The glamorous Korean soprano on “flirting” with her audience, meeting Dame Joan, and singing with her dog.

You’re out here for a concert at the Sydney Opera House. Do you prefer recitals to staged operas?

Yes, I usually do concerts these days. I love performing with an orchestra and wearing beautiful dresses and singing my favourite songs. In opera you have to share the stage with others, but I love it when it’s just me and the audience. It’s like flirting, you know?

You came to Australia quite often; what do you like about it?

Australia means a lot to me because I grew up listening to Dame Joan Sutherland. She’s been my icon and she’s still my favourite artist. I learned singing listening to her recordings and my very first solo album was done with her husband Richard Bonynge.

Did you ever meet Dame Joan?

I met her in Switzerland, where she had a house. She cooked spaghetti bolognese for me and we joked around and took a walk with her dog. She was a very good cook and an amazing woman. On stage she was a diva, but at home she was a normal, beautiful woman.

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