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Musical World

Hei-Kyung Hong

  • Soprano


Hei-Kyung Hong has sung in all of the most renowned theaters in North America. She made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Musetta, her San Francisco Opera debut as Gilda, and has appeared at the Canadian Opera and the opera companies of Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington among many others. Her operatic repertoire expanded in these settings to include triumphs as Massenet’s Manon, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, and Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles. Most recently she added the iconic role of Violetta in La traviata for the Washington Opera, with rave reviews and overwhelming audience response. In the 2006-2007 season she brought her Violetta to the Metropolitan Opera as well as her acclaimed Liù and Mimì to the popular “Met in the Parks” performances. She also made her role debut as Eva in Die Meistersinger.

European theaters have also received Hei-Kyung Hong with rare enthusiasm. Her debut at La Scala as Liù resulted in an offer to open their 2004 season in the famed theater’s newly renovated house as Mimì. Her debuts at Covent Garden and in Rome were again as Liù. Paris has heard her as Micaëla, the Countess in Figaro, and as Liù; Vienna, Munich, and Amsterdam, all as Mimì.

Hei-Kyung Hong’s orchestral repertoire is as broad as her operatic experience. She has sung Bach with Trevor Pinnock and the Montreal Symphony, and the late conductor and composer Giuseppe Sinopoli wrote his Lou Salome Suite for her, which they premiered together with the New York Philharmonic. She has appeared with the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many others under conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, and Lorin Maazel, with whom she sang the Final Scene from Daphne for the Bayerische Rundfunk.

Hei-Kyung Hong’s first solo recording of operatic arias was released in 1998 on RCA Red Seal. She recorded Bellini’s I Capuletti e i Montecchi with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore for the Teldec label; she and Larmore also collaborated on Bellezze Vocale, a collection of operatic duets, also for Teldec. She recorded Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Symphony for Telarc, and she appears on many other recordings and DVDs originating from her operatic performances, many conducted by James Levine.

Hei-Kying Hong is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and its American Opera Center.