Praised for the remarkable agility, precision and warmth of her voice, and for her outstanding musicianship, Sumi Jo has established herself as one of her generation’s most sought-after sopranos. She has been consistently greeted with exceptional accolades, by public and press alike, for her performances in the most important opera houses and concert halls throughout the world.
Sumi Jo is in constant demand as a concert artist, both for special events such as the World Cup, an Asian tour of gala concerts with Andrea Bocelli, and a program of Viennese favorites with celebrated Cincinnati Pops. She has been heard in recital in major festivals and concert halls worldwide. In 2001 at Carnegie Hall, accompanied by The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, she gave her first public performances of Broadway Songs on her crossover album “Only Love”, which sold more than 1,200,000 copies worldwide, adding to her list of best-selling recordings.
At New York’s Metropolitan Opera Miss Jo has been heard in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor , Gilda in Rigoletto , Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann , Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Oscar in Un Ballo in maschera . La Scala audiences have heard her in bel canto specialties such as Le Comte Ory, Fra Diavol . At the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires she has appeared as Gilda, Zerbinetta and Queen of the Night, the latter role of which was the vehicle of her Vienna State Opera debut. Other operas in her extensive repertoire include Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment and Don Pasquale , Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia and Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Der Rosenkavalier .
Miss Jo currently has over 50 recordings to her credit, which include ten solo albums for Erato. Among them are a Grammy-winning Die Frau ohne Schatten with Sir Georg Solti for London/Decca and Un Ballo in Maschera for Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan. She has also recorded The Magic Flute and an album of arias under the baton of Maestro Solti. In 2007 she signed an exclusivity contract with Universal Music.
Born in Korea, Sumi Jo studied in her native country before enrolling in the Conservatory of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Her recital debut in Seoul was followed by concerts with the Korean Broadcasting Company Orchestra. Her first operatic role was Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro , which she also sang in Seoul. While studying in Italy, Miss Jo was frequently heard in concert in Italian cities and also in radio broadcasts and telecasts on the RAI Italian National Network. She graduated with honors from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in October 1986.
Miss Jo has won many prestigious awards including first prizes at international competitions in Seoul, Naples, Enna, Barcelona and Pretoria. In August 1986 she was unanimously awarded first prize in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition at Verona, one of the world’s most important contests, open only to first prize-winners of other major competitions. She was elected as “Artist for Peace” of UNESCO in 2003. Miss Jo makes her home in Rome.