Watch: Sumi Jo pops open the Paralympics

Watch: Sumi Jo pops open the Paralympics


norman lebrecht

March 13, 2018

She once sang for Karajan.

Her accompanist here is called Sohyang.


  • John Rook says:

    – She once sang for Karajan –

    And yet she’s still here.

  • Robert says:

    And why shouldn’t she? This was probably a very fun project for her.

  • Peter Owen says:

    Karajan probably wanted her for Turandot.

    • Joubert Francois says:

      No Peter, Wotan or Brunhilde, at least!

      • Peter Owen says:

        No, no, I’m pretty sure he had Elisabeth Harwood down for Brunhilde )with Alfred Deller being asked to consider Sarastro).

        • David Hill says:

          It is true that Karajan did want Deller to sing Erde in Rheingold, but Alfred didn’t want to do it, and suggested his son Mark for the role, who auditioned for it. The whole bizarre episode is one of Mark’s funniest anecdotes.

  • Steve says:

    Great singer. I think she kind of auditioned for Karajan with Cecilia Bartolli, and then got invited to Salzburg. This was her big breakthrough?..

  • Richard Craig says:

    yes I remember watching her in that documentary Karajan in Salzburg to celebrate the maestros 80th birthday when she auditioned for him and she (I think) sang an aria by Bach,but I am just wondering Steve did Bartiolli ever go on to do any concerts with him. because as far as I am aware she never made any recordings with Karajan

    • Novagerio says:

      As you can see in the documentary, Karajan was at the earliest stages of rehearsals of the Bach B minor Mass with the two young girls and the presence of a young tenor who’s name is not mentioned. The Bach Mass, aswell as a planned new production of Nozze di Figaro didn’t materialize.

      • Steve says:

        Thanks for this additional information. I suppose not much else was to materialize because at 80, Karajan was only to live another year. And yes, as far as I know I don’t think there exist any recordings of Bartolli with Karajan…

  • Richard Craig says:

    Hi Steve I am abit of a Karajan fanatic and have most of his recordings plus some archive material (live concerts) but always interested to obtain more, of course you will know that Sumi Jo took part in his last operatic recording of Un Ballo with Josephine Barstow and Placido Domingo

  • David Hilton says:

    The link provided is not, as advertised, to a clip of Sumi Jo opening the Paralympics. Instead it links to a promotional music video that makes no reference to the Paralympics at all. Did Sumi Jo actually sing at the opening ceremony at all?

    • Bruce says:

      I think it was the official song of the “regular” Olympics and the Paralympics. The video mostly relates to the Paralympics though: notice the pandas engaged in wheelchair curling and sled hockey, etc.