June 29, 2019


On June 29, 2019 Kangmin Justin Kim will make history by becoming the first male singer to interpret the iconic role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, in a David McVicar production under the musical direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. It is the first in a series of nine performances running through July 21, 2019. He will share the stage with Christian Gerharer as Figaro, Joélle Harvey as Susanna, Simon Keenlyside as Conte Almaviva and Julia Kleiter as Countess Almaviva.

“Being the first male singer to sing Cherubino at ROH Covent Garden is a great honor and privilege, and I am truly humbled to be given this prestigious opportunity”, states the Korean-American countertenor. “Historically sung by a woman dressed as a boy disguising as a girl, many consider this comedic gender-bending to be an essential element of the character and wonder how a countertenor might accomplish this challenge. While cross-dressing is a big part of the character, it is only “what he does” and not necessarily “who he is.”  It is Cherubino’s most sincere truth that is the driving force behind his choices and actions, and that is what makes the character so special. As he goes through puberty, he rides the fine line between innocent love and hormonal lust and tries anything and everything—including dressing up as a girl—in order to stay near the one who is his entire world and life. In this beautiful McVicar production, one can really see that the comedy comes from unfortunate situations in which the characters find themselves, and the more sincere the intentions are, the funnier the scenes become. Therefore it is my goal to portray the most honest Cherubino I possibly can to honor the history of this wonderful and beloved character.”

Following Le nozze di Figaro, Kim’s upcoming engagements include Annio (La clemenza di Tito) at the Theater an der Wien, Ruggiero (Alcina) at the Opéra national de Lorraine, Nancy and Opéra de Dijon.

Information about Le nozze di Figaro at the ROH Covent Garden:

Figaro: Christian Gerharer; Susanna: Joélle Harvey; Conte Almaviva: Simon Keenlyside; Contessa Almaviva: Julia Kleiter; Cherubino: Kangmin Justin Kim; Bartolo: Maurizio Muraro; Marcellina: Diana Montague; Basilio: Jean-Paul Fouchécourt

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor; David McVicar, stage director

Performances: June 29; July 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 17, 19, 21, 2019