The 'Jo Sumi season' will be unveiled this month in the performing arts world. Soprano Jo Sumi (pictured) will hold a duo concert titled “Art Songs” with world-renowned baritone Thomas Hampson (67) at the Lotte Concert Hall in Songpa-gu, Seoul on Dec. 22. ‘Sumi Jo & Friends ―In LOVE’ concert featuring songs from her new album ‘In LOVE’ will be held on Dec. 23 at the Seocho-gu Arts Center Concert Hall.
“I wanted to give comfort and consolation for the difficult times during the pandemic at the ‘Art Songs’ concert on Dec. 22,” Jo said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
In Part 1, Hampson will sing six of Schubert's 'Swan Song' and 6 of Mahler's early songs to the piano accompaniment of Yoon Hong-cheon Yoon. In Part 2, Sumi Jo will perform art songs such as Bach's cantata aria and Debussy's 'Starry Night' with Yoon Hong-cheon, Spanish guitarist Marco Socias, and German violinist Christian Kim.
At the ‘Sumi Jo & Friends ― In LOVE’ concert on Dec. 23, recent Korean songs, pop songs, and drama OST songs featuring crossover attributes, including Kim Hyo-geun’s “First Love,” sung with bass-baritone Gil Byeong-min, will be presented. Cellist Hong Jin-ho, violinist Danny Koo, haegeum player Haegeum Nari, and Choi Young-seon-conducted Prime Philharmonic Orchestra, who participated in Jo's album, will play on stage together.
“There is a time for everything in people’s lives, and I felt that now is the time to love,” the coloratura soprano said at a press conference held in central Seoul on Tuesday.
“I wanted to make this album before my first love is forgotten. When I was in college, I promised to meet her boyfriend in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace when the first snow fell. I was at school, and when I came out at night, it was snowing,” she said. “I ran to Gyeongbokgung Palace, but he was gone. It turned out that he was waiting in front of my house. I will never forget the feeling of butterflies in my stomach at that time.”
Jo introduced the songs included in this concert and album as “healing music that you can come back to when you want to rest.”
“I made an album with all my passion, depriving myself of sleep. I thought a lot about the singing method, and you won't hear the soprano vocal singing method,” she said. “I hope it will serve as an opportunity for world vocalists to sing along to our songs, just like K-pop, which is popular around the world.”
Ticket prices for Lotte Concert Hall’s “Art Songs” concert range from 80,000 to 150,000 won, and those for Seoul Arts Center’s “Sumi Jo & Friends – In LOVE” concert from 50,000 to 150,000 won.