May 13 & 15, 2016
Korean-American baritone Hyung Yun (Sharpless, Madama Butterfly) has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in the United States. With the Metropolitan Opera, he has sung Valentin in Faust under Maestro James Levine, Ping in Turandot, Lescaut in Manon with Renée Fleming in the title role, and Silvio in Pagliacci. At LA Opera, he sang Angelotti in Tosca, Marcello in La bohème, Micheletto Cibo in Die Gezeichneten, and Lescaut in Manon with Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko under the baton of Plácido Domingo. Recent performances include: Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Carolina and Toledo Opera, Valentin in Faust with Austin Lyric Opera, covering Valentin at Metropolitan Opera, and Verdi Requiem at the Lincoln Center. In the 2015-16 season, he will cover the roles of Ping, Duke of Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), and Zurga (The Pearl Fishers) at the Metropolitan Opera. Yun returns to Ash Lawn Opera this season, having performed King Melchior the 2012 and 2014 productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (2015).
In 2015, Artistic Director Michelle Krisel interviewed Hyung Yun on behalf of Ash Lawn Opera. Here, read highlights in which he discusses he discusses returning to Charlottesville, growing up in an operatic family, and what it's like to perform at the Met.
You have performed King Melchior twice in Ash Lawn Opera's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Are you looking forward to returning to Charlottesville for a third time -- now in the summer?
Yes, of course. As much as I love performing the holiday opera Amahl and the Night Visitors in English, as an Opera singer, my forte is singing in Italian and Butterfly is a classic piece which can not be more perfect. It's my first Italian opera at Ash Lawn Opera. Another great reason to look forward to this summer!
How did you fall in love with opera? Please tell us about the importance of your father in your career choice.
I grew up listening to my father sing and teach. I already knew all the the arias for all the operas by memory before I decided to audition for a music school. It was very natural for me to study something that was already part of my life. My father was a famous baritone in Korea. He was a favorite star for TV, radio, and concerts. The apple didn't fall far from the tree!
You have worked at the Metropolitan Opera many times. Please tell us what it is like to work at this country's greatest opera house!
To have a great performance, it takes great performers, directors, and conductors. Since the Metropolitan Opera is one of the greatest opera houses they can afford to have a top notch team. Whenever I perform at the Met, I feel very comfortable singing because the company caters to singer's needs and respects the singers.