South Korean born Yonghoon Lee has established himself as one of the world’s most outstanding lirico spinto tenors. Internationally acclaimed for his artistry and ingenuity, Lee has performed at the world’s most prestigious theaters, including the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, Dutch National Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Semperoper Dresden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Opera Australia, Arena di Verona and more.
Last Season 2022/23, Yonghoon Lee added two important roles to his repertoire: Canio in Pagliacci at Wiener Staatsoper and Samson in Samson et Dalila at Seattle Opera. Lee returned to Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona as Manrico in Il Trovatore, to Teatro Real as Radamès in Aida, to Bayerische Staatsoper as the title role in Otello, to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Calaf in Turandot, and to Wiener Staatsoper as Turridu and Canio in Cavalleria Pagliacci. He closed the season with a return to Arena di Verona as Radamès for the Arena’s centennial season.
This season 2023/24, Lee opens the season with a return to Semperoper Dresden as Calaf in Turandot, a role he is internationally recognized for. He will then reprise the role for a series of special performances with Seoul Metropolitan Opera in Korea. Lee continues his international season with a return to Wiener Staatsoper for a very exciting role debut as Dick Johnson in Marco Arturo Marelli’s production of La Fanciulla del West opening this January 2024. Following his role debut in Vienna, this Spring, Lee reprises the role of Luigi in Il Tabarro at Bayerische Staatsoper, Calaf in a new production of Turandot at Washington National Opera, followed by a return to Opernhaus Zurich as Andréa Chénier. Lee closes the season with performances of La Fanciulla del West in the Bayerische Staatsoper Summer Festival 2024.
Yonghoon Lee began his musical studies in his native South Korea, where he performed as Alfredo in La Traviata, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Ruggero in La Rondine, and Don José in Carmen. He received a full scholarship to both the Seoul National University in Korea and the Mannes College of Music in New York. After winning numerous prizes at international vocal competitions, Lee began his professional career in the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, a role which has been very significant in his career. Shortly after his debut in Santiago, Lee sang Don Carlos for his Spanish debut at Palau de les arts in Valencia and for his German debut at Oper Frankfurt. He has since performed the role in both its original French and frequently performed Italian version in Vienna, Munich and Hamburg, as well as his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, with appearances in New York and on tour in Japan.
Lee made his debuts at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Greek National Opera, and Opera Australia as Cavaradossi in Tosca. He sang his first Don José in Carmen for his debut at the Dutch National Opera, a role which brought Lee to theaters around the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Lyon, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper unter der Linden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Sydney Opera House. Lee first debuted the role of Calaf in Turandot in Bologna, and has since been recognized internationally for his performances in the role across the world’s greatest stages. In additional to his performances as Calaf, Lee is recognized for the role of Manrico–first debuted in Vienna-and has since appeared in Il Trovatore at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and the Metropolitan Opera in a performance broadcast internationally to cinemas. The tenor performed his first Andrea Chénier at Opernhaus Zürich which he reprises in the season of 2024. Lee has also appeared in less frequently performed works such as Hagenbach in Catalani’s La Wally for his debut at Grand Théâtre de Genève, and as Arrigo in Verdi’s La Battaglia di Legnano in both Rome and Hamburg.
The tenor made his debut at the San Francisco Opera in the fall of 2016 in the title role of Andréa Chenier, followed by his debut at Opéra national de Paris as Turridu, a role he has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Wiener Staatsoper. Lee added Pollione in Norma to his repertoire for his debut at the Dallas Opera, returned to Semperoper Dresden as Don José, debuted at Staatsoper unter der Linden as Cavaradossi, and reprised the role of Don Carlos at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and with the Mariinsky Opera on tour in Japan under Music Director Valery Gergiev.
Lee began the 2017/18 season with his debut at the Washington Opera in his first performances of Radamès in Aida. He then returned to Wiener Staatsoper as Cavaradossi in Tosca and performed the role of Luigi in the Bayerische Staatsoper’s new production of Il Trittico. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Manrico in Il Trovatore and to Opera Australia as Radamès. The following season 2018/19, Lee debuted for the first time as Don Álvaro in the new production of La Forza del Destino at Opernhaus Zürich. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Don José in Carmen, and Radamès in Aida, to Opera Australia as Calaf in Turandot, to the Wiener Staatsoper as Turridu, and to Bayerische Staatsoper as Calaf and Luigi. In the 2019/20 season, Lee debuted at the Gran Teatre del Liceu as Radamès in Aida, a role that he also sang at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He additionally appeared in Australia as Don José in Carmen.
Last season 2021/22, Lee returned to Opera Australia as Calaf in Turandot, Manrico in Il Trovatore, and for his debut in the title role of Otello. Season highlights include performances as Luigi in Il Tabarro at the Bayerische Staatsoper and a reprisal of Calaf in Turandot with The Metropolitan Opera: a performance which was broadcast as part of the Met: Live in HD series.