July 31, 2003 |
Showmanship, versatility, charm and two glitzy gowns marked Sumi Jo's return to the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night. The remarkable Korean soprano was assisted by guest conductor Emmanuel Villaume and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, both in wonderful form. Predictable coloratura showpieces, plus arias from operas we do not expect Jo to assay, made up her program.
June 5, 1999
While I agree with part of Mark Swed's review of L.A. Opera's "Lucia de Lammermoor" ("A Canary in a None-Too-Gilded Cage," May 28), the lackluster sets and the lack of energy between Enrico and Edgardo are forgotten precisely because of the one response that Swed disdains in his critique: our "irrational" response to the beauty of Sumi Jo's voice. By criticizing the very thing that makes opera special--its powerful appeal to our emotions, conscious and unconscious--Swed risks reducing a potentially transcendent experience to a laundry list of minor production flaws, and flattening out opera into a dry and merely intellectual experience.
May 23, 1999 |
She spins out her mellifluous tones, fine yet strong, like a silken web over the captivated audience. They have fallen into a trance, all eyes focused on this one diminutive woman standing on the podium before them. Sumi Jo has triumphed on opera stages in works by Verdi, Puccini and Mozart, but now she's singing "Kum-kang San," a popular Korean song that evokes the dream of seeing the most beautiful mountain in the world, Kum-kang, in North Korea, just once before dying.
June 21, 1998 |
Adolphe Adam is known today mostly as composer of the ballet "Giselle" and the Christmas carol "Cantique de Noel" (O Holy Night). But he wrote a considerable number of stage works, including this once quite successful comic opera. (It premiered in Paris in 1849.) The slight plot involves an eternal triangle: a young wife, an old husband, a young lover. The music is light and graceful, though it makes great virtuosic demands on the soprano.
January 12, 1998 |
Only the most cynical observer could dismiss Sumi Jo as less than the virtually complete recitalist and vocal artist she is. As the Korean soprano demonstrated again Saturday night, she makes music, she entertains an audience, and her sincerity is irresistible. One has to go all the way back to the beauteous Mary Costa for an example of such irrepressibility on the recital stage.
November 13, 1996 |
The lure of the prima donna clearly transcends cultural boundaries. A year ago, soprano Sumi Jo gave a wildly popular concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion promoted almost exclusively in the local Korean American community. Monday evening she returned for an "L.A. Encore Concert," presented by the Korea Central Daily, to another cheering, capacity crowd of compatriots.