Jeong-Won Lee

Picture of Jeong Won Lee

The First International Opera Contest Franco Corelli took place in June 1998. The concert given by the winners took place on June 27th, 1998 and was issued on CD. Alessandro Sciochetti kindly provided the CD to me. The jury was made of Franco Corelli, Bruno Bartoletti, Luigi Ferrari, Anita Cerquetti, Rolando Panerai, Giancarlo Landini and Alessandro Sciochetti. Among the winners, seven out of the nine were from South Korea! The second and third prizes were attributed to Korean sopranos, while the first prize winner was the tenor Jeong-Won Lee. During that concert, Lee sang Ch'ella mi creda and Nessun dorma, which he repeated. This tenor has a great voice potential because of his volume, robustness and strong high notes, but the timbre of the voice and his style are not equal to the rest. Anyway a voice to follow. As for the others, the least said the better. The CD is not commercialized and can be obtained from the Comune di Ancona and Associazione Amici della Lirica di Ancona.
I wish to thank Alessandro Sciochetti for me providing me the CD of the Primo Concorso Lirico Internazionale Franco Corelli.
Jeong-Won Lee singsLa fanciulla del West: Ch'ella mi creda

Lee made his debut with the Korean National Opera as Lyonel. His European debut took place in Hungary, where he was immediately successful (and would often return). From Hungary, he went to Italy for further studies in Ascoli Piceno. I'm not at all sure about dates; he already won a singing competition in Alcamo (Sicily) in 2000. Perhaps before his Korean debut? Anyway, in 2008, he won the Corelli singing competition in Ancona described above, and sang Dick Johnson in an abridged version of Fanciulla del West at the Wexford Festival the same year (critics were not convinced).

In November 2001, he sang his first Calaf, at the Erkel Theater in Budapest: a major success, and Lee came back to Budapest as Radames and Manrico, and to the festival in Miskolc (Hungary), as well. In 2003, he appeared at the Martina Franca festival as Vassili in Giordano's Siberia. In April 2008, he was the first Korean tenor ever to sing at La Scala (Macduff, 3 performances, he didn't return). In the 2010s, he seems to have been based in South Korea again.

Reference 1, reference 2 and source for the "mature" picture; reference 3: The Irish Times, 20 October 1998; reference 4: La Scala archives

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