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The South Korean bass Kwangchul Youn began his education at the university of his native Chungju. He moved to Europe in 1990 to continue his vocal studies at the Music Academy in Sofia and later at the University of the Arts in Berlin, where he graduated in 1993. In the same year, Youn was a winner at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition and became a permanent member of the Berlin Staatsoper ensemble, where he remained for eleven years. He made his debut there in numerous major roles of the bass repertoire, from Mozart, Beethoven, and Rossini through Meyerbeer and Lortzing to Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss. Between 1996 and 2015, Youn was a permanent guest at the Bayreuth Festival, where he appeared as Landgrave Hermann in Tannhäuser, King Marke in Tristan, Fasolt and Hunding in The Ring, Gurnemanz in Parsifal, and Daland in The Flying Dutchman. He has also performed at such leading international venues as the Vienna and Bavarian Staatsoper companies, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Opéra national de Paris, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. In the 2018-19 season, Youn appeared as Ferrando in Verdi’s Il trovatore at the Bavarian Staatsoper, King Heinrich in Wagner’s Lohengrin in Vienna, and, in Berlin, as Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Pogner in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger; he will return to the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2019 to sing in Massenet’s Manon. Youn has worked with many renowned conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, and Christian Thielemann. His artistic work has been documented on numerous CDs and DVDs. Kwangchul Youn was named a Berliner Kammersänger in 2018.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 18 September 2011, when he sang the role of Hunding in a concert performance of the first act of Wagner’s Die Walküre with the Staatskapelle Berlin
under Daniel Barenboim.