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18 to Watch: Hyesang Park

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18 for 18 Hyesang Park hdl 1118
Lie Sang Bong ruffled gown; Haus of Topper long white tassel earrings
© Dario Acosta
“If one person is listening to my music, that is enough. If one person is getting something from me, then I’m  doing my best.”  

ONE OF HYESANG PARK ’S favorite classes in her years at the Juilliard School was “Completing the Singer,” a seminar that often featured industry professionals in conversation with the students. During one seminar session, the South Korean-born soprano was given the chance to meet veteran artist manager Jack Mastroianni. “At that time in my life, I was very shy, and my English was not good, so I was fairly shaking. All of us [in the seminar] were told we must ask one question of Jack. And when my turn came, I asked Jack, ‘As an Asian person, can I be on the stage, famous and successful on the stage?’ I was very serious about this, because at that time I didn’t see any DVDs or CDs with Asian singers at the Met shop or anywhere else, you know? It’s very hard to find them. And Jack answered me, ‘If you ask me that, you have it in you to do that.’’’

During her term as a member of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artists Program, Park delivered scintillating, scrupulously sung performances in every opportunity she was given, most recently in “An Evening of Verdi,” presented last season at the Peter J. Sharp Theater by the Met+Juilliard. In Stephen Wadsworth’s deft concert staging of scenes from Verdi operas, Park was a sly, adroit Nannetta in Act I of Falstaff and a poignant, affecting Gilda in Act III of Rigoletto

Park loves singing recitals as much as opera. “If one person is listening to my music, that is enough. If one person is getting something from me, then I’m doing my best.” This month, Park returns to New York for Juilliard’s Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital, partnered by pianist Brian Zeger, one of her earliest mentors.  —F.P.D. 



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