South Korean baritone Joo Won Kang continues to establish himself as one of the most talented baritones today, popular both with audience and critics.
As the 2017-2018 season commences, Mr. Kang returns to San Francisco Opera, as Ping in the company’s opening-night production of Turandot. A member of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he was later an Adler Fellow and appeared onstage at SFO in various roles, including Captain Gardiner in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was televised nationally on PBS and released on DVD. Later this season will mark Mr. Kang’s company debuts with Arizona Opera (Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Germont in La Traviata).
Highlights of Mr. Kang’s 2016-2017 season included his debut at Ireland’s Wexford Festival, where he sang the leading role of Corrado in Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz, with great success. Opera News called his “the standout voice of this year’s festival.” He performed the role of Chou En-lai in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, and appeared with Opera Maine as Germont.
Mr. Kang sang the title role in Eugene Onegin with North Carolina Opera in 2015-2016, a season during which he also performed the Barbiere Figaro with Fort Worth Opera, and made his debut in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Seattle Opera. In addition, Mr. Kang returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with the National Symphony Orchestra.
He was the first-prize winner of Fort Worth Opera’s 2014 McCammon Voice Competition, which led to recital appearances both in Fort Worth and New York City. He has also garnered top prizes in such important vocal competitions as the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Opera Index Vocal Competition, Giulio Gari International Competition, Palm Beach International Competition, and the Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music, as well as a Semi-Finalist placement in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.