San Francisco Classical Voice hails South Korean tenor SeokJong Baek for his “warm, beautifully modulated voice”, Mr. Baek is the 1st Place winner of the 2021 Loren L. Zachary Society National Vocal Competition. This season he joins Minnesota Opera for their VOICES UNITED concert singing excerpts from Samson et Dalila, Aida, and Lohengrin, and also joins Palm Springs Opera in concert singing arias from Turandot, Tosca, Carmen and La Gioconda. Mr. Baek recently transitioned from baritone to tenor, and previously joined San Francisco Opera as an Adler Fellow in 2019, where he sang Moralès in Carmen, Gregorio in Roméo et Juliette, and the Innkeeper/Naval Captain in Manon Lescaut, while also being responsible for covering Il Conte in Le nozze di Figaro, the Hunter in Rusalka, and Lescaut in Manon Lescaut. As a Resident Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, he sang performances of Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, David in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, and Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief. Last summer as a participant in San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program, he sang selections as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles and Masetto in Don Giovanni, as well as “Zaza piccolo zingara” from Berrettoni’s Zaza in the Merola Grand Finale concert.
While a member of the Aspen Opera Center, Mr. Baek sang his first performances of Giorgio Germont in La traviata, as well as Silvio in Pagliacci and Il Conte in Le nozze di Figaro in a concert of opera scenes. While studying at Manhattan School of Music, his roles included Gautru in Delibes’ Le roi l’a dit and Colonel Tschang in Das Land des Lächelns, as well as scenes from Don Pasquale in concert. He was also awarded First Prize in the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition. Mr. Baek is also the 3rd Prize winner from the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition 2018, Grant Award winner from the Giulio Gari Foundation Internation Vocal Competition, Extraordinary Prize winner from the Sonora International Opera Competition, 2nd Prize winner of the Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition, 2nd Prize winner from the New Jersey Verismo Opera Competition, and has received awards from the Opera Index Vocal Competition and the Peel Music Festival Competition.
Mr. Baek attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto’s Vocal training program, and holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music.