Pop and opera equals 'popera'

Popera star Alessandro Safina and coloratura diva Sumi Jo join forces for two monster concerts in the park at the Shuni fortress in Benyamina.

By HELEN KAYE
April 29, 2008 11:12
1 minute read.
Pop and opera equals 'popera'

Sumi Jo 88 224. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Popera star Alessandro Safina and coloratura diva Sumi Jo join forces for two monster concerts in the park at the Shuni fortress in Benyamina on June 20 and at Ra'anana's Amphi Park on June 21. The program will feature Neapolitan songs, Broadway hits and popular arias from opera and operetta performed by the stars separately and together. The orchestra is the Ra'anana Symphonette conducted by Omer Welber. Somebody wrote that Safina is as rakishly good-looking as George Clooney, and so he is, but it's his soaring lyric tenor that has propelled the Italian singer to stardom. He's sung the tenor leads in such productions as La Boheme, The Barber of Seville, and Eugene Onegin, but he's also into pop, big-time - Bono of U2 is one of his heroes - and has released eight albums, some of which went platinum, especially in the Netherlands where he's a huge favorite. It was his first album, Insieme a Te, released in 1999, that had critics calling him a "popera" singer. This is his second time in Israel. He appeared with the Symphonette for a popera concert last year. Korean-born lyric coloratura Sumi Jo has sung in all the world's great opera houses, the Metropolitan in New York, La Scala, Covent Garden, and the Vienna State to name just a few. Her roles include Gilda in Rigoletto, the title role in Lucia di Lamermoor and the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, a role she's sung more than 100 times, including here. She too does crossover, and her 2000 album Only Love was a huge hit. Sumi Jo and Safina first sang together last year in Korea in a musical tribute to Leonard Bernstein that was a medley of Broadway musical highlights.


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