Tenor Sungho Kim Announced as Winner of Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Yves Paternot

By Chris Ruel

After closing out the 28th edition of the Verbier Festival on Aug. 1, 2021, with a stirring performance as Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La bohème,” 31-year-old Korean tenor, Sungho Kim, was awarded the Verbier Festival Academy’s highest honor, the Prix Yves Paternot.

The recognition comes with a monetary prize of CHF 10,000, an invitation to return to the Festival, and eligibility to receive up to CHF 15,000 for artistic and professional development.

The prestigious award recognizes the most accomplished and promising musician of the annual Academy and follows two significant wins in 2018. During that year, Kim took First Prize at the Korea National Singing Competition in Seoul and the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. In 2020, the tenor was selected as a finalist of the Glyndebourne Cup. Currently, Kim is a member of Theater Dortmund’s ensemble.

For his role of Rodolfo at the Verbier Festival, Kim prepared with opera luminaries Barbara Frittoli and Thomas Hampson, along with actor James Garnon, and Atelier Lyrique Opera Programme Head, Caroline Dowdle.

Awards were also presented to other soloists, ensembles, and singers of the Academy, with two vocalists, U.S. soprano Sylvia D’Eramo—who sang the role of Mimì alongside Kim—and Welsh tenor Dafydd Jones, splitting the CHF 10,000 prize money for winning this year’s Prix Theirry Mermod.