Seongeun (Luna) Park is a young soprano from South Korea, currently studying for a master's degree at Mannes. Luna is looking forward to performing DON GIOVANNI as Zerlina with Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy, Teatro Grattacielo in June 2023.
Share with us a unique experience for you in the opera world. How did it inspire you and what did you learn from it?
I was quite nervous when I decided to study abroad in America. A new language, different culture, and unfamiliar ethnicity make me anxious and concerned. I asked myself many questions every night before I go to sleep, “is it possible to communicate through music?”, “Can people empathies when I perform?”, “Does opera have the power to communicate beyond language?” I was hoping to find the answers to those questions when I start a life of studying abroad. Recently, I got that answer from started performing with other artists and watching opera. Most international students including myself were born and raised in different countries, and we often perform in non-native languages such as German, Italian, and French. And even if the audience does not know the language, they feel the music, understand the performance, and are moved. This shows that we are communicating in one language, by opera. I was overwhelmed by the power of Opera.
Through this, I learned that the audience can feel according to what I express. So, it makes me get responsible for the interpretation, and try to express myself effectively. In particular, it makes me feel proud that I can influence people's emotions with my songs, and it is the driving force that inspires me to continue performing.
Do you think opera should be accessible to everyone? How do you think this could be done?
These days, the Internet is well-developed, so people can easily access the Internet and listen to operas and watch operas with just a few touches on the phone. However, it is different than watch live opera to just listening and watching operas on the phone.
Opera should be accessible to everyone because they can listen to, watch, and feel live music. How special! Not only singers but also orchestra play in front of their eyes in real-time on the spot. Besides, listening to opera in person is a big difference from listening through a smartphone. It can’t be compared to listening to operas on earphones and speakers listening to your ears can express the quality of the music played. Therefore, the sound of live opera sends shivers down the audience’s body and moves, so I would recommend to everyone attending live opera to become a big fan of opera.
Do you feel that your work as an opera singer helps you to use your creativity to serve your community? What do you enjoy the most about it?
I use my voice every week to praise the Lord in the Church. I choose the songs based on my feelings and what I felt at the end of the week. Before I start my life studying abroad, I went to hospitals and local events. And I sang with all my heart to fit the theme. Sometimes, people get answers for their life or shed tears while listening to my music. I appreciate that I have various forms of voice that can be a joy for someone and a consolation for someone. Mostly, I enjoy standing in front of people with this grateful voice. It is meant to be able to serve as a messenger to convey emotions or thoughts to others.