Korean soprano Shin Young-ok (59) is having a concert on Feb. 1 to commemorate the 30th year of her debut. She will be singing “La Serenata” by Francesco Paolo Tosti, “Ebben? Ne Andrò Lontana” in the Opera La Wally by Alfredo Catalani and other songs. The Dong-A Ilbo met her at the Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul.
Back in 1990, Shin won at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in April and made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in December. She joined the ranks of world stars when she appeared as Gilda in Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi’s Rigoletto in January the next year.
She is assessed to have newly highlighted Oscar, the page in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera.” “Oscar frivolously runs around,” she said. “The role suited me because Oscar has a small stature and a light voice.”
In 1997, Shin was scheduled to take the role of Elvira in Vincenzo Bellini’s “I Puritani.” Tenor Luciano Pavarotti met with her when he cancelled to sing in Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” and decided to take the role of Renato in “Un Ballo in Maschera.”
“He asked me to cancel ‘I Purinati’ and sing as Oscar once again,” she said. “But the other soprano singer cast for I Puritani became ill. So I decided to do the both.” Shin was praised in both operas, which she recalls it as the prime of her career.
Until when is she going to sing? “I can sing for a while if I stick to my own singing method without being so grasping,” she said.
Her voice is light and pure. “I received offers to take heavier roles,” she said. “I wouldn’t have made it until today if I overdid my strength.”