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Monday, April 04, 2005

Kim Woo-kyung concert in Espoo, Finland

By fortunate circumstances I got to know that the winner of last year's Mirjam Helin singing competition, tenor Kim Woo-kyung was to give a concert in Espoo, near Helsinki. Got ourselves tickets and went to see with good expectations, and we were not let down. Sure I lack means and knowledge to judge performances of classical music, but for us it's a matter of feeling and being part of a receptive audience, and Kim was received very warmly. He is quite well remembered from the competition, and the 400-seat hall was almost full even though I couldn't see any special advertising for the event except for the concert program of the venue.

The program:
Robert Schumann: seven songs from the collection "Dichterliebe"
Ludwig van Beethoven: Adelaide / Andenken / Der Kuss
Richard Strauss: Morgen! / Ich trage meine Minne / Allerseelen / Zueinigung
Francesco Paolo Tosti: Tristezza / Non t'amo più
W.A.Mozart: Il mio tesoro intanto (the Don Ottavio aria from Don Giovanni)
Georges Bizet: La fleur que to m'avais jetée (the Don Jose aria from Carmen)
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Kuda kuda (the Lensky aria from Yevgeny Onegin)

The audience gave the best reception to the Korean folk song Kim Woo-kyung sang as one of the encores. Very interesting: a kind of a song that the audience most certainly never had heard, but the simple beauty of the boating song (paennori) and the feeling that the listeners could sense from Kim's performance was simply so moving. I was able to hold back tears but my wife wasn't. (When meeting the performers after the concert, the accompanist told that the audience had responded similarly also in the previous concert in Savonlinna.) Kim's career is already on a stellar footing, as he sings permanently in the Semper Opera in Dresden; there are many in Finland hoping that he will not become too busy to come again often.

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