Sumi Jo

Infobox Korean name
rr=Jo Sumi
mr=Cho Sumi

Sumi Jo (born as Soo Kyung Jo (조수경) on November 22, 1962) is a Grammy award winning South Korean lyric coloratura soprano known for her interpretations of the bel canto repetoire. [ [ Sumi Jo ] ] .

Early life and education

Sumi Jo was born in Seoul, Korea. Her mother was an amateur singer and pianist who had been unable to pursue her own professional music studies due to the political situation in Korea during the 1950s. Determined to provide her daughter with opportunities she never had, Jo's mother enrolled her in piano lessons at the age of 4 and later voice lessons at the age of 6. As a child, Jo would often spend up to eight hours a day studying music. [ [ Sumi Jo: Devoted to Music ] ] In 1976, Jo entered the Sun Hwa Arts School from which she graduated in 1980 with diplomas in voice and piano. [ [ ÀÌ ¹®Àº ¼¼°è·Î ÅëÇÑ´Ù. ¼±È­¿¹¼ú°íµîÇб³¿¡ ¿À½Å °É ȯ¿µÇÕ´Ï´Ù ] ] She continued her music studies at Seoul National University from 1981-1983. While studying at SNU, Jo made her professional recital debut, appeared in several concerts with the Korean Broadcasting Company, and made her professional operatic debut as Susanna in "Le nozze di Figaro" with Seoul Opera. [ [ Sumi Jo ] ] In 1983 Jo decided to leave SNU in order to study music in Italy at the Accademia di Santa Cecelia in Rome. Among her teachers there were Carlo Bergonzi, and Giannella Borelli. While Jo studied in Italy, she was frequently heard in concert in Italian cities and also on national radio broadcasts and telecasts. It was during this time when Jo decided to use 'Sumi' as her stage name in order to make her name more friendly to European language speakers whom often found it difficult to pronounce Soo Kyung. She graduated in 1985, with a concentration in keyboard as well as voice. Following graduation, Jo began to study voice with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf [ [ Sumi Jo: Devoted to Music ] ] and won several international competitions in Seoul, Naples, Enna, Barcelona and Pretoria. In August 1986 she was unanimously awarded first prize in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition at Verona, one of the world's most important contests, open only to first-prize winners of other major competitions. [ [ Biography for Sumi Jo - Media Guide ] ]


In 1986, Jo made her European operatic debut as Gilda in Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto" at the Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. This debut performance attracted the attention of Herbert von Karajan, who proceeded to cast her as Oscar in "Un Ballo in Maschera" opposite Plácido Domingo at the Salzburg Festival in 1987. [ [ LA Phil Presents | About the Performer - Sumi Jo ] ] In 1988, Jo made her La Scala debut as Thetis in Jommelli's "Fetonte". [ [ CULTURE- Korean ] ] That same year she also made her debut with the Bavarian State Opera and sang Barbarina in "Le nozze di Figaro" at the Salzburg Festival. In 1989, Jo made her debut with the Vienna State Opera and returned to the Salzburg Festival to sing Oscar in Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera". That same year, she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, once again portraying Gilda in "Rigoletto". Jo would later reprise this role numerous times with the Met over the next fifteen years. [ [ Metropolitan Opera Association ] ]

In 1990, Jo made her debut with the Chicago Lyric Opera as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's "The Magic Flute". [ [ Lyric Opera of Chicago: ] ] The following year, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera for another performance as Oscar in "Un Ballo in Maschera" and made her Royal Opera at Covent Garden debut as Olympia in "The Tales of Hoffmann". [ [ Metropolitan Opera Association ] ] She returned to Covent Garden the next year to sing both Adina in "L'elisir d'amore" and Elvira in "I puritani".

In 1993, Jo appeared in the title role of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" with the Metropolitan Opera and sang the role of the Queen of the Night at both the Salzburg Festival and Covent Garden. [ [ Metropolitan Opera Association ] ] The following year she made her debut with Los Angeles Opera as Sophie in Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier". [ [ LA Phil Presents | About the Performer - Sumi Jo ] ] In 1995 she sang the role of Countess Adèle in "Le comte Ory" at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

Over the next decade Jo maintained a busy schedule, singing Lucia in Strasbourg, Barcelona, Berlin, and Paris; "La Sonnambula" in Brussels and Santiago, Chile; "I Capuleti e i Montecchi" with Minnesota Opera; Olympia in New York; Rosina in New York; the Queen of the Night in Los Angeles; Gilda in Bilbao, Oviedo, Bologna, Trieste, and Detroit among others; "Il Turco in Italia" in Spain; "L'Enfant et les Sortilèges" in Boston and Pittsburgh; "Le Comte Ory" in Rome; and "Dinorah" in New York. She also appeared in performances at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opera National de Paris, Washington Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Australia, and the Teatro Colón.

In addition, she appeared with numerous symphony orchestras in concert including including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra [ [ LSM Newswire: [Vancouver Sumi Jo with the VSO! ] ] , the Cincinnati Pops, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra [ [ Vancouver Symphony Orchestra - The Concerts - Artist Bios ] ] , the Wiener Philharmoniker, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra among others.Her work led her to sing under such conductors as Sir Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Kent Nagano, and Richard Bonynge. She also gave recitals throughout Europe, the United States, and Australia. [ [] ]

In 2007, Jo performed her first Violetta in La traviata with the Toulon Opera and in the 2008-2009 season she is scheduled to perform the role of Zerline in "Fra Diavolo" at both the Opera Comique and Opéra Royal de Wallonie. [ [ Sumi Jo ] ]


Opera roles

:* Adele, "Le comte Ory" (Rossini):* Amina, "La sonnambula" (Bellini):* Blondchen, "The Abduction from the Seraglio" (Mozart):* Dinorah , "Dinorah" (Meyerbeer):* Elvira, "I puritani" (Bellini):* The Voice of the Falcon, "Die Frau ohne Schatten" (Richard Strauss):* Fiorilla, "Il turco in Italia" (Rossini):* Gilda, "Rigoletto" (Verdi):* Giulietta, "I Capuleti e i Montecchi" (Bellini):* Lakme, "Lakme" (Delibes):* Le feu, "L'enfant et les sortilèges" (Ravel):* Lucia, "Lucia di Lammermoor" (Donizetti):* Marie, "La fille du régiment" (Donizetti):* Matilde, "Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra" (Rossini):* Norina, "Don Pasquale" (Donizetti):* Olympia, "The Tales of Hoffmann" (Offenbach):* Oscar, "Un ballo in maschera" (Verdi) -- trouser role:* The Queen of the Night, "The Magic Flute" (Mozart):* Rosina, "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (Rossini):* Sophie, "Der Rosenkavalier" (Richard Strauss):* Susanna, "The Marriage of Figaro" (Mozart):* Violetta, "La Traviata" (Verdi):* Zerbinetta, "Ariadne auf Naxos" (Richard Strauss):* Zerline, "Fra Diavolo (opera)" (Daniel-François-Esprit Auber)

Concert Work

* "Carmina Burana" (Karl Orff)


Sumi Jo currently has 48 recordings to her credit, including ten solo albums for Erato, French division of Warner Classic. These recordings include complete operas, oratories, operetta, and orchestra works. Among them include her Grammy Award winning "Die Frau ohne Schatten" with Sir Georg Solti for the London/Decca label and Un Ballo in maschera for Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan. [ [ LSM Newswire: [Vancouver Sumi Jo with the VSO! ] ]

She also provided a vocalise for the soundtrack of The Ninth Gate, composed by Wojciech Kilar. The main theme of this film is based on a piece by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Awards and Honors

* 2002- Sumi Jo sang at the World Cup in Seoul, Korea. [ [ World Cup 2002: Hiddink: Koreans closing the gap ] ]

* 2003- Sumi Jo was elected as an "Artist for Peace" of UNESCO. [ [ Vancouver Symphony Orchestra - The Concerts - Artist Bios ] ]

* 2008- Sumi Jo received the international Puccini Award ]


----Sumi Jo is related to Korean actor Yoo Gun (also spelt Yoo Geon). Jo is Yoo Gun's grandfather's brother's daughter. [ [ 네이버 뉴스 ] ]


External links

* [ Sumi Jo Official website]
* [ Sumi Jo MySpace page]

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