Sunhae Im


"A splendidly bright soprano"

The New York Times

"Among the best actor-singers I know"

René Jacobs

Download full biography

Called “a splendidly bright soprano” (The New York Times) and “one of the great singers of our time” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), the Korean soprano Sunhae Im has been showing versatile musicality and deep dramaturgic understanding. She had great success in early music repertoire with conductors such as René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Fabio Biondi, Ton Koopman, and Diego Fasolis, with ensembles such as Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Europa Galante, and Akademie für alte Musik Berlin. She was also acclaimed for later repertoire with Manfred Honeck, Iván Fischer, Myung-Whun Chung, Kent Nagano, and Zubin Mehta, at Verbier Festival, Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. She enjoys innovative projects including The Creation by La Fura dels Baus and La Finta Giardiniera in La Scala Opera’s Shanghai tour. Sunhae made about 30 recordings, including operas by Handel and Mozart and both passions by Bach, and received numerous awards. Her solo album Orfeo[s] was awarded the Elly Ameling Prize by Académie du Disque Lyrique, and her CD Didone Abbandonata was nominated in three categories for Opus Klassik 2020.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Handel: La resurrezione

Vespres d’Arnadí (November, 2022)

"The Korean Sunhae Im was a Magdalena of sorrowful and elegant lyricism..."

Jordi Maddaleno, La Vanguardia

"The violins in unison accompanying Sabata's voice in the aria "Augeletti ruscelleti", or the work of the flute and viola de gamba in "Ferma l'ali, e sui misi lumi", with the delicious voice of an exceptional Sunhae Im as Maria Magdalena, would be two examples of this sound balance achieved between voices and instrumental accompaniment."

Lluís Trullén, Revista Musical Catalana

Mozart: Così fan tutte (Despina)

Orquestra Gulbenkian (March 2022)

Im was a sensational Despina. She brought out so much through the text – really colouring the words to bring her character to life, in exceptionally idiomatic Italian. The way she portrayed her character through the text rendered the Portuguese surtitles superfluous, such was the vividness of her singing and acting. Her bright soprano, with an engaging smile in the tone, her impeccable comic timing and ability to make Despina a three-dimensional character, even more than in a fully-staged production, all made for a terrific portrayal.


Gassmann: L'opera seria (Porporina)

La Monnaie

The cast sings well, sometimes arrestingly so; in particular ... Porporina (Sunhae Im) [who] enjoys the chance to show off her full range in the showcase arias.

Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times

Handel: Agrippina (Poppea)

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Korean soprano Sunhae Im was very believable in the role of the irresistible and flirtatious Poppea. She brought the right dose of lightness, versatility and coloratura to every aria, yet remained convincing as this childish, irresistible, playful and falsely naïve character. Her articulation and fluidity in the top register are effortless, and even her Italian sounded natural.

Vesna Gerintes, bachtrack *****

Handel: Messiah

New York Philharmonic

Among Mr. Koopman’s soloists, the superb countertenor Andreas Scholl was the primary draw and performed with characteristic grace and intelligence. He was well matched by Sunhae Im, a splendidly bright soprano.

Steve Smith, The New York Times

These photos are available to be downloaded.
Right click on a desired image and select the "Save Link As" option.

Sunhae Im: Portrait (Universal 2019)
Byrd: Consort Music & Songs (Coviello 2017)
Haydn: L’isola disabitata (Pentatone 2021)
Schulhoff: Complete Songs (bastille musique 2020)
Graupner: Antiochus & Stratonica (CPO 2020)
Handel: Lucio Cornelio Silla (Glossa 2017)
Bach: St. John Passion (Harmonia Mundi 2016)
Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Challenge Classics 2014)
Handel: Orlando (Archiv 2014)
Bach: St. Matthew Passion (Harmonia Mundi 2013)