A student of Raina Kabaivanska becomes Cio-Cio-san at Lake Pancharevo
Photo: Витория Йео е сред звездите от школата на Кабаиванска с оперни ангажименти по целия свят.
06 Aug 2022Newspaper "Sega"

A student of Raina Kabaivanska becomes Cio-Cio-san at Lake Pancharevo

Photo: Vittoria Yeo is among the stars of the Kabaivanska’s school with opera engagements all over the world.

The Korean soprano Vittoria Yeo will perform for the first time in front of a Bulgarian audience in the role of Cio-Cio-san from Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly". The fabulous production by acad. Plamen Kartaloff will come to life on 12 August on the summer stage of Lake Pancharevo as part of the programme of the festival "Muses of Water". Vittoria Yeo has prepared this role with Raina Kabaivanska. There is hardly anyone better suited than her to know the difficulty of the part, the acting challenges of building the character, the intricacies of singing outdoors. "Sing! And be an artist!" is what the great Kabaivanska advised her student most often. And this is exactly what became Yeo's dream – to sing and be an artist.

… Vittoria claims that in her first performances in the choir of a local church in one of the neighbourhoods of her hometown Seoul she was not very good, but she loved singing, so she did not give up. She started piano lessons and later graduated from the College of Arts at the Seokyeong University in Seoul. She moved to Europe because she thought that if she was going to be a singer she should study in Italy, and continued her studies at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma. At the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Vittoria met Raina Kabaivanska for the first time – she sang Leonora's great aria from Act I of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" in front of her and was very nervous and excited. The singer says that she has gathered all her courage to appear in front of the world-famous Bulgarian prima donna, who gave her a hand and worked with her in the following years. Vittoria also attended Raina Kabaivanska's masterclass in Sofia. Since then, she has become one of the notable stars of the Kabaivanska's School with engagements all over the world.

Vittoria Yeo made her opera debut in 2013 as Cio-Cio-san. The conductor Riccardo Muti spotted the young soprano when she appeared in "Macbeth" at the Ravenna Festival, with which he is closely associated. In the following years, the maestro invited her on numerous occasions for the soprano part in Verdi's Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, for concert performances of "Macbeth" at the Konzerthaus Stockholm and for "Aida" in Salzburg. In 2018, Yeo first stepped onto the Arena di Verona stage as Liù from "Turandot" in Franco Zeffirelli's historic production with conductor Daniel Oren. Although she adores Verdi and Puccini, Vittoria admits that her first love was Mozart, and now she dreams of singing the three queens of the Tudor dynasty in Donizetti's operas – Anne Boleyn, Maria Stuart and Elizabeth in "Roberto Devereux". At the end of the year Vittoria Yeo will sing in Verdi's "La Traviata" at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari in a production by Hugo de Ana and with the participation of the Bulgarian baritone Vladimir Stoyanov. At the same theatre in 2023 she will debut as Desdemona in "Otello". 

Conductor of the spectacle "Madama Butterfly" on 12 August within the festival "Muses of Water" will be Andrey Galanov, and in the other roles are Martin Iliev, Ivanka Ninova, Ventseslav Anastasov.