KOREAN DIVA DONATES TALENT FEE TO HOME FOR ABANDONED CHILDREN
By Pablo A. Tariman
Grammy-award winning Korean diva Sumi Jo said here the arts are in a better position to unite people and neutralize political tensions among the superpowers.
Jo, the first Korean nominated in the Oscar awards last year for her interpretation of a song used in the film “Youth” announced in a message sent by email that she is donating her talent fee to the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation which is taking care of abandoned and abused children in Manila.
The Tulay ng Kabataan home for abandoned children was the same orphanage that Pope Francis visited in 2015.
Ms. Jo, a devout Christian, is known for her charitable works for orphanages and for advocacies against cruelty to animals.
Said the world-acclaimed soprano who graced the Oscar red carpet last year: “I have good memories of my last concert in Manila and I was happy to be able to help victims of Typhoon Yolanda. This time I would like to help Filipino children and show people that I care a lot about promoting friendship between South Korea and the Philippines.”
The soprano who is the cultural ambassador of her country and UNESCO ambassador for peace said she is concerned that there is so much publicity about a Korean killed in Manila and Koreans allegedly involved in the drug trade. “There is more to Koreans than we read in the newspapers. We love music and the arts and international competitions will show Koreans excel in music. I do believe music can do a lot to promote genuine friendship. For this reason, I want to give a good example by sharing what I have with less fortunate Filipino children. I hope to show my countrymen and my Filipino fans the meaning of sharing. Of course, I can share more with all my heart and mind if they watch my concert at the Meralco Theater. My music can express a lot. I am inviting Filipino journalists to receive my message of deep concert and friendship through music. My concert will be a meaningful occasion to promote friendship between our countries.”
The Korean diva received a standing ovation during her 2014 engagement in Manila and critics described her as “an operatic talent of earth-shaking proportion.”
She was also well-received in her debut engagement with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Long Yu at the Lincoln Center last Jan. 31 and with Hong Kong Philharmonic last February 3 and 4, 2017.
Sumi Jo is scheduled to arrive in Manila Sunday night (February 5) via Cathay Pacific in time for her engagement at the Meralco Theater on Tuesday, February 7, 8 pm with Filipino pianist Najib Ismail.
Sumi Jo’s program on Feb. 7 includes Benedict’s “Gypsy and the bird,” Purcell’s “Music for a while,” Rossini’s “La pastorella d’Alpi,” Bellini’s “Eccomi, O quante volte” from I Capuletti e Montecchi, Gounod’s “Serenade,” Ravel’s “Habanera” ( Vocalise en forme de Habanera), Delibes’s “Le Fille de Cadix,” Martini’s “Plasir d’amour,” Santiago’s “Nocturne,” Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise” and Verdi’s “E’strano, Sempre libera” from La Traviata.
The February 7 concert is made possible in partnership with Marco Polo Hotel Manila, 98.7 DZFE The Master’s Touch, Steinway and Sons Piano and Leica.
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