SeokJong Baek has continued to draw international attention following his Royal Opera House debut as Samson in Richard Jones’s new production of Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila and is fast establishing himself as an artist of note, winning widespread praise for his arresting lirico/spinto sound and refined technical accomplishment.
Baek’s critically acclaimed portrayal of Samson was not only a house and role debut, but also his professional debut as a tenor, having transitioned from baritone over the coronavirus lockdown period. As a baritone, he was an Adler Fellow and a member of the Merola Programme at the San Francisco Opera, as well as a former resident artist of the Lyric Opera of Kansas and an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music.
During the 2023/24 season, Baek will make a number of major house and role debuts across Europe and the US, which include; his much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Ismaele Nabucco, returning later in the season as Calaf Turandot, his role debut as Pinkerton Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House, as well as a string of debuts at the Teatro San Carlo as Calaf, and a Verdi Requiem with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano.
Recent highlights include role debuts as Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana at the Royal Opera House, Cavaradossi Tosca with Arizona Opera, and Radamès Aida at the Royal Opera House, going on to perform the same role in concert with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, alongside Elīna Garanča and conducted by Karel Mark Chichon.
'His thrilling vocalism confirms that a new tenor star is born.'
The Arts Desk
'Baek has a glorious young lyric-heroic tenor voice, wielded with technical perfection from stentorian battlecries to tenderest soft singing.'
'Baek sounds every inch the hero, his bright tenor cutting through above the dark orchestral sonorities.'