KOREAN opera singer Sim Sung Hye, who majored in Voice and graduated cum laude last March at the Conservatory of Music, held her farewell graduation concert titled Sempre Librera last April 29 at the PhilAm Life Theater in Manila.

Joy, as her peers fondly call her, is a business administration degree holder from the Philippine Christian University (PCU).

“I was supposed to enroll here in UST the first time at the College of Commerce, but then there were no more slots,” she said. It was after finishing her business course in PCU that she realized her true passion and studied at the Conservatory.

Active in various professional operatic productions, Sung Hye was one of the featured soloists of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ode to Joy in October 2009 and was also part of the Philippine Ballet Theater and UST Symphony Orchestra’s Carmina Burana last November.

Among her achievements in the University include placing second at the Jovita Fuentes’ National Vocal Competition in 2009 and finishing first at the University of Santo Tomas’ Conservatory of Music’s Vocal Competition in 2007.

‘Always free’

Accompanied by pianist Najib Ismail, Sim Sung Hye amazed audiences with her vocal prowess.

Her outstanding numbers included the coloratura aria “Glitter and Be Gay” from Leonard Bernstein’s operetta Candide, and her encore, “The Doll Song,” an aria from Jacques Offenbach’s opera. She even inspired viewers with a Sylvia La Torre original “Mutya ng Pasig,” co-composed with the late Nicanor Abelardo.

Drawing inspiration from globally recognized coloratura soprano Anna Notrebko, French singer-actress Natalie Dessay, and Grammy awardee Sumi Jo, Joy revealed her desire to take up further studies abroad.

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Considered as the Philippine’s top music school, the Conservatory takes pride in cultural diversity. At present, it has around 20 international students, who all underwent the same selection process as Filipino students. Alexandra A. Dimatera

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