HomeINTERVIEWSu Mi-jo: The Journey...

Su Mi-jo: The Journey of a World-Renowned Soprano

Free Subscribtion

Su Mi-jo, also known as Soo Kyong Jo, is a South Korean soprano who has captivated audiences worldwide with her expressive voice and virtuosic performances. Born on November 22, 1962, in Seoul, South Korea, she is renowned for her ability to portray major coloratura roles in the operatic repertoire. Throughout her illustrious career, Su Mi-jo has received numerous accolades and has become one of the most beloved sopranos of her generation. In this article, we will explore Su Mi-jo’s remarkable journey, from her early musical education to her international success, and the sacrifices she made along the way.

YouTube video
Sumi Jo – Franz Schubert – Ave Maria – Paris, 2006

Early Musical Education

Su Mi-jo’s passion for music was evident from an early age. She began her musical studies at a young age and enrolled in the music school of Seoul National University. However, she decided to leave after her second year to pursue her dreams at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. It was during her time in Rome, starting in 1983, that she focused on studying keyboard and vocal music. Su Mi-jo’s talent and dedication caught the attention of renowned Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan, who praised the beauty of her voice.

Rise to International Stardom

With Herbert von Karajan’s recommendation, Su Mi-jo made her debut at the prestigious Salzburg Festival in 1986. The same year, she performed as Gilda in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” marking her operatic debut. In 1988, she impressed audiences once again with her portrayal of Oscar in Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera,” with Karajan conducting. Her performance was so remarkable that she considered Oscar as one of her favorite roles. Throughout the late 1980s, Su Mi-jo achieved significant success by winning several international competitions, solidifying her career as an international star.

Notable Roles and Recordings

Su Mi-jo’s talent and versatility allowed her to excel in a wide range of roles. She gained particular acclaim for her portrayal of the Queen of the Night in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote” and the title role in Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” She also showcased her talent in Richard Strauss’s operas, performing as Sophia in “Der Rosenkavalier” and Zerbinetta in “Ariadne auf Naxos.” In the Vienna Philharmonic’s Grammy Award-winning recording of Strauss’s “Die Frau ohne Schatten,” conducted by Sir Georg Solti, Su Mi-jo lent her voice to the character of the Voice of the Falcon.

In addition to her operatic performances, Su Mi-jo has recorded numerous albums that have resonated with both classical and popular music audiences. She has released collections of arias as well as albums with crossover appeal, showcasing her versatility and broad musical range. One of her critically acclaimed albums, “Prayers” (2001), featured her renditions of religious songs, including Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and the hymn “Amazing Grace.” Another notable album, “Only Love” (2000), showcased songs from Broadway musicals.

International Recognition and Performances

Su Mi-jo’s exceptional talent and captivating performances earned her recognition and invitations from renowned opera houses and festivals around the world. In 1993, she was named the best soprano of the year at the sixth La Siola d’Oro in Forli, Italy. European houses such as La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden in London, and the Vienna State Opera in Austria welcomed her performances. In the United States, she graced the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her international engagements extended to South America, Australia, and Asia, further solidifying her reputation as a global opera star.

- Advertisement -

Performances at Major Events

Su Mi-jo’s talent and popularity led to invitations to perform at major global events. She had the honor of performing at the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, showcasing her remarkable vocal abilities to a worldwide audience. Additionally, she lent her voice to the 2002 Football World Cup in her home country of South Korea, captivating sports fans with her powerful performances. Su Mi-jo’s ability to connect with audiences on such grand stages demonstrates her command of the opera world and her ability to captivate diverse audiences.

Personal Struggles and Sacrifices

Behind Su Mi-jo’s incredible success lies a tale of personal struggles and sacrifices. At the age of 19, she embarked on a journey from South Korea to Italy to pursue her dreams of becoming an opera singer. This move meant leaving behind her friends and family, finding herself as one of the few Asians in Italy at the time. The initial period was challenging, as she had to navigate unfamiliar territory without knowing how to cook or speak Italian. Su Mi-jo’s loneliness was alleviated by a puppy she found on the streets, who became her only companion during those difficult times.

Despite the challenges, Su Mi-jo persevered and achieved remarkable success. She recorded over 50 albums, including 10 solo albums, and received a Grammy award in 1993 for her outstanding contributions to the music industry. Her talent and dedication led to performances at renowned opera houses and major international events. However, the pursuit of her career often meant sacrificing personal milestones. In 2006, Su Mi-jo had to miss her father’s funeral as she was performing in Paris.

Type Keywords to Search


Most Popular


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles

The Hottest Handbag Trends Dominating Summer 2024

As the warm weather approaches, the fashion world is abuzz with...

Conquering Frozen Shoulder: A Comprehensive Guide for Middle-Aged Women

Shoulder pain can be a debilitating experience, especially for middle-aged women,...


Read Now

The Most Expensive Cities for Expats: A Guide for Middle-Aged Woman

When it comes to choosing a city to live in as an expat, there are factors to consider such the cost of living to the quality of life, each destination offers its own unique advantages and challenges.

Osteoporosis in Middle-Aged Women: What You Need to Know

Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects many middle-aged women. It is characterized by the thinning of bones, making them more fragile and prone to fractures. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes, risk factors, prevention strategies, diagnosis, treatment options, and practical tips for living...

The Hush Cut: The Transformative Haircut Delivering Softness, Volume and Youthful Vibrancy for Mature Women

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of beauty trends, one hairstyle has emerged as a true game-changer for middle-aged women - the hush cut. This captivating style, with its delicate layers and face-framing accents, has taken the beauty world by storm, promising to revitalize tresses, soften facial...

Do Libido Pills for Women Actually Work? Debunking the Myths and Exploring the Options

Female Libido: Every person experiences fluctuations in their sex drive, and it's completely normal. However, for some women, a persistent decrease in libido can be distressing and impact their overall well-being.

Being a Vegetarian: Is it in Your DNA?

The popularity of vegetarianism has been on the rise. Many individuals are adopting this lifestyle for various reasons, including environmental concerns, ethical considerations, and health benefits.

Should you exercise with a cold? What You Need to Know

Should I exercise with a cold? When you're struck with a cold, it's natural to wonder if it's safe to continue with your exercise routine. After all, you don't want to make your symptoms worse or prolong your illness.

Unlock Your Potential by Embracing Your Imperfect Family

Our relationships with our parents can be complex, nuanced, and often challenging to navigate. Many of us have experienced the push and pull of familial dynamics - the moments of deep connection and understanding, as well as the periods of frustration, misunderstanding, and resentment. It's a delicate...

The Best Everyday Bags for Women in 2023

Looking for The Best Everyday Bags for Women? Finding the perfect everyday bag is essential for any woman. Consider the factors of versatility, style, and durability when making your decision.

2023 Christmas Gift Ideas for Middle-Aged Men

Are you struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift for the middle-aged men in your life? Look no further! We have curated a comprehensive list of unique and thoughtful gift ideas that are sure to impress.

The Ultimate Guide to Winter 2023 Lipstick Colors: Embrace the Season with Confidence

Winter 2023 brings a range of stunning lipstick colors, toasty browns to brick reds and everything in between, these lip colors will add a touch of warmth to your makeup looks.

Balancing Relationships and Self-Care

As middle-aged women, we often find ourselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, from managing careers and maintaining homes to caring for our families. In the midst of all this chaos, it can be challenging to make time for self-care and prioritize our own well-being. However, taking care...

How to Beat the Summer Heat: Ultimate Guide to Healthy and Comfortable Skin

How to protect skin from sun in summer? Summer is a time for outdoor adventures, beach trips, and barbecues. However, the hot weather and increased UV radiation can take a toll on your skin, leading to discomfort and various skin issues.