The “astonishing countertenor” (New York Times) Kangmin Justin Kim is one of the most sought-after singers of his voice type, having earned accolades in roles of the Baroque repertoire, contemporary music and in Mozart’s trouser parts.
In 2022, the Korean American singer created the title role in the world premiere of M. Butterfly at the Santa Fe Opera, receiving rave reviews for his “alluring, ringing tone” and his “sensitivity as an actor” (New York Times). Another breakthrough performance was his 2019 debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, where the mezzosopranist wrote history as the first male singer to appear as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro on this prestigious stage.
Other recent performances include house debuts at the Wiener Staatsoper in a new production of Henze’s Das verratene Meer, at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin as Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, at the Theater an der Wien as Annio in La clemenza di Tito and at the Opéra de Lausanne as Eustazio in Rinaldo; role debuts as Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel at Staatstheater Wiesbaden, as Epitide in Giacomelli’s La Merope at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in Basel with La Cetra and Andrea Marcon and as Ottone in a new production of Vivaldi’s La Griselda for Teatro La Fenice at the Teatro Malibran of Venice; performances as as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina with Collegium 1704 in Brno, Caen and at the Opéra Royal de Versailles, in the pasticcio Siface at Opera Rara Kraków, as Gilade in a new staging of Vivaldi’s Farnace at the Teatro La Fenice of Venice and a Gala streamed from the Opéra Comique of Paris.
In the 2022/23 season, Justin makes his double debut at the Dallas Opera and as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, his house debut at the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg as Nerone in a new production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, with later performances in Mulhouse and Colmar as well as his role debuts as Amanzio in Vivaldi’s Il Giustino with La Cetra and Andrea Marcon in Basel and at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, as Piacere in Handel’s Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at the Opéra de Lausanne with Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti, as Aristeo in Sartorio’s Orfeo in a new staging at the Montpellier Opera and as Cleopatra in Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra at the Haymarket Opera in Chicago. Justin also returns to the Teatro La Fenice of Venice as Hyacinthus in a new production of Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus and to the Janáček Theatre of Brno as Ruggiero in Alcina. In concert, he appears at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele with the SWR Symphonieorchester conducted by Václav Luks, at the Liszt Academy in Budapest in a Baroque concert with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and at the Tongyeong International Music Festival.
He has also sung Nerone and Speranza in L’Orfeo at the Salzburg Festival, New York Lincoln Center, Philharmonie of Paris and Berlin, Harris Theatre in Chicago, Edinburgh Festival, Lucerne Festival and the Teatro La Fenice in Venice conducted by Gardiner, Cesare in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica and Orlofsky in a new production of Die Fledermaus at the Oper Köln, Orfeo in Handel’s Parnasso in festa at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam conducted by Andrea Marcon, Giulio Cesare for his Glyndebourne debut conducted by William Christie, Ruggiero in a new production of Alcina in Nancy, Idamante in a new Idomeneo, a staged production of Handel’s Jephtha at the Maifestspiele Wiesbaden and Idelberto in a new production of Lotario at Konzert Theater Bern. He made his debut at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples in Britten’s Canticles alongside Ian Bostridge, performed Carmina Burana with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Barzane in Vivaldi’s Arsilda with the Collegium 1704 in Bratislava, Caen, Lille, Luxembourg and Versailles, Speranza in L’Orfeo at the Opéra de Dijon, and Romeo in Zingarelli’s Giulietta e Romeo at the Rokokotheater of Schwetzingen.
Other successes since his professional operatic debut in 2013 include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus for his Parisian debut at the Opéra Comique conducted by Marc Minkowski, Oreste in La Belle Hélène at the Théâtre du Châtelet of Paris, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito at the Opéra de Montpellier, Idamante in Idomeneo at the Stadttheater Gießen under the baton of Michael Hofstetter, Enea in the Handel/Vinci pasticcio Didone abbandonata at the Handel Festival Halle, his first Sesto in Giulio Cesare at the Handel Week Festival Oak Park, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Kalitzke’s newly written opera, Pym for Theater Heidelberg. He could also be heard in Gala Concerts at the Styriarte Graz and at the Rokokotheater Schloss Schwetzingen.
Kangmin Justin Kim was born in South Korea and grew up in Chicago. He studied voice, opera, and musical theater at the Northwestern University in Evanston and the Royal Academy of Music, London.
He has collaborated with such prestigious conductor as Leonardo García Alarcón, William Christie, Diego Fasolis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Andrea Marcon, Mark Minkowski, Raphaël Pichon and Simone Young.