WON CHO - bass
Korean-Canadian Bass Won Cho is in demand for both concert and operatic repertoire worldwide, thanks to his energetic voice and strong stage presence, appearing with many of the opera houses and orchestras of the U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, and his native Korea. Critics hailed Cho’s performances as “Expertly played whose deep tones vibrate the seats”, “One wished the score let him sing his overcoat aria twice”, “Won Cho steal(s) the show”, “Deep resonant mellifluous sound", "He sang with a grave, classic beauty", “A particularly dark, melodic yet rafter-ringing bass that is worth the price of admission all by itself.”
His recent engagements include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Winter Park Bach Festival, Colline in La Bohème with Anchorage Opera, Messiah in Fort Meyers and Orlando, FL, his Carnegie Hall debut in Mid America Productions’ Mozart Requiem, Lord Nelson Mass and Bruckner’s Te Deum with Palm Beach Symphony, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Helena Symphony and with Anchorage Opera, Mercury Opera Rochester, and Lakeland Opera (FL), Brahms Requiem at Winter Park Bach Festival in Orlando, Jesus in St. John Passion with The Bach Festival of Central Florida, season-opening concert singing Bach Cantata for The Florida Orchestra, recital at Korean Cultural Service, NY, sponsored by Korea Music Foundation, concerts in Luxembourg, Strasbourg France, and Korea.
His 2007-2008 season included Messiah with The Florida Orchestra and Sarasota Chorale Society, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Messiah, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio in Tampa, Haydn’s The Creation in Toronto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Colline in La Bohème with Mercury Opera of Rochester, NY, The Creation in Toronto, Beethoven’s C Major Mass with Palm Beach Symphony, and Missa Solemnis and Lord Nelson Mass at The Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.
His engagements during 2006-2007 were Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Mercury Opera of Rochester, Melchior in Amahl & the Night Visitors and Bach’s b minor Mass with The Western New York Chamber Orchestra in Buffalo, Leporello in Don Giovanni at Southern Illinois Music Festival, his Mexico debut as Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, Messiah in Toronto and Buffalo, Lord Nelson Mass in Toronto, Duruflé’s Requiem at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasie, Mass in C Major, and the World Premiere of Randol Bass' "Passage Into Spirit" with Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus/Orchestra. He was the 3rd prize winner of The 31st Vincenzo Bellini International Opera Competition in Italy where Dame Joan Sutherland was the chair adjudicator, 1st prize winner of The Artist International Music Competition in Toronto, Canada, and a Regional Finalist at The Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Audition. Additional honors and awards he has received include prizes from The Amici Vocal Competition, Operafest! of New Hampshire competition, and Hohenberg-Scheidt Opera Fellowship from The University of Memphis.
Won Cho studied at Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, and University of Memphis. He has served as a faculty at Vianden International Music Festival, University of Northern Iowa (Voice), State University of New York in Fredonia (Voice / Opera), and University of South Florida (Opera / Voice). He is currently on the voice faculty at Nei Stëmmen International Vocal Institute in Luxembourg and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.