La Prima Donna Sumi Jo

Fri October 5, 2018 - 7:30 PM
La Prima Donna Sumi Jo

Soprano SUMI JO

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 has been consistently greeted with exceptional accolades, by public and press alike, for her performances in the most important opera houses and concert halls throughout the world.

As a world class coloratura soprano, she has actively extended her role is various opera productions in the world opera stages. New additions to her repertoire in recent years have been Delibes’ Lakeme, Meyerbeer’s Dinorah and Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, which she sang for the Minnesota Opera.

In 2007-08 she made her role debut as Violetta in La Traviata in Toulon. Her 2008 season includes Bellini’s I Puritani in Bergamo, Fra Diavolo at the Opéra Comique and Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liege. Other opera productions she has also engaged in recent years include Marie in La Fille du Regiment (Santiago, Chile, Hamburg, Germany) and Elvira in I Puritani, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Belgium). In 2010, she made her ‘Juliette’ of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette debut at Rio de Janeiro Opera which was followed by Fiorilla, Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia on the same stage. In 2011, she performed Rosina of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Liege Opera in Belgium. In 2012, Jiang Qing in Nixon in China (Paris).

In her early years, Ms. Jo has been heard in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor At New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Oscar in Un Ballo in maschera. La Scala audiences have heard her in bel canto specialties such as Le Comte Ory, Fra Diavolo. At the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires she has appeared as Gilda, Zerbinetta and Queen of the Night, the latter role of which was the vehicle of her Vienna State Opera debut. Other operas in her extensive repertoire include Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment and Don Pasquale, Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia and Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Der Rosenkavalier.

Sumi Jo is also in constant demand as a concert artist in both for special events such as the World Cup, an Asian tour of gala concerts with Andrea Bocelli, and a program of ‘Viennese Favorites’ with celebrated Cincinnati Pops, 2011 Winter Asian Games Opening Stage in Astana and Almaty (Kazakhstan), IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 Opening Shows. A gala concert with Jonas Kaufmann, Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as part of the Olympic games in Beijing, a Christmas concert with Jose Carreras in Barcelona as well as recitals in major concert halls in Canada, United States, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, recital tours in Korea, Tokyo/Japan and Australia and duo concerts with Dmitri Hvorostovky in Asia, United States and Canada.

She has also enlightened public with her crossover stages in many places ever since her first Broadway Songs concert in Carnegie Hall accompanied by The Orchestra of St. Luke’s in 2001. She sold more than 1,200,000 copies of her first crossover album <Only Love> worldwide, adding to her list of best-selling recordings.

In 2011, she celebrated her 25th anniversary of International Opera Debut. May recitals and concerts made her travel all over the world. Her Asian Tour Concerts with AAM(Academy of Ancient Music), 6 Japanese City Tour concerts, Mahler Festival in Shanghai are few of many concerts she performed. She plans to release new album based on Bach’s composition in early 2013 and excited to tour Asia, Japan and Australia.

In 2012, she participated in singing role of Madame Mao of Adam’s opera <Nixon in China> at Théâtre du Châtelet, Russia Recital, Beijing Music Festival, Australia Tour concerts, Concert at Teatro Colon and Japan tour concerts.

Her 2013 started with her year performances by sing for Korea’s new presidential inauguration ceremony which are followed by Korea tour concerts, Russia piano recital, Shanghai recital, China Philharmonic Invitation concerts and singing in Vatican in November.

Her 2014 engagements are Asia Four Country tour concerts, Singing in the Closing Ceremony in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Games, Korea Tour Concerts, Russia, Kazakhstan, Paris Recital in May at Palais Royal, Role of ‚Fiakermilli‘ in Strauss' opera Arabella at Hamburg, Donizetti’s opera <Le convenienze ed inconvenienze Teatrali> in Frenze in June through July in the first half of the year. It was such an emotional even for Ms. Jo sang for Pope Francis who visited Korea in August. She also appeared in the opening ceremony of 2014 Incheon Asian Games in September. She ended her busy schedule singing in 6 city tour concerts in Korea.

In 2015, she performed not only her own concerts over the globe but also participated in many concerts representing Korea celebrating Korea’s 70th anniversary of National Independence, as an Honorary Ambassador of Korea. She also focused on many charity concerts for disabled children over the nation.

2016, celebrating her 30th International Opera Debut, she gets busy with her new opera repertoire, Auber’s <Manon Leascaut> in Belgium in April, in addition to concerts in Beijing, Australia Tour, North American Tour in October. She will also appear in Théâtre du Châtelet in October.

Her appearance as a world-renowned opera singer ’Sumi Jo’ in Italian movie Director, Paolo Sorrentino’s movie <YOUTH> made a sensation in cinema, nominating ’Simple Song #3’ sung with her own voice also appearing in <YOUTH> in person, as a best Original Song category at Golden Globe Awards, Critics‘ Choice Awards as well as 2016 Academy Awards. <Simple Song #3> composed by David Lang, won ‘Best Original Song‘ at the David di Donatello in Italy.

Her 2017 year started with Maria Callas Tribute concert in Lincoln Center, New York with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra followed by performance of role of Violetta in <La Traviata> in Bucharest, romania. She performed in Toulouse, France with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (ONCT) and toured Taiwan. She celebrated the finale stage of the ‘2017 Life Ball‘, Vienna in June. Her participation as a Jury and Masterclass mentor of BBC Cardiff Singer of the world 2017 Competition was a exciting experience to her. She enjoyed her participation in three different programs - recital, concert with orchetsra and “Requiem“ - in Montreal in August. In September, she sang for “Celebrity Fight Night in Italy 2017“ concert hosted by Maestro Andrea Bocelli with many renowned singers such as Sir Elton John, Steven Tyler, David Foster etc and number of musicians from all over the world for charity. Her singing for celebration of 125th Anniversary of ‘Teatro de Cristóbal Colón‘ in Comlumbia was such a big event for the audience. She also participate in the RAI TV program with Pope Francis in Assisi, Italy followed by Christmas Concert in Moscow, Russia with Russian President Putin in December. Her 2017 season ends with participating in Lehár’s Operetta <La Vedova Allegra> as a role of madame Hanna Glavari in Teatro Stabile del Veneto.

In May 2017, she was appointed to the Honorary Ambassador for 2018 Pyeongchange Winter Olympics. As a part of her promotion to this world-event, she joined “Metropolitan Pyeongchang Night for Peace“ to announce her Olympic tribute song, “Here as ONE“. Her participation on promotion of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Games made her proud for her country.

Followed by 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Games, she goes back to ordinary performing life. Engaged with Tour Concerts in Asia and Australia, Canada Three City concerts in August. She will get busy with Jury activities as well as she values the inspiration to the young talents of the future.

Ms. Jo currently has over 50 recordings to her credit, which include ten solo albums for Universal Music and Warner Music. Among them are a Grammy-winning Die Frau ohne Schatten with Sir Georg Solti for London/Decca and Un Ballo in Maschera for Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan. She has also recorded The Magic Flute and an album of arias under the baton of Maestro Solti. In 2007 she signed an exclusivity contract with Universal Music which will record 5 CDs within 5 years. Her first album, “Missing You” with Universal was release in 2009 and marked her 5th Platinum Album in classics world-wide. Her second album with Universal Music is under preparation in Feb. 2010 which was German Lieder songs “Ich liebe dich” released in March 2010. In 2011, a new album “Libera” which will express her liberal mind as Bohemian girl. Famous Russian composer, Igor Krutoy’s song album “La Luce> was release in December 2012. Her latest classical album “Only Bach” was released in 2014 and she started working on her next album for 2015.

Born in Korea, Sumi Jo studied in her native country before enrolling in the Conservatory of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Her recital debut in Seoul was followed by concerts with the Korean Broadcasting Company Orchestra. Her first operatic role was Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, which she also sang in Seoul. While studying in Italy, Ms. Jo was frequently heard in concert in Italian cities and also in radio broadcasts and telecasts on the RAI Italian National Network. She graduated with Honors from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in October 1986.

Ms. Jo has won many prestigious awards including first prizes at 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. She was elected as “Artist for Peace” of UNESCO in 2003 and received “The Puccini Award”. Ms. Jo makes her home in Rome.

Pianist Jeffery Cohen

Born in Baltimore (U.S.A.), Jeff Cohen studied piano with Leon Fleisher, Reine Gianoli and Peter Feuchtwanger. He currently lives in Paris and is professor of mélodie  and Lied at the Conservatoire National as well as artistic director of Les Saisons de la voix in Gordes (Lubéron).

Jeff Cohen has worked as vocal coach at La Monnaie in Brussels, musical director at Théâtre du Châtelet, and teacher at the École d’Art Lyrique and Conservatoire d’Art dramatique in Paris. He has assisted conductors such as Sir George Solti, Christopher Hogwood, John Nelson Michel Plasson and Sir Mark Elder on recordings with Decca, EMI and Opera Rara.

He has performed with singers and instrumentalists such Roberto Alagna, June Anderson, Tassis Christoyannis, Karine Deshayes, Isabelle Druet, Dale Duesing, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Véronique Gens, Angela Gheorghiu, Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel, Sumi Jo,  Steve Lacy, François Le Roux, Noël Lee, Ute Lemper, Blanca Li, Mady Mesplé…

He has made a number of recordings, including a recital « live » at La Scala with Angela Gheorghiu, various compilations of French mélodie, Kurt  Weill and cabaret songs with Ute Lemper and two-piano works with Noël Lee. 

French television aired Jeff d’orchestre a show written and presented by Jeff Cohen which introduced music to children. He has also composed original music for feature films, plays, and dance pieces.

In 2013 Jeff Cohen was awarded the Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

The Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons is described as one of the most beautiful and acoustically acclaimed venues in North America. Home of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, BD&P World Stage, and TD Jazz, audiences are treated to some of the world's finest musical events. The hall also welcomes a spectrum of events each season from TED Talks to National Geographic Live speakers, wedding dinners on the stage to rock stars on tour.

Ideal for: Weddings, performances, meetings, graduation ceremonies, and corporate events
Capacity: 1797 – Theatre-style seating 150 – Formal dinner seating 200 – Cocktail reception 
Lighting & A/V: Fully customizable lighting and A/V options
Stage: Stage measures 86' wide by 38' deep. 
Accessibility: Theatre seating includes wheelchair accessible Seats

Named after Mr. Jack Singer ($1.5M contribution from his sons, Alan and Stephen Singer), the concert hall is also the home of the Carthy Organ donated by the Carthy Foundation in the amount of $750,000 in memory of Mrs. Margaret Mannix. Suspended high above the stage is a laminated, 185,000-pound (90-ton) spruce-wood acoustical canopy that can be raised or lowered to tune the hall according to the specific needs of each performer.

Over its 32 year life, Jack Singer Concert Hall has undergone many upgrades to ensure that it remains a state-of-the-art performance hall, including a new million dollar sound system with state-of-the-art hearing assistance in 2004, a complete replacement of all its analog sound boards in 2014, and the full replacement of all of its seats, in 2017.