|Korean soprano Sumi Jo speaks during an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Brussels, Belgium, in this June 3 photo provided by the Korean Cultural Center Brussels. Yonhap|
Renowned Korean soprano Sumi Jo has said that an international classical singing competition named after her will be launched in France next year.
The inaugural "Sumi Jo International Singing Competition in Castle" is scheduled to take place from July 15-21, 2024, at Chateau de La Ferte-Imbault, a medieval castle near Paris, Jo said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Saturday.
It is the first time that a Korean classical singer is launching a singing competition named after himself or herself.
Jo was staying in Brussels as a jury member of the Queen Elisabeth Competition for voice, in which Korean baritone Kim Tae-han won the top prize, becoming the first Asian male singer to win the prestigious competition.
Jo, one of the most accomplished stars in Korea's classical music scene, said she hopes the new competition will pave the way for up-and-coming vocalists to have promising opportunities in the world classical scene.
"I have been preparing the competition to discover new talents by utilizing my juror and competition experiences and know-how," Jo said.
The 61-year-old has performed on some of the most renowned opera stages around the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan and the Royal Opera House in London. She is particularly known for her interpretations of the bel canto repertoire.
Jo previously served as a jury member for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in 2017 and the Queen Sonja Singing Competition in 2019, two of the world's three most prestigious competitions, along with the Queen Elisabeth Competition. (Yonhap)