Sumi Jo


 Recent news about Sumi Jo

 Sumi Jo's Early life and education

Jo was born Jo Su-gyeong in Seoul , South 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.In 1976, Jo entered the Sun Hwa Arts School from which she graduated in 1980 with diplomas in voice and piano.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 System , and made her professional operatic debut as Susanna inThe Marriage of Figarowith Seoul Opera .In 1983 Jo decided to leave SNU in order to study music in Italy at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia 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 who often found it difficult to pronounce Su-gyeong. She graduated in 1985 with a concentration in keyboard as well as voice. Following graduation, Jo began to study voice with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf 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 in Verona, one of the world's most important contests, open only to first-prize winners of other major competitions.

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 Sumi Jo's Career

Sumi Jo, 1998

In 1986, Jo made her European operatic debut as Gilda in Verdi'sRigolettoat the Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste . This debut performance attracted the attention of Herbert von Karajan , who proceeded to cast her as Oscar inUn ballo in mascheraopposite Plácido Domingo at the Salzburg Festival in 1989.Due to the death of Karajan during the rehearsals of this planned performance, Jo actually never had the opportunity to sing on stage under the baton of Karajan ( Georg Solti conducted the performance) though early that year she had sung in the studio recording of the work for Deutsche Grammophon In 1988, Jo made her La Scala debut as Thetis in Jommelli 'sFetonte.That same year she also made her debut with the Bavarian State Opera and sang Barbarina inThe Marriage of Figaroat 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'sUn ballo in maschera. That same year, she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera , once again portraying Gilda inRigoletto. Jo would later reprise this role numerous times with the Met over the next fifteen years.

In 1990, Jo made her debut with the Chicago Lyric Opera as the Queen of the Night in Mozart'sThe Magic Flute.The following year, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera for another performance as Oscar inUn ballo in mascheraand made her Royal Opera at Covent Garden debut as Olympia inThe Tales of Hoffmann.She returned to Covent Garden the next year to sing both Adina inL'elisir d'amoreand Elvira inI puritani.

In 1993, Jo appeared in the title role of Donizetti'sLucia di Lammermoorwith the Metropolitan Opera and sang the role of the Queen of the Night at both the Salzburg Festival and Covent Garden.The following year she made her debut with Los Angeles Opera as Sophie in Strauss'Der Rosenkavalier.In 1995 she sang the role of Countess Adèle inLe comte Oryat the Aix-en-Provence Festival .

Over the next decade Jo maintained a busy schedule, singing Lucia in Strasbourg, Barcelona, Berlin, and Paris;La sonnambulain Brussels and Santiago, Chile;I Capuleti e i Montecchiwith 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 Italiain Spain;L'enfant et les sortilègesin Boston and Pittsburgh;Le comte Oryin Rome; andDinorahin New York. She also appeared in performances at the Théâtre du Châtelet , Théâtre des Champs-Élysées , Opéra 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 the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra ,the Cincinnati Pops , the Orchestra of St. Luke's , the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra ,the Vienna Philharmonic , 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, Canada, and Australia.

In 2007, Jo performed her first Violetta inLa traviatawith the Toulon Opera and in the 2008/2009 season she was scheduled to perform the role of Zerline inFra Diavoloat both the Opera Comique and Opéra Royal de Wallonie .

In 2011 Sumi Jo provided the voice of 'Veda Pierce' in the HBO miniseries 'Mildred Pierce'.

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 Sumi Jo's Recordings

Sumi Jo currently has 50 recordings to her credit, including ten solo albums for Erato, French division of Warner Classic. These recordings include complete operas, oratorio, operetta, orchestral works and Broadway standards. Notable recordings include Grammy Award winningDie Frau ohne Schattenwith Sir Georg Solti for the London/Decca label andUn ballo in mascherafor Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan.

She provided a vocalise for the soundtrack of the 1999 filmThe Ninth Gate, composed by Wojciech Kilar . The main theme of this film is based on a piece by Camille Saint-Saëns .

Sumi Jo recorded a cover version of the title song of Andrew Lloyd Webber 's 2010 musicalLove Never Dies.

Several of Sumi Jo's recordings were used as the character Veda's singing voice in the 2011 HBO miniseries version ofMildred Pierce. She also recorded new tracks specifically for the film, including the " Bridal Chorus " from Wagner 'sLohengrinand the popular standard " I'm Always Chasing Rainbows ."

Her recording of R. Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos , Etc Virgin Classics (1997) is the first recording of 1912 original version of R. Strauss. Sumi hit the F#6 of Zerbinetta

<International Albums>

  • Sumi Jo The Erato Recitals (10 CDs) Erato (January 31, 2012)
  • Libera Decca (2011)
  • Ich Liebe Dich Decca (August 17, 2010)
  • Missing You Decca (August 10, 2010)
  • The Sumi Jo Collection Warner Bros UK (January 18, 2010)
  • Best Of Sumi Jo Decca (February 4, 2009)
  • Baroque Journey Erato (November 13, 2007)
  • The Christmas Album Erato (September 18, 2001)
  • Prayers Erato (March 20, 2001)
  • Only Love Erato (April 11, 2000)
  • A Tribute to Johann Strauss ~ Echoes from Vienna Erato (November 9, 1999)
  • Les Bijoux / French Arias Erato (August 3, 1999)
  • La Promessa: Italian Songs Erato (September 15, 1998)
  • Art of Sumi Jo Decca (August 11, 1998)
  • Adam - Le Toréador Decca (March 17, 1998)
  • Bel Canto Erato (September 16, 1997)
  • Sumi Jo Sings Mozart (October 1, 1996)
  • Auber - Le Domino Noir (2 CDs) Decca (April 9, 1996)
  • Virtuoso Arias Erato (February 7, 1995)
  • Carnaval! French Coloratura Arias Decca (November 15, 1994)

<Albums of Various Artists>

  • Kenny G 'Rhythm & Romance'
Featuring with Sumi Jo - Mirame Bailar
  • MBC epic drama "Ju-mong" O.S.T.(2006)
Sumi Jo - A Memory of Love
  • The #1 Soprano Album (2 CDs)Decca (April 9, 2002)
Sumi Jo - Die Zauberflöte / Act 2 - "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen"
  • KBS drama "The Lost Empire" O.S.T. (2CDs) Doremi, Korea (2001.12.03)
Sumi Jo - If I Leave
  • DIVA: 30 Great Prima Donnas (2 CDs) Teldec (2001)
Sumi Jo - Faust, Act II: L'air Des Bijoux
  • Jewel Song: 20 Great Soprano Arias (2 CDs) Decca (2000)
Sumi Jo - Die Zauberflöte / Act 2 - "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen"
  • MBC drama "Hu-jun" O.S.T.(1999)
Sumi Jo - Elegy of Separation (Bulinbeolgok)
  • R. Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos, Etc Virgin Classics (1997)
Sumi Jo - Zerbinetta

<Albums in Korea>

  • Sumi Jo the 25th Debut Anniversary Memorial Album (10 CDs) Erato (2011) (It is same as The Erato Recitals 10 CDs) [16]
  • the 21st Debut Anniversary Memorial Album
Sumi Jo 101: Favorite Crossover and Classics (6CDs) Warner Music (2007)
  • the 20th Anniversary Special Edition
With Love: Best 20 Songs of Sumi Jo (2 CDs) Warner Music Korea (2006)
  • DVD "Sumi Jo in Paris - For my Father" (2006)
  • My Story (2 CDs) Erato/Warner Music Korea (2002)

This album included a vocal version of "Love is just a Dream," whose non-vocal verson was in MBC drama "Hotelier" O.S.T. (2001).

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 Sumi Jo's Awards and honors

  • 2008 – Sumi Jo received the international Puccini Award
  • 2008 – Sumi Jo sang at the International Olympic Games in Beijing
  • 2006 Winner of the Proud Korean Award for Culture and Art
  • 2005 7th Winner of KwanAk Award by Alumni Association of Seoul National University
  • 2003 – Sumi Jo was elected as an "Artist for Peace" of UNESCO
  • 2002 – Sumi Jo sang at the World Cup in Seoul, Korea
  • 2002 18th Woman of the Year by Korea Women Committee
  • 1997 Best Vocal Album by French Cultural Critics
  • 1997 Winner of 5th KBS Overseas Korean Award
  • 1996 Winner of 1st Korean-Chinese Youth Academic Award
  • 1996 The Best Selling Album of the Year award by British Classic
  • 1995 Decorated with the Order of Culture Merit, South Korea
  • 1995 Grand prize winner of Women Dong-a by Dong-a Daily News, Seoul, South Korea
  • 1994 Winner of Best Soprano, Chile
  • 1994 Winner of Kim SuGeun Award for Performing Art, Seoul, South Korea
  • 1993 Winner of La Siola d'Oro, Forli, Italy
  • 1993 Winner of Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording (conducted by sir. Solti, Deca label)
  • 1992 Winner of Hong Nanpa Memorial Award
  • August 1986 First prize in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition at Verona
  • October 1986 Graduated with honors from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory
  • 1986 Winner of Pretoria International Music Competitions, South Africa
  • 1986 Winner of 'Francisco Viñas' International Singing Competition,Barcelona, Spain
  • 1985 Winner of Viotti International Music Competition (Concorso Internazionale di Musica Viotti), Italy
  • 1985 Winner of Sicily Enna International Musical Competition, Italy
  • 1985 Winner of Napoli Zonta International Competition, Italy
  • 1985 Winner of Viotti International Music Competition, Trieste, Italy (Concorso Internazionale di Musica Viotti)

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 Sumi Jo's Personal life

Sumi Jo is the first cousin once removed of Korean actor Yoo Gun (also spelled Yoo Geon). Yoo Gun is the son of one of Sumi's first cousins.

Sumi Jo is an advocate for animal rights and one of only five Asian celebrities to make People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Asia-Pacific's (PETA) first-ever Best-Dressed 2008 list.

Her father had died just before she performed Ave Maria at Chatelet, Paris. When she learned that her father died, she wanted to pack up and attend her father's funeral. Her mother reminded her of the promise with her audiences, and said that it was best for her father that she performed and dedicated it to her father.Her performance was dedicated to her father and released as a DVD titled "Sumi Jo in Paris - For my Father"

Her grandma had a superstition if Sumi knocks something, any bad fortune would go away. Although Sumi's family lived in a rented property, her parents bought a piano for her to play.

Her mother trained Sumi strictly. Sumi recalled even when her mother went out; she locked the door outside so that Sumi couldn't play hooky.

In a Korean talk show, "The Gold Fishery: a Knee-slapping Guru," she recalled that the first two years of Seoul National University was the most unique time of her life. She had not studied and felt in love for the first time. In the interview, she said that she could not even afford to buy a ticket to Italy, but there was an unexpected income to her family later. She had only $300 when she went to Italy to pursue further music study.

In an interview with a Korean newspaper, she said if she had the second life, she would like to have an ordinary woman's life as a wife of a man.

She marked the highest score in the history of Seoul National University (SNU) entrance exam, for her vocal performance.

She fainted on the street when she studied in Italy, and later was diagnosed with anemia. She slept only 4 hours to study Italian language and music, and also to tutor to earn money to keep studying in Italy.

She had studied music with a scholarship in Seonwha Arts Junior-High School and Seonwha Arts High School for six years.

She has been claimed as "a voice from above" by Maestro Herbert von Karajan.

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 Sumi Jo's References

  1. Sumi Jo[dead link]
  2. Raphaelle Occhietti & William Sanger, Sumi Jo chante le bel canto (Le Polyscope, 12 octobre 2008)
  3. Sumi Jo: Devoted to Music
  4. ÀÌ ¹Àº ¼¼°è·Î ÅëÇÑ´Ù. ¼±È­¿¹¼ú°íµîÇб³¿¡ ¿À½Å °É ȯ¿µÇÕ´Ï´Ù
  5. Biography for Sumi Jo - Media Guide
  6. LA Phil Presents | About the Performer – Sumi Jo
  7. Deutsche Grammophon:
  8. Culture – Korean
  9. Metropolitan Opera Association
  10. Lyric Opera of Chicago:
  11. "Sumi Jo with the VSO!" at LSM Newswire (4 January 2008)
  12. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – The Concerts – Artist Bios
  14. David Ng (2011). "The Operatic Highs and Lows of Mildred Pierce". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  15. Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos, Etc / Nagano, Price, Jo, Et Al | ArkivMusic
  16. Yahoo! Groups
  17. 조수미 “오 사랑하는 나의 아버지” 앙코르 ‘눈물의 사부곡’ :: 네이버 뉴스
  18. Top Operatic Singers from the World Greet Olympic Guests-Olympics-China News-News-English-东北新闻网
  19. World Cup 2002: Hiddink: Koreans closing the gap
  20. 네이버 뉴스
  21. PETA Asia-Pacific | Media Resources | Recent News Releases|SU-MI JO MAKES PETA'S EXCLUSIVE BEST-DRESSED LIST
  22. 조수미, 아버지 장례식날 독창회 무대 올라 “어머니 서운했다” - 손에 잡히는 뉴스 눈에 보이는 뉴스 - 뉴스엔
  23. NO.1 뉴미디어 마이데일리
  24. 국내연예 뉴스 > 조수미무릎팍 '너무나도 혹독했던 피아노 연습?'
  25. Korean soprano Sumi Jo designated UNESCO Artist for Peace - UNESCO Celebrity Advocates |

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