On the Couch with Ho-Yoon Chung

Ho-Yoon Chung AAR On the CouchWho is Ho-Yoon Chung?
I am a Tenor. I sing as Rodolfo at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – La Boheme. I am Korean, however, I live in Vienna, Austria.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Car designer. I was a big fan of great Tenor Jose Carreras when I was a kid. My dream was, if I became a famous car designer, I would give him my first car.

Who inspires you and why?
My family. The history of opera and classical music in Korea is not long. It is because it is a Western art genre. Personally, my family is a first-generation family who majored in Western music in Korea. My mother’s family, mother and grandparents studied music in Tokyo, Japan and New York in the early 1900s. Most family members, however, majored in musical instruments such as Violin, Cello and Piano. So, I naturally became familiar with Western music since I was young. My family was a big family living with my grandparents. We naturally discussed music, listened to music, and played music. I still share my concerns with them and get new ideas.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Nowadays, it is said that technology has developed so much and everything has gotten faster and that life has become better. But because of this, all are busy in their lives that romance and emotions seem to be gotten rid of. My personal wish is for all to feel the beauty and happiness from the arts and music that they have forgotten in their busy lives and want them to regain romance in their hearts. I believe that this world can be turned into a warmer and more loving world.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Salzkammergut in Austria. I live in Vienna. It is close to Vienna, but it is very quiet and there are so many beautiful lakes. You can enjoy the view of the Alps, which is warm like your mother’s arms, not the Alps too overwhelming like in Switzerland. Mahler and many other composers have stayed there and left many inspirations and works.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
On top of well-known places such as St. Stephansdom, historical sites of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven etc. there are so many good places at every corner of Vienna. If my friends I met here were to come to Vienna, I would bring them to my favourite hidden places that are not yet well known but can musically be inspired. They will find out when they come.

What are you currently reading?
I am reading a book called Think like a director – to express more deeply in my performance.

What are you currently listening to?
I am listening to Lied by R. Strauss. His works make my ideals fly in the sky.

Happiness is?
I do not think happiness is tremendous. I think the happiness I feel from small things of every moment is the most precious.

What does the future hold for you?
I go to sleep with heart fluttered with questions what will happen to me tomorrow. The future is not written in stone. It is like a journey and adventure to a new place for me.

Ho-Yoon Chung is currently starring as Rodolfo in Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – La Boheme until 21 April, before playing Alfredo Germont in La Traviata at Arts Centre Melbourne on 8 & 11 May 2018.

Image: Ho-Yoon Chung (supplied)