7:30PM, ESPLANADE CONCERT HALL
World-renowned superstar soprano Sumi Jo makes a long-awaited return to Singapore for one fine evening only. Come hear her beautiful voice and superlative musical gifts in the intimate setting of a vocal recital with piano. Her programme, from the uplifting, dazzling and spectacular, to the meltingly gorgeous, features music from such diverse composers as Vivaldi, Purcell, Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti.
Sumi Jo will be accompanied by pianist Jeff Cohen.
SUMI JO, SOPRANO
"Nothing can diminish the superlatives due to Sumi Jo's exquisite singing." (Gramophone)
"Ms. Jo regularly receives acclaim for the agile beauty of her singing... The part was delivered with remarkable precision, every note gleaming in place; at the same time, it gained luster with touches entirely the singer's own. The mad scene dissolved into shivering pulsations of timbre, otherworldly and beguiling." (New York Times)
"Sumi Jo's vocals defy gravity" (The Straits Times)
"Voice from above" (Herbert von Karajan)
Praised for the remarkable agility, precision and warmth of her voice, and for her outstanding musicianship, Sumi Jo has
established herself as one of her generation’s most sought-after sopranos. She is the highest selling Classical singer in the
world, with over 50 recordings to her credit, including a Grammy-winning Die Frau ohne Schatten with Sir Georg Solti for Decca London and Un Ballo in Maschera for Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan.
Sumi has performed at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, at the International Olympic Games in Beijing, at the PyeongChang
Paralympics Winter Games for whom she is an Honorary Ambassador, where she performed their offical song “Here as
One“ , at the World Cup, for the Pope in Korea, and appeared, performing as herself, in the film 'Youth' by Paolo Sorrentino
starring Michael Caine, which was released in the UK in January 2016. Sumi’s performance of the film’s signature song,
“Simple Song #3” won her nominations for the 2016 Golden Globe awards, as well as an Oscar in the “Music – Original Song”
Sumi made her European operatic debut as Gilda (Rigoletto) at the Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste in 1986. There
followed a series of impressive house and role debuts, including Oscar (Un ballo in maschera) opposite Placido Domingo at
the Salzburg Festival in 1987; Thetis Fentone at Teatro alla Scala, Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Bayerische Staatsoper
in 1988; debuts at the Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera as Gilda in 1989; Chicago Lyric as Queen of the Night
and Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) at the Royal Opera House in 1990. Sumi has since been greeted consistently with
exceptional accolades, by public and press alike, for performances in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world.
Sumi celebrated the 30th anniversary of her international opera debut in the 2016-17 season, with performances in
Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia; a guest appearance at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Lunar
New Year Concert at David Geffen Hall; Maria Callas Tribute concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic; a charity recital
in Manila; gala concert at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Athens; concerts in Toulouse, Taipei and
Pingtung with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse; Fauré Requiem with the Montreal Symphony; and recitals in
Clermont-Ferrand and Montreal. Sumi also joined the distinguished jury for the Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 competition.
Recent engagements also include a gala concert with the Sun Symphony Orchestra, Hanoi, appearing with Andrea Bocelli
on tour in the UK and Ireland; a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall; recitals with guitarist Xuefei Yang across Asia; two
performances at the Kremlin Palace, Moscow, including an appearance at the Bravo Awards 2018; a tour of Australia
including a guest appearance with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; joining the jury and giving masterclasses at the
inaugural Hong Kong International Vocal Competition; a recital at the Opera Theatre Clermont-Ferrand; a gala concert to
open the new Guangzhou Opera House; a concert tour with the Academy of Ancient Music and New Year’s Day concerts
with the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Recent opera engagements include Fiakermilli (Arabella) at Hamburg State Opera; Madame Mao (Nixon in China) at the
Chatelet Theatre; Juliette (Roméo et Juliette) at Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro; Fiorilla (Il turco in Italia) at Hamburg State Opera; Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia); the title role of Auber’s Manon Lescaut at Opera Royal de Wallonie in Liege; and the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera di Firenze. In March 2018 Sumi Jo appeared on stage at the Royal Opera House in a memorial concert to honour fellow singer and friend, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, alongside artists such as Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča and Angela Gheorghiu.
Upcoming plans include a concert tour with the English Concert in Korea and in Europe, a return to the Hong Kong
International Vocal Competition jury panel, judging the Glyndebourne Opera Cup, as well as numerous other recitals and concerts across Europe and Asia.
Born in Korea, Sumi Jo studied in her native country before enrolling in the Conservatory of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia
in Rome, where she graduated with honours in October 1986. Her many prestigious awards include the international Puccini
Award and First Prize at international competitions in Seoul, Naples, Enna, Barcelona, Pretoria and the Carlo Alberto
Cappelli International Competition in Verona. She was elected UNESCO ‘Artist for Peace’ of in 2003.
JEFF COHEN, PIANO
Pianist and composer, Jeff Cohen, born in Baltimore, mixes repertoires and genres. He has performed with singers and instrumentalists such as Roberto Alagna, June Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Jane Birkin, Measha Brueggergosman, Tassis Christoyannis, Elsa Dreisig, Dale Duesing, Diane Dufresnes, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Angela Gheorghiu, Véronique Gens, Isabelle Georges, Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel, Sumi Jo, Aleksandra Kurzak, Steve Lacy, Noël Lee, Ute Lemper, François Le Roux, Dame Felicity Lott and Mady Mesplé.
He has made numerous recordings, including a recital « live » at La Scala with Angela Gheorghiu; various compilations of French mélodies with François Le Roux and Tassis Christoyannis; Kurt Weill and cabaret songs with Ute Lemper; songs by E. Korngold with Isabelle Georges; two-piano works with Noel Lee.
Jeff Cohen appeared as pianist in Peter Brook’s production Impressions de Pelléas as well as Roman Polanski’s staging of the play Masterclass in Paris alongside French film star, Fanny Ardant. He worked with Patrice Chéreau on his productions of Hamlet, Lucio Silla and Quartet.
He conducted Giorgio Strehler’s production of Der Dreigroschenoper at the Châtelet Theater in Paris and was assistant to Myung-Whung Chung on Verdi’s Otello during the opening season of the Paris Bastille Opera. He has assisted conductors such as Bertrand de Billy, Sir Mark Elder, Christopher Hogwood, John Nelson, Michel Plasson and Sir George Solti on opera recordings with Decca, EMI and Warner Classics.
French television aired Jeff d’orchestre during several years, a show written and presented by Jeff Cohen which introduced music to children. He has also composed original music for several feature films, plays, and dance pieces.
Jeff’s teachers have included Peter Feuchtwanger (U.K.), Leon Fleisher (U.S.A.) and Reine Gianoli and Geneviève Joy (France). He lives in Paris and is currently professor of mélodie and Lied at the Conservatoire National. He also works regularly with the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de la Bastillle.
In 2019 Jeff Cohen was named Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
BENEDICT - Gypsy and the Bird
PURCELL - Music for a while
HANDEL - Tornami a vagheggiar (from “Alcina”)
VIVALDI - Sposa son disprezzata
GOUNOD - Sérénade
DELL’ACQUA - Villanelle
ADAM – Ah! vous dirai je maman (from “Le Toréador”)
ROSSINI – La Pastorella delle Alpi
BELLINI – Oh! quante volte (from “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”)
DONIZETTI – Me voglio fa’na casa
H. LEE 이흥렬 – Into Flower Clouds 꽃구름속에
G. S. LIM 임긍수 – As the spring approaches 강건너 봄이 오듯
BLAKE – Charleston Rag
BALFE – I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls (from “The Bohemian Girl”)
DONIZETTI – O Luce di quest'anima (from “Linda di Chamonix”)
(𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑚𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠’ 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛)