Sumi Jo


Known for her thrilling coloratura soprano voice, Sumi Jo is one of the great singers of her generation. Her repertoire consists of most of the well known coloratura parts including 'Lucia di Lammermoor', 'I Puritani', 'La Sonnambula' and in particular she was renowned for her interpretations of Zerbinetta in 'Ariadne auf Naxos' and the Queen of the Night in 'Die Zauberflote' - roles she has performed with many of the greatest conductors. Praised for the remarkable agility, precision and warmth of her voice, Sumi Jo continues to be consistently greeted with exceptional accolades, by public and press alike, for her performances in the most important opera houses and concert halls throughout the world.

Sumi has appeared at the world's famous opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris, Washington Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Hamburg State Opera. She has worked with such famous maestri as Sir Georg Solti, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Herbert von Karajan, Kent Nagano and others. 

This is for information only. Please contact Camilla Wehmeyer for an up-to-date biography.

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Operatic Repertoire

Ambroise Thomas - Hamlet, Ophelie 
BELLINI - I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Giulietta
BELLINI - I Puritani, Elvira
BELLINI - La Sonnambula, Amina
DONIZETTI - Don Pasquale, Norina
DONIZETTI - Lucia di Lammermoor, Lucia
MOZART - Lucio Silla, Giunia 
POULENC - Les Dialogues des Carmelites, Constance 
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV - Le Coq d'Or, Shemakha
ROSSINI - Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rosina
ROSSINI - Il Turco in Italia, Fiorilla
ROSSINI - Le Comte Ory, Adele
STRAUSS - Ariadne auf Naxos, Zerbinetta
STRAUSS - Der Rosenkavalier, Sophie
VERDI - Rigoletto, Gilda
VERDI - Un ballo in maschera, Oscar

Concert repertoire

BRAHMS - Requiem 
MAHLER - Symphony number 4 
MOZART - Concert arias: various/all very high ones 
MOZART - Mass in C minor, K. 427 
ORFF - Carmina Burana 
STRAUSS - Songs with Orchestra

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  • New Years Concerts, Accademia Santa Cecilia, Rome, January 2014


Opera News, May 2014

Hamburg State Opera




"Cuts made early in the work's performing history are opened up, and voice types approximating to those of the first cast are deployed. So Norma (Cecilia Bartoli) has a darker tone than Adalgisa (Sumi Jo), while a lyric, rather than a dramatic tenor – John Osborn – sings Pollione. Its principal revelations lie in the orchestral sound, stark and abrasive rather than comfortingly smooth, Giovanni Antonini's urgent conducting, and, above all, in Jo's immensely touching depiction of ruined innocence." The Guardian, Tim Ashley, 13 June 2013
"[Jo] is probably the most convincing Adalgisa of my recent experience. The first recitative “Sgombra è la sacra selva” immediately establishes the character’s desperate confliction and fear and Jo’s sense of breathless dread takes the listener into her mental world. The following aria “Deh! Proteggimi, o Dio” is sung with gentle sweetness but doesn’t downplay the agony...Jo eloquently shows her character helpless to resist the charms of her seducer but remains racked with guilt...Jo’s blank horror on “Che ascolto!” is moving indeed"...Jo’s contrasting gentle response “Mira, o Norma” leads into the duet acknowledged as one of the pearls of bel canto and both artists are at their best here." Opera Brittania, 24 May 2013

Nixon in China - Madame Mao

Chatelet Theatre

Nixon in China, Madame Mao - Chatelet Theatre
"rigorously executed and superbly acted...Sumi Jo’s Madame Mao patrols her space and fires off the top notes."

Financial Times, April 2012


Roy Thompson Hall

"Jo is a coloratura. Her appearance on Friday was very much an evening of high-flying pyrotechnic display, whether baroque or buffo. One showpiece followed another. And another.
A lesser singer would have bored us silly with all this brilliance and accuracy, but Jo is expert enough at shading notes and shaping phrases to keep the skeptical ear engaged. Charles Gounod’s Sérénade was particularly rich compendium of smartly rolled trills and lines given just the right (and natural) bend of vibrato.
She could sing with pathos, too, in O quante volte from Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Two Korean items brought out a dramatic heft not normally equated with coloraturas. The two final numbers, the Doll Song from The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach) and Sempre libera from La Traviata (Verdi), offered a striking illustration of Jo’s capacity to darken her voice on demand..."

Washington National Post, April 2011



A new period-instrument recording of Bellini's tragic opera with Cecilia Bartoli as Norma and Sumi Jo as Adalgisa.

In collaboration with Giovanni Antonini, Riccardo Minasi and Maurizio Biondi, Cecilia Bartoli restores the sound and spirit of Norma in a recording based on the opera's original sources. Sumi Jo, John Osborn and Michele Pertusi respectively sing the roles of Adalgisa, Pollione and Oroveso. Antonini conducts the Orchestra La Scintilla.