Siman Chung - Countertenor

Siman Chung, Countertenor

Siman Chung, a native of Busan, South Korea, looks forward to a number of important engagements in the 2018-2019 season as his career continues to grow.

In the the autumn, he will return to the Metropolitan Opera to participate in the American premiere production of Nico Muly’s opera MARNIE and in spring 2019, he will create a leading role in a new opera “Beauty and Sadness”, which will have its world premiere in Hong Kong.

In the fall of 2017, Mr. Chung joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover a leading role in the company premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel. And in Spring 2018, made his role and company debut with Opera Columbus—the title role of Orphée, in the Berlioz version of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice. This same production of Orphée then traveled to Against the Grain in Toronto, and, in summer 2018,to the Banff Festival. In all three venues, he had a great personal success.

In Spring 2017, Mr. Chung returned to Korea National Opera in the role of Grifone in Vivaldi’s Orlando finto pazzo, which he had first performed there in 2016, earning critical praise for his “voice of power and emotion. . . suggesting readiness for even larger countertenor assignments internationally.”

The 2016-2017 season also saw Mr. Chung’s NY recital debut, presented by Opera Index in March as their Emerging Artist in a program of selections by Händel, Mozart, Brahms, Chausson, and Quilter; the recital followed upon Mr. Chung’s being awarded Opera Index’s Arthur E. Walter Memorial Award in 2015. He was also awarded a grant winner for 2016-2017 by The Sullivan Foundation.

Mr. Chung made his Carnegie Hall debut in December 2015, singing in Händel’s Messiah with The Cecilia Chorus. Another recent success was in the leading role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Mannes Opera. He has also been heard with Mannes Opera in excerpts from Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare, and as Idamante in Idomeneo, during a concert evening of opera scenes.

In Spring 2016, Mr. Chung took the first prize in the prestigious Gerda Lissner Foundation Annual International Vocal Competition. He also won the “Best Counter-Tenor Prize” in 2010 at the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition (Barcelona), and in 2009 was cited for “Best Vocal Performance by a Young Talent” in the Alexander Girardi International Singing Competition held in Coburg, Germany.

Opera Repertoire

Composer Opera Role
Britten Midsummer Night's Dream Oberon
Dove Flight Refugee
Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice Orfeo
Gluck (Berlioz version) Orphée et Eurydice Orphée
Händel Giulio Cesare Sesto
Händel Rinaldo Rinaldo
Händel Rodelinda Bertarido
Mozart Mitridate, Re di Ponto Farnace
Rossini Tancredi Tancredi
Johann Strauss Die Fledermaus Orlofsky

Concert Repertoire

Composer Composition Role
Bach St. Matthew Passion Alto Soloist
Händel Messiah Alto Soloist

Press Acclaim

Chung’s acrobatic counter-tenor was ideal, even though this role is most often voiced as tenor in this remounted Paris version (albeit with the overture cut). Chung has a ringing high F, florid ornamentation the likes of which we don’t hear nearly so well sung in North America, and he comes equipped with outlandish lung power and breathing ability.

In title role of ORPHEE, Banff Festival, 2018

Stephan Bonfield, Calgary Herald

The cast could hardly have been bettered. As Orphée, countertenor Siman Chung sizzled with firepower, star power, and every other kind of power. Mr. Chung has a haunting color to his meaty tone, with a thrilling brilliance to his upper range. While he lavished the famous laments with limpid, affecting tone, he also deployed his well-schooled instrument to fine effect as he ripped through spot-on passages of manic coloratura.

In title role of ORPHEE, Banff Festival, 2018

James Sohre, Opera Today

Chung has everything a countertenor brings to a role, the warmth and odd otherworldliness of the unnaturally high tessitura for a male singer, and the power to project passion with volume to spare. His performance was compelling both vocally and theatrically.

In title role of ORPHEE, Banff Festival, 2018

Bill Rankin, Classical Voice North America

As the Refugee, Siman Chung offered a creamy countertenor and a subtle characterization of an indefinably traumatized and disenfranchised man. His desperate yearning to belong was present in his watchful gaze and hopeful body language even when he silently observed the others.


South Korean counter-tenor Siman Chung brought a voice of power and emotion to the role of Grifone suggesting readiness for even larger counter-tenor assignments internationally.


Dove sei, amato bene? - Rodelinda - G. F. Händel - Counter-Tenor Siman Chung

Quel nouveau ciel pare ces lieux- Orphée et Eurydice, Gluck

Venti Turbini - Rinaldo, Händel

Crude furie degli orridi abissi - Serse, Händel, United Philharmonic Orchestra

L'alma del forte - Orlando finto pazzo, Vivaldi, Korea National Opera

Alla rosa rugiadosa - Orlando finto pazzo, Vivaldi, Korea National Opera

Son reo, l'error confesso - Mitridate, W. A. Mozart

Le Temps des Lilas - E. Chausson

My Life's Delight - R. Quilter

Press Kit

Click on a file below to download.

Biography (.pdf)

Hi-Res Headshot