This former child actor Simon Kyung Lee appeared in two major motion pictures in his native Korea (as "Kyung Jae Lee") before the idea of singing opera ever entered his mind. He began his musical training in his hometown of Busan, Korea. He spent the summer of 2003 studying in Italy, where it was discovered that he had a natural affinity for the verismo style. In 2004 Mr. Lee performed in recitals at the first annual Festival Notte Musicali Modenesi in Modena.
His recent engagements include Tenor Solo for Haydn’s Paukenmesse with New England Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Giles Corey (Crucible) with Chamber Opera Chicago, Cavaradossi (Tosca) with Kansas Puccini Festival, 3rd Jew (Salome) with Opera Company of North Carolina and Luigi (Il Tabarro), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) with Kansas City Puccini Festival. He had rave reviews from critics as Calaf (Turandot) with Kansas City Puccini Festival and Utah Festival Opera in 2005.
Additional roles in this versatile Tenor's repertoire include Alfredo (La Traviata), Radames (Aida), Manrico (Il Trovatore), Riccardo (Un Ballo in Maschera), Rodolfo (La Boheme) and even rarely heard Verdi works of I Lombardi (Chicago Premiere with da Corneto Opera as Arvino). A two time recipient of awards from the National Bel Canto Foundation (in 1999 and 2000), He has utilized his flair with Italian music to his advantage in scores of solo concerts and recitals throughout the Midwest, including a 1996 gala concert in which the musical artists of North and South Korea performed together on the same Chicago stage for the first time in History. In addition to his stage and concert work, this rare performer has been a frequent guest on many Chicago radio and TV programs.