Artist of the Week: Konu Kim

Korean Tenor Makes Awaited San Francisco Opera Debut in ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’

By Francisco Salazar

On June 14, the San Francisco Opera will revive its production “Dream of the Red Chamber” with an acclaimed cast including rising Korean star Konu Kim.

The tenor first came on to the scene when he won first place at the Operalia Competition in 2016 and later broke out in 2019 when he performed at the Donizetti Opera Festival in a production of “L’Agne de Nisida.” While the pandemic saw major cancelations for Kim, he recently released his first album featuring beloved Bel Canto repertoire. Now after numerous cancelations, Kim makes his role debut as Bao Yu in his company debut of this pivotal contemporary Asian work. It will also mark the first time the tenor does a contemporary work but as he told the San Francisco Opera recently, he is not daunted by it.

When Kim sang at the Donizetti Opera Festival, OperaWire said, he “gave a profound performance filled with different colors and emotions.”

Kim has performed at the Glyndebourne Festival, San Diego Opera, Wexford Opera Festival, Garsington Festival, Teatro Verdi di Basseto, Budapest Müpa Palace of Arts, and the Royal Opera House as a young artist.

For audiences not in San Francisco, the opera will be streamed on the San Francisco Opera’s streaming platform and is set to perform at the Irish National Opera, the Royal Opera House, and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.


For those not familiar with Kim’s voice, you can listen to his self-titled debut album or his recording of “L’Ange de Nisida” from the Donizetti Opera Festival.

Here is Kim performing at the Operalia Competition and at teh Teatro Comunale di Modena performing “I Puritani.”


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