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Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Kathleen Kim

Posted on: May 23, 2023

Kathleen Kim is a renowned opera singer, specifically a coloratura soprano (a type of operatic soprano voice that specializes in music that requires agile runs, leaps and trills). She has established herself as one of today’s most respected artists in the opera community. 

Kathleen Kim was born on December 30, 1974, in South Korea. She was raised in Seoul, South Korea, where she sang in the children's chorus of the national broadcasting company, performing on television on Sunday nights. She initially studied piano at Yonsei University in Seoul before pursuing vocal training. She later moved to the United States to continue her studies, earning a Bachelor of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music in 1998 and a Master of Music degree in 2000 as well as a professional studies certificate from the Juilliard School. She continued her professional training as a member of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  

Since her professional debut, Kim has sung with major opera companies across the world. She is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera, where her many roles have included Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream under the baton of James Conlon. She has also performed there as Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann, Blondchen in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Zerbinetta in Ariadne on Naxos, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, the Fairy Godmother in Cendrillon and Madame Mao in Nixon in China by John Adams. 

In the 2022/23 season, she performed two roles in the Met's world stage premiere of The Hours by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Seguin. She also performed Madame Mao in a new production of Nixon in China, also starring Renèe Fleming and Thomas Hampson, at the Paris Opera. 

She has also performed leading roles recently at the Korean Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Frankfurt Opera and Glyndebourne Festival. 

Enjoy Kim's beautiful performance of 'Una Voce Poco Fa' from The Barber of Seville by Rossini.