South Korean soprano Hera Hyesang Park’s debut recording for Deutsche Grammophon, I Am Hera, features her favourite arias by composers including Bellini, Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Pergolesi, Puccini and Rossini as well as music from her homeland. Each work relates to a key moment in Hera’s life and career and reflects the broad scope of her dramatic and expressive talents. I Am Hera, recorded with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Betrand de Billy, has been digitally released and will also be available on CD from 29 January 2021.
“A born performer” – Opera News
I Am Hera charts the remarkable rise of the critically acclaimed artist who has been hailed by Opera News as “a born performer” and praised for her “bright, clear voice and impressive coloratura technique” by The New York Times. Critics have followed Hera Hyesang Park’s career since her time as a graduate student at New York’s renowned Juilliard School of Music and in recent seasons she has received rave reviews for her performances at the Komische Oper Berlin and at Glyndebourne.
“I wanted this recording to show who I am”
“I dared to dream of this contract with Deutsche Grammophon,” recalled Hera. “It really made me think about what I should do on the album and how I should make sense of such a huge opportunity. I wanted this recording to show who I am, without hiding behind those layers that we all use for protection.”
Hera Hyesang Park was determined to include works conveying a wide range of emotions, and so I Am Hera contains songs of despair, love, triumph and hope and includes arias from popular operas including Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni’s The Marriage of Figaro, Puccini’s La Bohème and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Includes music by South Korean composers
As well as covering some of the most significant roles and operas in her career to date, the album also includes music by South Korean composers, representing the culture and traditions that mean so much to her. Hera noted that Un-Yung La’s setting of Psalm 23 stands for her core values and the importance of remaining courageous in difficult times and, along with Joowon Kim’s beautiful and dramatic Like the Wind that Met with Lotus, reflects her love of the music of her native South Korea, and her understanding that her roots are vital to her sense of identity.
“I felt a responsibility to treat this album as part of a much bigger exploration of myself”
“I felt a responsibility to treat this album as part of a much bigger exploration of myself,” explained Hera Hyesang Park. “I’d already discovered that the more I try to become a different person, the more I realise it doesn’t work. So I came to be more authentic on the stage and in my singing by being truthful to the score. It was very scary to do that in front of the microphone for the first time, but I felt so supported by everyone involved. Now I want people to feel and share the energy of the music I love.”
Hera Hyesang Park’s debut album I Am Hera has been digitally released.