Purity of tone, an accomplished vocal technique and a radiant stage personality mark Youngok Shin an operatic contender with a future. Already she has sung in lyric-theater centers of London, New York and Paris with success.
Friday night, the Korean soprano gave an operatic recital in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, assisted by conductor Guido Ajmone-Marsan, who led the apparently ad-hoc L.A. Theater Orchestra impressively.
The trueness of her glowing, focused voice is Shin's strongest asset. Otherwise, the instrument's size and distinctiveness will probably fail to make it competitive with greatness. She sings beautifully, but does not specialize in drama, text-pointing or musical insights.
Shin demonstrated her versatility amply in Mozart's "L'Amero, saro costante," in the Mad Scene from "Lucia di Lammermoor" by Donizetti, in "Piangero, la sorte mia," from Handel's "Giulio Cesare," in the art-song, "Villanelle" by Eva dell'Acqua, and in arias from "La Sonnambula" and "Romeo et Juliette."