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In the space of three years, tenor YONGHOON LEE (Don José) has established himself internationally as a very important tenor. In September of 2007 he made his German debut at Frankfurt Opera in the title role of a new production of Verdi’s Don Carlo. This was followed by his Spanish debut, also in Don Carlo, at the Palau de las Artes in Valencia under Lorin Maazel in December of 2007. Lee had previously made his South American debut in the same role in the spring of 2007 at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile. He made his Italian debut in January 2008 at the Rome Opera as Cavaradossi in a new production of Tosca, directed by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti, and subsequently made his debut in Athens in Tosca as well. He also appeared with the Opera de la Wallonie in Liege in Don Carlos and Tosca and made his debut in the United Kingdom as Don José with the Glyndebourne Touring Company.
In November 2008, Yonghoon Lee made his debut at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa as Rodolfo in La bohème under Daniel Oren. He subsequently returned to Frankfurt for a revival of Don Carlo and as Rodolfo in La bohème, and made his Deutsche Oper Berlin in Tosca opposite Violeta Urmana. In June of 2009 Lee made his highly acclaimed Netherlands Opera debut as Don José in a new production of Carmen directed by Robert Carsen and conducted by Marc Albrecht.
In the 2009/10 season Lee made several more significant debuts: at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in Don Carlos, at the Hamburg State Opera in Tosca, at the Berlin State Opera in Carmen, and at the Glyndebourne Festival as Macduff in Macbeth. He also debuted in Lyon in concerts of the Verdi Requiem under Jun Maerkl. In the fall of 2010 Lee will make his debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera in Carmen, and immediately thereafter will debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the new production of Don Carlos. In January of 2011 Lee will also make his debuts at the Teatro alla Scala as Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana and the SemperOper in Dresden in Tosca under Nicola Luisotti. He will sing his first Manrico in Il trovatore in concert performances opposite Anja Harteros at the Cologne Opera. In May 2011 he will return to the Rome Opera as Arrigo in the revival of Verdi’s La battaglia di Legnano. Future projects include his Vienna State Opera Debut in 2012 in the 1867 original French language version of Don Carlos. He will also sing Don Carlos and Carmen for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Nabucco and Carmen.
A native of South Korea, Yonghoon Lee began his musical studies there and was heard there in several roles such as Alfredo in La traviata, Luigi in Il tabarro, Rodolfo in La bohème, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Ruggero in La rondine, and Don José in Carmen. He has won numerous vocal competitions and is a first prize winner of the 34th annual Loren L. Zachary Society National vocal Competition (2006), first prize winner of the 2005 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition and the 2005 Career Bridges Competition, and the winner of top prizes at the 2005 Opera Index Vocal Competition and from the 2005 Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation (JDAF). Yonghoon Lee received a full scholarship to both the Seoul National University in Korea and the Mannes College of Music in New York, where he continued his vocal and musical studies with Professor Arthur Levy.