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Joo Won Kang, a native of South Korea, is consistently establishing himself as one of the most talented baritones today, both with audience and critics. Highlights of Mr. Kang’s 2016-2017 season include his debut at the Wexford Festival, Ireland where he sang the leading role of Corrado in Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz with great success. Of his performance, Opera News Magazine called his “...The standout voice of this year’s festival…” He will sing the role of Chou-Enlai in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer. This summer he sings Germont in La Traviata with PORT opera, and in the fall he returns to San Francisco Opera to sing Ping in Turandot, which opens their new season. Additional upcoming debuts include Arizona Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
In 2015-16 season, Mr. Kang returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Filene Centre, with the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2015-16 He also sang the title role in Eugene Onegin with North Carolina Opera, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Fort Worth Opera, and his debut in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Seattle Opera.
His engagements for the 2014-15 season included Marcello in San Francisco Opera’s family performances of La Bohème. He also made debuts as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Opera Naples, and as Germont in La Traviata with North Carolina Opera. He then went to the Spoleto Festival USA, to sing in the World Premiere of Huang Ruo's opera Paradise Interrupted, which he repeated in Singapore and at the Lincoln Center Festival.
Mr. Kang made his debut with Korea National Opera in the new opera Soul Mate, and joined the roster of Wolf Trap Opera performing the double role of Le Directeur and Le Gendarme in Les Mamelles de Tirésias as well as Moralès in Carmen with the National Symphony Orchestra.
As a member of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he was invited to join San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship, where he was a member for two years. Mr. Kang appeared on the stage of San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, in a variety of roles including Captain Gardiner in Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was televised nationally on PBS and released on DVD. With the company he sang the role of Figaro in San Francisco Opera’s family performances of The Barber of Seville. Prior to his time in San Francisco, Mr. Kang was a member of the Young Artist Program at Florida Grand Opera, where his roles included Germont in La Traviata.
Mr. Kang has been a Top Prize winner in many important vocal competitions including First Prize Winner in the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Opera Index Vocal Competition, Giulio Gari International Competition, Palm Beach International Competition, and the Ades Vocal Competition at MSM as well as Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Joo Won Kang is the first prize winner of Fort Worth Opera’s, 2014 MacCammon Vocal Competition, as well as the Audience Favorite prize. As a result of this success, he was invited to present recitals both in Fort Worth and New York City.
Mr. Kang received his Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree at Yon-sei University in Korea.