This friday night, Young Mee and I give our first joint recital together. We've performed together often over the last dozen years, but never as a duo in recital, so this is a new experience.
Most of you know our story... I met Young Mee while we were both living in Rome. We were introduced by mutual Korean friends, dated for a couple years and then got married in Busan, South Korea. Shortly after, we were packing our bags for Palermo, where I'd accepted a conducting position, but we landed instead in Paris. Just days before boarding the plane I was offered the chance to coach opera singers coming in to sing at the Parisian opera houses, and why not spend our honeymoon year in the city of love? Warm croissants every morning! That ended up being short-lived though, as Young Mee got pregnant and we decided to have the baby in NYC. Thus Rachel (pensive with Einstein), now ten, is a New Yorker. Shortly after she turned three, we arrived in the Sandhills.
What is it like to work with your spouse? No different really than any other aspect of marriage – complete bliss!
People are often surprised that such a powerful voice can emit from such a petite body. Her musical expression is refined yet intense, disarmingly expressive. She's a romantic at heart.
Song was born in Italy, or at least so say the Italians; Korea is referred to as the Italy of Asia, and there are indeed striking similarities between the two cultures, in particular their shared passion for musical expression. Young Mee studied voice with some of the great vocal pedagogues in Rome, so her approach to singing reveals strong Italian roots. At Santa Cecilia, the famed music conservatory, a large percentage of students are cut at the end of each school year. Young Mee not only survived all four years, but was invited back on full scholarship for post-graduate studies.
It's an honor for me to be joined onstage for an intimate evening of song with my bride, Young Mee
Get more info and tickets here online for next Friday night's (March 4) concert at Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College, 7pm.