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 the 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 in 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 ed 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 Opera Comique and Opera 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 Romeo 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 Diavol. At the Teatro Colon 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 Hvorostovsky in Asia, the United States, and Canada. She has also enlightened the 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 a few of the many concerts she performed. She plans to release a new album based on Bach’s composition in early 2013 and is excited to tour Asia, Japan and Australia.
In 2012, she participated in the singing role of Madame Mao of Adam’s opera <Nixon in China> at Theatre du Chatelet, Russia Recital, Beijing Music Festival, Australia Tour concerts, Concert at Teatro Colon and Japan tour concerts.
Her 2013 started with her year performances by singing 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 the 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 event for Ms. Jo to sing for Pope Francis who visited Korea in August. She also appeared at the opening ceremony of the 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 70 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 Theatre du Chatelet 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 Dvid Lang, won ‚Best Original Song‘ at the David di Donatello in Italy 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 released 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 a Bohemian girl. Famous Russian composer, Igor Krutoy’s song album “La Luce" was released 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 as 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.