"Things are starting to get busier in the second half of the year, as the San Francisco Opera celebrates its 100th anniversary this year,” said Kim Eun-sun, who was appointed as conductor for the San Francisco Opera with tradition of 99 years. “I had just a few days off and it was good to get an offer to come to Korea and visit my parents.”
Kim will be performing with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra conducting ‘Kim Eun-sun's Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 From the New World,’ which will be held at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, on July 21 and 22.
"I've conducted the accompaniment for operatic base Yeon Kwang-chul's vocal recital in Tongyeong 11 years ago, but this would be my first time in Korea as a professional conductor," Kim said in a press round table by video conference on Tuesday.
Kim was invited as guest conductor for Puccini's La Boheme performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera, the most sought after stage for opera performance, in November and December last year. Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic for The New York Times, praised the performance, saying that it has been a while since Puccini's music had been performed with such a fresh touch. Kim was chosen as a classical rising star for the cultural scene for 2021 by the New York Times.
"I became a conductor when Professor Choi Seung-han at Yonsei University advised me to try conducting when I was rehearsal pianist at a La Boheme performance during my study at the Department of Composition. She said that she would be making her debut at the Milano La Scala, Italy's top opera theatre, with La Boheme in the next season.
"I think Slavic music particularly resonates with Korean musicians,” she said. “When I conducted with the San Francisco Opera for the first time, I went with Dvorak's Rusalka, and I studied the Czech language for preparation. I have wanted to conduct Dvorak in my home country.”
Kim will be conducting John Adam's new opera Antonio and Cleopatra for the San Francisco Opera's centennial season, which starts in fall. "I'm planning to perform a Wagner opera, Verdi, a widely performed opera and a contemporary opera every year, building a solid repertoire," said Kim.