Joo Won Kang - Baritone

Joo Won Kang, Baritone      

Joo Won Kang, South Korean baritone, made his Metropolitan Opera debut last season as Marcello in La Boheme. He also appeared in the company’s new production of Don Carlos.

Mr Kang has appeared in leading roles,such as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Germont in La Traviata, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, the title role in Eugene Onegin and Ping in Turandot in opera companies throughout the US, including San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Arizona Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and Utah Opera.

He sang the role of Chou En-lai in John Adams’ Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, and he made his New York City Opera debut as Manfredo in L’Amore dei Tre Re.

At the Wexford Festival, he sang the leading baritone roles in 2 rare operas, Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz and Leoni’s L’Oracolo, as well as appearing there in recital.

This season, he returns to the Metropolitan Opera to cover Germont in La Traviata, a role he sings with Seattle opera in the spring of 2024.

Mr. Kang is a Top Prize winner in such important Vocal Competitions as Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Index, McCammon Competition and Giulio Gari International Competition.

Opera Repertoire

Composer Opera Role
Adams Nixon in China Cho En-Lai
Bizet Les pecheur de perles Zurga*
Donizetti Maria de Rudenz Corrado
Heggie Moby Dick Captain Gardiner
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro Count Almaviva
Mozart Die Zauberflöte Papageno
Mozart Cosi fan tutte Guglielmo
Poulenc Les Mamelles de Tiresias Theater Director
Puccini La Boheme Marcello
Puccini Madama Butterfly Sharpless
Puccini Turandot Ping
Rossini La Cenerentola Dandini
Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia Figaro
Tchaickovsky Eugene Onegin Eugene Onegin
Tchaickovsky Pique Dame Yeletsky
Verdi Falstaff Ford
Verdi Rigoletto Rigoletto
Verdi La Traviata Germont
*In preparation

Press Acclaim

“South Korean baritone Joo Won Kang sang the part with riveting sonority, catching the character’s implacability but also an element of decency and human dignity. “

Terry Blain, Minnesota Star Tribune

‘Dite alla giovine’ was also beautifully and movingly sung, as Natale joined in duet with Joo Won Kang, a most impressive Germont. Kang’s rich, resonant baritone complemented his portrayal of a man whose dignity and sense of propriety may be paramount, but who still understands what Violetta’s sacrifice has cost her and can ultimately grieve with Alfredo. Kang’s ‘Di Provenza il mar’ was notable for his superb phrasing of the long legato lines.”

Cornelia Iredell, OPERA NEWS

“As Corrado, Joo Won Kang’s command of line and phrasing, solid vocal core and beautiful tone made him the STANDOUT VOICE of this year’s Festival.”

Brian Kellow, Opera News

“It helps that Wexford has assembled a superb cast, led by Korean Joo Won Kang’s radiant Corrado. How rare to have a Donizetti baritone role of such meatiness, and how wonderful to have a singer to take full advantage of that – even from top to bottom, and with a lovely sense of line through even the fussiest of passages. His opening “Eglia, ancora non giunge” was a stand-out.”

Alexandra Coughlin,

​“Korean Baritone Joo Won Kang is consistently exciting as Corrado”

George Hall,

“Equally fine was baritone Joo Won Kang (singing a role which was premiered by great Donizetti baritone Giorgio Ronconi) as Corrado Waldorf. His rich and powerful instrument had no problems with Donizetti’s line; the baritone gets a lot of the best music here. (Kang also performed at a stunning recital which ran the gamut from Beethoven to some beautiful songs from his native Korea; his is a name to watch for.)”

“The singers were all top-notch… For all Corrado’s despicable character traits, one understood why Maria kept coming back for more with singing this good from the former lover. Joo Won Kang delivered a fine performance of a difficult role, his honeyed baritone voice ringing true from the start….”

Andrew Larkin,

“Corrado requires a kind of Verdi baritone and is the character who has the most to sing throughout the opera. The role was played by Joo Won Kang, who has an attractive and important voice.”

José M. Irurzun,

“The week’s knockout recital was saved for the final spot, on November 5. Korean baritone Joo Won Kang gave an exemplary performance from beginning to end, superbly partnered at the piano by Andrea Grant. His Golden-Age tone and superb phrasing ignited Beethoven’s “Adelaide,” and he lent his formidable interpretive skills to Gerald Finzi’s cycle of Shakespeare songs, “Let Us Garlands Bring.” Kang’s flawless judging of just how much emotion to invest made “Come Away, Death” and “Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun” unforgettable listening experiences. His English diction is excellent, and he made Fiddler on the Roof’s “If I Were a Rich Man” entirely his own. Before his breathtaking, full-bodied performance of Die Tote Stadt’s “Tanzlied,” he spoke of the time he had spent at the festival—“this beautiful memory of Wexford. I am having this memory, and bringing this memory to my home.” It was a sentiment that was sure to resonate with many in the audience.”

Brian Kellow,

“McCammon winner Joo Won Kang stands out!

The star of the show was Figaro himself-baritone Joo Won Kang.

He blew away the competition in the Fort Worth Opera’s 2014 McCammon voice Competition, winning the audience award, as well as the judges’ nods. It was clear when he first came onstage Saturday night that the MAGIC was still there!”

Olin Chasm, The Dallas Star Telegraph


Joo Won Kang and Nicole Cabell, Dite alla giovine, La Traviata, Verdi, Minnesota Opera 2019

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Manfredo, L'amore dei tre re, New York City Opera, 2018

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Egli ancora non giunge, MARIA DE RUDENZ, Wexford Festival, 2016

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Egli ancora non giunge, MARIA DE RUDENZ, Wexford Festival, 2016

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Vieni in quel giorno essa m'attende, MARIA DE RUDENZ, Wexford Festival, 2016

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Di Provenza, La Traviata, Verdi, Emerging Artists NY Debut Recital, Forth Worth Opera's McCammon competition winner, Opera America, September, 2014

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Pierrot's Tanzlied, Die Tode Stadt, Korngold, McCammon Voice Competition, 2014

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Ja vas lyublyu, Pique Dame, Tchaichovsky, Viñas 2014

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, è sogno o realta?, Falstaff, Verdi, Viñas 2014

Joo Won Kang, Baritone, Cento Leggiadre vergini, Il Corsaro, Verdi, Adler Fellows Concert, San Francisco Opera, 2012

Press Kit

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Hi-Res Headshot