Koreans Can Opera Too !

January 9, 2014

Kang Yosep · Samuel Youn signed by major U.S. agency 

Kang Yosep performs during La Boheme. (Newsis)

Kang Yosep performs during La Boheme. (Newsis)

By Kim Tong-hyung

Korean opera singers Samuel Youn and Yosep Kang have joined the Zemsky Green Artistic Management, a New York-based company that represents many of the world’s high-profile singers, according to the company’s website Wednesday.

Bass-baritone Samuel Youn (left, Yonhap) and  Yosep Kang (deutsche oper berlin website).

Bass-baritone Samuel Youn (left, Yonhap) and Yosep Kang (deutsche oper berlin website).

Youn, a bass-baritone, and Kang, a tenor, are high on the list of the intriguing young talents in Korean classical music. Their performances have been generating positive reviews in Europe and their deals with Zemsky could help them penetrate further into the American market.

Zemski manages more than 100 big-name opera singers, including Germany’s superstar tenor Jonas Kaufmann, Mexico’s Ramon Vargas and Argentina’s Marcelo Alvarez.

Youn, who studied in Milan, entered the international limelight in 2012 when he stepped in to take the lead role in the “The Flying Dutchman’’ at Germany’s Bayreuth opera festival, an annual celebration of Wagner music. Replacing Russian singer Evgeny Nikitin, who withdrew when it emerged he once had Nazi-related symbols tattooed on his body, Youn delivered a well-reviewed performance and has since been a regular at the festival. Global opera companies have been competing to sign him.

Kang, who studied in Seoul, Salzburg and Berlin, is the winner of many international competitions, such as the G.B. Viotti, Vercelli (2000) and the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Competition, Salzburg (2002). He is now the only Korean singer who is a member of the prestigious Deutsche Oper Berlin.