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Musical World

Hei-Kyung Hong

  • Soprano


Hei-Kyung Hong press reviews

Tanglewood Concerts with James Levine

“Bass James Morris (as the avuncular Hans Sachs) and soprano Hei-Kyung Hong (as Eva) drew on veteran reserves of savvy and style [in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg].”

Matthew Guerrieri, The Boston Globe, July 2009


“Soprano Hei-Kyung Hong brought a welcome warmth and lightness of phrasing [to Brahms’s German Requiem.]”

Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe, July 2009



“The finest portrayal came from Hei-Kyung Hong as the slave girl Liù, singing with exceptional grace and beauty, floating through the music like a spring breeze.”

Clive Barnes, New York Post, April 2, 2007


“Exquisite singing and acting came in the form of Hei-Kyung Hong, whose Liù was the musical highlight of the evening. Gloriously sweet in the high tessitura of her two arias, Hong's singing was an example to the whole cast of how to sing Puccini convincingly.”

Dominic McHugh, Music OMH, February 2005


“There are no doubts about Hei-Kyung Hong's winning performance as Liù - sung with a soft-edged yet powerful soprano and poise to spare…”

Erica Jeal, The Guardian, January 18, 2005


“There can be no doubt about the sheer vocal thrills delivered by the fine international cast, led by the incomparable Liu of Korean soprano Hei-Kyung Hong. In her two poignantly sung arias, ‘Signore ascolta’ and ‘Tu che di gel sei cinta, Ms. Hong offered an object lesson on legato singing and stylish phrasing that made the last of Puccini’s Little Girls seem almost heroic. No one today in my experience sings this role better.”

Truman C. Wang, Classical Voice, June 4, 2002


La Bohème

“Fortunately, that lady - also known as Mimì of course - was sung by Hei-Kyung Hong. Ms. Hong has been performing at the Met since 1984, and she is such a ubiquitous presence - her biography cites more than 300 performances of 22 roles - that it is easy to take her for granted as flashier stars jet in and out and snatch all the attention. But no such slighting was possible on Thursday evening. Her understated elegance and the sheer vocal beauty she brought to the role were unmistakable. Ms. Hong steered clear of the stock Mimì clichés, like excess coughing to convey her character's frailty, and instead telegraphed Mimi's vulnerability and charm with a wonderfully supple technique, and a light yet warm ambrosial tone that she doled out into the most graceful phrases. The legions of future Mimìs out there should take note.”

Jeremy Eichler, The New York Times, September, 2005


“Hong, an artist often taken for granted in New York, was perfection itself as Mimì, delectable and touching. Her Act III aria, ‘Donde lieta uscì,’ was especially exquisite, but throughout the evening she played with vocal colors and shaped every phrase with delicacy and lovely rubato.”

Judith Malafronte, Opera News, December 2005


“Hei-Kyung Hong, replacing an indisposed Elena Evseeva as Mimì, sang glowingly and affectingly, once again proving herself unsurpassed in the role today.”

Leighton Kerner, Opera News, February 2004


Le Nozze di Figaro

“As for the more familiar principals, Hei-Kyung Hong sang Countess Almaviva with her customary beauty of line and sense of style; the range didn't faze her whenever Mozart's original distribution of ensemble voices was adopted, and her acting allowed for both pathos and humor.”

Leighton Kerner, Opera News, January 2006


“Hei-Kyung Hong made a sympathetic, pure-voiced Countess, and she found her way comfortably with Lisa Milne as Susanna.”

Jeremy Eichler, The New York Times, November, 2005


La Traviata

“Hong brings a certain physicality to her role which energizes Violetta away from the fainting-heroine mode and gives her a bit of sexual sparkle. This kind of rendition does much to justify suitor Alfredo’s rather rampant ardor for her despite her debilitating illness. Hong has a sweet, never strident soprano…Her command of the original score makes for a powerfully more engaged Violetta.”

Kate Wingfield, Metro Weekly, May 13, 2004


“Hei-Kyung Hong is a lyric soprano whose singing art practically defines the best of her vocal category. Her tone is lovely, both dark and bright at all times, and modulated to accommodate the text she is singing. She has spectacular control of messa di voce, and it is seemingly effortless in all ranges. Her singing is pitch-perfect, with a beautiful, spinning vibrato, which she reduces occasionally for special emotional effects.”

Drew Minter, Opera News, January 2004


Don Giovanni

“Hei-Kyung Hong’s Zerlina used innate sweetness to overcome stereotype as the usual pert soubrette.”

John W. Freeman, Opera News, May 2004



“Hei-Kyung Hong, whose voice has acquired a spinto coloration in recent seasons, lightened it to suggest Micaëla’s extreme youth but nonetheless managed to project the peasant girl’s considerable grit. She delivered the great Act III aria with strong, gleaming tone.”

Fred Cohn, Opera News, December 2004




“…with soprano Hei-Kyung Hong as a luscious-voiced Gilda.”

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, September, 2001