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.
Performances of the 2023/24 season include Annio in a new production of La clemenza di Tito and Despina in Così fan tutte at the Staatsoper Hamburg; Sesto in Giulio Cesare in staged performances at the Wiener Staatsoper and Opéra de Monte-Carlo as well as in concert in Luxembourg, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Köln. Justin also stars as Ruggiero in Orlando furioso at the Teatro La Fenice, as Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea with English Concert Opera at the Auditorio Nacional of Madrid and the Palau de la Música of Barcelona and as Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
Other recent performances include house debuts at the Dallas Opera as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg as Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, at the Wiener Staatsoper in a new production of Henze’s Das verratene Meer, at the Theater an der Wien as Annio in La clemenza di Tito and at the Opéra de Lausanne as Eustazio in Rinaldo, where he also sang Piacere in Handel’s Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno. Justin made his role debuts as Knusperhexe at Staatstheater Wiesbaden, as Epitide in Giacomelli’s La Merope and as Amanzio in Vivaldi’s Il Giustino at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in Basel with La Cetra and Andrea Marcon, as Aristeo in Sartorio’s Orfeo in a new staging at the Montpellier Opera, as Cleopatra in Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra at the Haymarket Opera in Chicago, and as Ottone in Vivaldi’s La Griselda, Gilade in Farnace and Hyacinthus in Apollo et Hyacinthus for Teatro La Fenice, all in new productions at the Teatro Malibran of Venice. At the Janáček Theatre of Brno, he starred as Ruggiero in Alcina, while he appeared in concert at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele with the SWR Symphonieorchester, at the Liszt Academy in Budapest 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, Emmanuel Villaume and Simone Young.
[Photo: Darren Smith]