"Cio-CIo-San" State Opera South Australia
The performance of the night came from Mariana Hong. World class voices often leave a cast and chorus struggling to be noticed. Not so when Ms Hong is on the stage. She crafted her performance to spearhead some ensemble scenes that were a joy to watch. But when she had the stage to herself, she gave herself to us through the music in such a way that there was nothing else happening in the world. Her One Fine Day was a journey of emotion through feeling that lifted us into her hopes and dreams and her vigil, standing motionless as she waited for Pinkerton to run up the hill to us was full of hope and pain and she didn’t utter a sound as the orchestra fuelled her journey so clearly we were taken with her into hopelessness.
Glamadelaide, Adrian Barnes
Korean-born Mariana Hong masterfully inhabits the role of Cio-Cio San. Her operatic studies in Milan and extensive experience with Opera Australia amply reward with a pure, expressive and soaring soprano that makes light work of the most challenging of Puccini’s arias.
Indaily, Katherine Arguile
"LIù, Sydney Opera House"
Mariana Hong sang Liu with wonderfully warm expressiveness, maintaining precision of line but not to the point of waif-like thinness, holding the audience breathlessly on edge during her crucial final scene.
Sydney Morning Herald, Peter McCallum
Mariana Hong was a winning audience favourite as the sympathetic Liù. While the role can be sung with a softness contrasting Turandot’s power, Hong’s voice had a vibrant clarity and youthful resonance reflective of the character’s purity and sacrificial strength of character.
Bachtrack, Chantal Nguyen,
Hyeseoung Kwon can show the singer and actor's ability to play 100% Cio-Cio-San. A well-written role helps the soprano to interpret the development of the young japanese geisha to the love of the full-blooded girlhood into her loyalty to a loyal and proud loser.
"Cio-Cio-San" Madama Butterfly, QPAC Brisbane
Hyeseoung Kwon is utterly magnificent as Cio-Cio-San. Her voice is utterly astonishing and she tackles the challenging score with ease and grace. Her exquisite tone is a joy to listen to and her powerful performance is a masterclass in good opera acting.
Brisbane Times, Nathanael Cooper
soprano Hyeseoung Kwon brought youth, passion and vulnerability to the role of Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly). The early scenes had a teenage boisterousness brimming with undying faith and love, whilst the wait for her lover’s return always had hope despite the reality of the truth. The audience could barely contain the tears with her version of Act 2’s gold-standard of aria’s “Un bel di” (“One Fine Day”). It was heart-breaking.
Stage Whisper,Peter Pinne
"Liu" Turandot, Sydney Harbour
Hyeseoung Kwon reprises her signature role of Liù, instantly winning the hearts of the audience with an elegant dramatic interpretation and refined singing of great delicacy. A lovely piano top is crowned with some fine lyrical singing in both scene and aria. Her torture scene is powerfully effective and her sudden suicide caused the audience member next to me who was new to this opera to gasp out loud.
Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine
Hyeseoung Kwon brings a wealth of experience to her captive and captivating role as Liù, losing nothing of the freshness, the pathos and the steely determination born of her love for Calaf.
soundlikesydney,Shamistha de Soysa
Hyeseoung Kwon’s performance as slave girl Liù is simply divine. She is innocently loyal to the blind Timur and lovingly devoted to Calaf, and Kwon sings with perfect tenderness and clarity, making her tragic scene in the final act all the more incredible.
talkingarts, Alana Kaye
The standout and clear crowd favorite is Hyeseoung Kwon reprising her role as Liu, who yet again perfectly captures the sweet heartbreak of her role with such a heartachingly beautiful voice.
opera review, Kat Czornij
Hyeseoung Kwon sang the role of Liu, the sacrificial slave girl, with haunting simplicity and beautiful expressive pathos. Her tragic scene in the final act was the most dramatically affecting moment of the night.
Sydney Morning Herald, Peter McCallum
Kwon gives the young Liù a pure ringing tone as the trio are reunited. Kwon later gives an incredible performance of Liù's aria, Tu Che Di Gel Sei Cinta as she expresses her love and devotion for Calaf and loyalty to Timur, presenting the song with passionate but innocent clarity.
BWW reviews,Jade Kops
"Cio-Cio-San"Madama Butterfly, The Royal Albert Hall,UK
Hyeseoung Kwon was making her UK debut this evening and sang as a stoic Madam Butterfly with a hypnotic voice. Her vocal prowess was utterly lavish and bold and did not falter at Puccini’s signature arias.
Mary Grace Nguyen,LDN Card
There is also a lot of detail in her facial expressions ....Her voice is strong and vibrant, and she delivers a stirring performance of ‘Un bel dì’.
Sam Smith,Music OMH
"Mimi" La Boheme, Opera Queensland
Here is a real Puccini soprano, her vocal line arching and sustained, her acting excellent and even her incidental counter-melodies captivating the imagination...
Martin Buzacott, The Australian
La bohème is worth the price of entry just to watch Kwon alone. As an actor, she is sublime. She is quietly flirtatious, subtly sexy. And yet she is a believably shy and introverted Mimi. Her presence in a room is never too obvious. It’s quite a performance…Truly she is a rising international star.
Andrew Messenger, Limelight Magazine
“Fiordiligi” Cosi fan Tutte, Opera Australia
" ....Hyeseong Kwon handled Fiordiligi’s big moments with breathtaking ease, long phrases, octave jumps and embellishments all perfectly judged "
Opera Today, Michael Magunsson
“Giulietta” I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Opera Australia
"...Hyeseoung revealed impressive vocal maturity and an increasingly naturalistic acting style. She managed exquisitely pure tone and legato, winning the audience vote"
Eamonn Kelly, The Australian
“Liu” Turandot, Opera Queensland
“…as the loyal slave girl Liu, whose eventual suicide is conveyed here with tremendous vocal and dramatic presence”
Martin Buzacott, The Courier Mail
“…with the most delicate and pure vocal lines, she gave an achingly beautiful performance of ill-fated heroine deserving of triple bravos”
Peter Pinne, Stage Whispers
“Leila” Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Opera Australia
"…Hyeseoung’s performance revealed an exquisite and fragile artistry,underlining beautiful articulation and intelligent phrasing”
John Slavin, The Age
“….Hyeseoung produced the most thrilling singing. Kwon’s voice has great purity of tone, and she shone with mysterious beauty in her simple white costume”
Sybil Nolan, The Herald Sun
“Mimi” La Boheme, Opera Australia
“ …The slender and beautiful Kwon turned out to be touching in every way. Her voice is beautifully placed and lit through with grace and intelligence”
Deborah Jones, Opera Opera
“Liu” Turandot, Opera Australia
“ …Hyeseoung Kwon as the tragic slave, Liu, provided the most touching moments with precision and colour softened by warmth”
Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald
“Hyeseoung Kwon added another triumphant feather to her already well-feathered artistic cap with a heart –wrenching Liu that exploited to the hit the pathos of character without ever traversing the razor edge into maudlin tear-jerker terrain, sang with an irresistible voluptuousness, and died with dignity rather than reveal the secret of Calaf’s identity”
David Gyger, Opera-Opera
“Alcina” Alcina, Opera Australia
“No praise is too great for Hyeseoung Kwon’s assumption of the fiendishly demanding title role: she managed with aplomb the proliferation of fiendishly demanding arias which is Alcina’s lot, and slotted into the stage action seamlessly, proving herself more than capable of taking over this huge assignment on short notice”
David Gyger, Opera Opera
“Nanetta” Falstaff, Opera Australia
“…One of the best was the young and graceful Hyeseoung Kwon as Nannetta”
... it was soprano Hyeseoung Kwon who stole the show, in its penultimate scene, with exquisite singing(replete with beautiful, covered top notes) that was of a heart-stopping quality”
Roger Knight, State of the Arts
Stabat Mater, Rossini,Orchestra e Coro Verdi, Milan
“Bravo il Soprano nell’<<Inflammatus et Accensus>>, dove la sua voce precisa ha saputo ben avvolgersi attorno alle volture corali senza lasciarsene catturare”
Paolo Tarallo, Corriere della Sera