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Hera Hyesang Park
Hera Hyesang Park


While Hera Hyesang Park has won rave reviews for her fine singing and stagecraft, there is much more to her artistry. The South Korean soprano’s cosmopolitan mindset and determination to challenge racism, discrimination and stereotypes of all kinds are also essential elements in her approach to making music. Performing and recording are, for her, both acts of self-discovery and heartfelt, emotionally honest ways to connect with others. With its immaculate technique and apparently infinite variety of tone colours, her lyric coloratura voice reflects the fearless nature of her performance style – always daring, never dull.

She signed an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon in May 2020 and her debut DG album, I am Hera was released in January 2021. Recorded with the Wiener Symphoniker and Bertrand de Billy, it featured music by Bellini, Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Pergolesi, Puccini and Rossini as well as works by Korean composers Joowon Kim and Un-Yung La. The album was warmly received by the critics, BBC Music Magazine writing, “Hera Hyesang Park has recorded one of the most satisfying debuts for many a day. This is a voice that rises to every challenge.”

Hera’s second album, Breathe, came out in February 2024. Once again the soprano brought a very personal approach to her choice of music, which was based on a series of life-enhancing experiences that led her from the fear and despair induced by the pandemic to a desire to embrace the present. The works on Breathe range from classics by Rossini, Verdi, Massenet and more to recent pieces by Luke Howard, Cecilia Livingston, Hyowon Woo and Bernat Vivancos. Hera recorded the album in Genoa with the Orchestra and Coro del Teatro Carlo Felice and conductor Jochen Rieder, and is joined on some of its tracks by mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo.

Having begun 2024 with a recital at the Palacio Municipal in the Mexican town of Álamos with pianist Andrés Sarre, Hera performed repertoire from Breathe at this year’s Seoul Fashion Week and at Seoul’s Lotte Hall in February, just days after the album’s release. In February/March she undertook her debut UK recital tour, starting with a mini-residency at Cedars Hall in Wells, where she led masterclasses and workshops with the pupils of the Wells Cathedral School, as well as giving recitals with pianists James Baillieu and Bretton Brown. She gave further recitals at London’s Barbican Centre and the Manchester Song Festival with Brown, before joining Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir for a performance of Mozart’s Mass in C minor at the Royal Festival Hall. She takes part in a gala concert with the New York Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel at Lincoln Center on 24 April, before returning to Europe to play Despina in Così fan tutte at the Paris Opéra (June/July).

Hera Hyesang Park’s gift for performing, recognised and encouraged at an early age, led to studies at the Seoul National University and at New York’s renowned Juilliard School of Music. She made her international breakthrough in 2015 when she was among the prize winners at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, going on to win first prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Competition in 2016 and the coveted Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award in 2018.

After completing her two-year Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Juilliard School in 2015, she became a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She made her house debut at the Met in 2017 as the First Wood Sprite in Rusalka and has since made successful returns in roles including Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice (2019), Pamina in The Magic Flute (2021–22) and Nannetta in Falstaff (2023).

Other recent career highlights include Violetta Valéry in the world premiere of Marina Abramović’s 7 Deaths of Maria Callas (September 2020); Despina and Susanna at Glyndebourne (July/August 2021 and May-July 2022); her role and house debut as Adina in L’elisir d’amore at the Berlin Staatsoper (February/March 2022); and her Carnegie Hall debut recital (March 2023).

Park’s personality and her evolution as a singer have been shaped by her Korean roots and by her experience of life in the West. She describes herself as “traditional but uncommon”, always ready to learn from classical and modern attitudes to life and art.


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