Won Whi Choi

Won Whi Choi has been busy captivating and thrilling audiences worldwide with his lustrous and ringing voice, elegant musicianship, and sensitive artistry. In 2020, Mr. Choi made his Metropolitan Opera début as Alfredo in La Traviata to rave reviews and was slated to return for productions of Maria Stuarda and Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

This season, Mr. Choi joins The Metropolitan Opera again, for both Rigoletto and Fedora, as well as the Seoul Metropolitan Opera’s Romeo and Juliet, as Romeo. Choi will also return to the role of Alfredo in La Traviata for Virginia Opera. Last season’s engagements included The Metropolitan Opera’s La bohème, the Duke in Rigoletto for New York City Opera, the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Opera Tampa, and Don Jose in Carmen for Minnesota Opera. Upcoming, Choi will return to the role of Rodolfo in La bohème and a house debut with Atlanta Opera.

Choi spent three seasons at Theatre Erfurt in Germany, in which he sang a variety of leading roles, including, Il Duca in Rigoletto, Don José in Carmen, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Hyllus in Hercules, Andres in Wozzeck, Il Cantatore in Giulietta e Romeo, and Prince Sou Chong in Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns which he also performed for the Morbisch Festival. In his first New York City performance, Choi was praised for his portrayal of Rodolfo in La bohème and his “big, virile sound that rocketed fearlessly up to a high C, so secure he dared to run across the stage while holding the note,” by The New York Observer.

Recent seasons’ engagements also included a role début as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas with New York City Opera; the role of Don Jose in Carmen for Croatia National Theater and in over 10 performances at the Domstufen Festival in Germany, Da-Ud in Die agyptische Helena with Odyssey Opera, Hoffman in Les Contes d’Hoffman with Opera Orlando, Rodolfo in La bohème with Croatian National Theatre in Osijek; Prince Sou-Chong in Franz Lehar’s Das Land des Lächelns in a début with Hong Kong Opera and with Theater Erfurt; Ruggero in La rondine at Skylark Opera; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera in Williamsburg; Chevalier in Dialogues des Carmélites with Mannes Opera Theatre;  Alfredo in La traviata for Williamsburg Opera, Nashville Opera, Mannes Opera Theatre, Opera på Skäret in Sweden; the title role in Les contes d’Hoffmann with the Martina Arroyo Foundation; and Il Duca in Rigoletto at Opera Idaho, where critics raved: “Choi made for a strapping and sexy Duke of Mantua, which makes it more believable that women would so willingly fall for his charms, and sacrifice themselves for his life. His soaring tenor easily and fearlessly reached the high Bs in ‘La donna è mobile,’ one of the most known arias in the operatic canon.”

Mr. Choi is emerging as a concert artist to watch after his performance of Händel’s Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The Winnipeg Free Press hailed: “Won Whi Choi asserted his booming presence immediately with his opening recitative ‘Comfort ye my people’ followed by aria ‘Ev’ry valley shall be exalted.’ Demonstrating a remarkable vocal strength…the singer responded ably to the composer’s many virtuosic runs while also displaying an equally impressive dynamic range.” Recently, he also sang in an opera gala at Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall in Shanghai, China, to great critical acclaim.

Mr. Choi’s interpretation of Rodolfo in La bohème garners acclaim on every stage he graces. From his performance in Croatia, Glas Slavinije wrote: “Won Whi Choi as Rodolfo sang his famous aria, with joyful accents excited enthusiasm and nobility, with pure lilting melodies and striking vocal line, effortlessly climbing to a high C. Choi’s performance was absolutely perfect, showcasing his excellent legato phrasing. The range of voice was remarkable! His performance consisted of high notes that were strongly developed, dynamic contrasts, great diction, vocal coloring, combined with world class phrasing and dynamic shading.”

Mr. Choi was one of eight finalists at the Montreal International Musical Competition in 2012. He holds a Professional Studies Diploma and a Master of Music Degree from Mannes College of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Korean National University of the Arts.
Updated December 16, 2022

Image of: Won Whi Choi

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