Artist of the Week: Yonghoon Lee

Korean Tenor Makes his Seattle Opera Debut

By Francisco Salazar

This week the Seattle Opera will present Camille Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila” for the first time since 1965. The opera, which will be presented in concert performance, will see two of the brightest in the opera world making debuts. Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee is one of the stars that will take on the title role of Samson.

Lee will not only make his Seattle debut but will also sing the role of Samson for the first time in his career.  It will bring him back to the French repertoire, following his performances of many of the great works by Puccini and Verdi. Lee has previously performed such French works as  Don Jose in “Carmen.” When he sang “Carmen” at the Met, OperaWire said, “while Lee was more than capable of vocal beauty, his moments of suffering were truly something to behold and the role of Don José provided an abundance of them.” The role of Samson will give the tenor even more chances to bring out his expressive voice.

For those not in Seattle, Lee is set to revive a production of “Turandot” at the Royal Opera House and is also set to perform in “Pagliacci” at the Wiener Staatsoper.


For those not familiar with Lee’s voice, the tenor has recordings of “Il Trovatore” and “Turandot” from the Royal Opera House.

Here he is performing an excerpt from “Otello.”

Here is a clip from “Carmen.”



Artist of the WeekSpecial Features