An internationally renowned opera singer will perform at a holiday concert that’s become a Snohomish County tradition.
Yunah Lee, a Korean-American soprano, will be the featured soloist at the Ahn family’s 25th annual Christmas concert. It will be presented by the Mukilteo Christmas Concert Foundation on Dec. 19 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood.
Admission is free, but donations will be collected to benefit Neighbors in Need, a homeless mission of Trinity Lutheran.
Lee is best known for her role as Cio-Cio-san in “Madama Butterfly,” a three-act opera about a lovelorn geisha who is left heartbroken by an American military officer. She has sung the role more than 160 times around the world, including for shows in Switzerland, Ireland and Quebec.
Lee, a graduate of the Juilliard School and Juilliard Opera Center, has appeared in numerous other operas, performed solo recitals and sung at Christmas concerts in her 25-year career.
She will bring an operatic repertoire to the concert, including excerpts from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” and the operetta “Giuditta.” She will also sing classical works, such as Strauss’s “Cacillie, Op. 27 No. 2,” and some Christmas carols.
“We’ve brought the Christmas spirit — not too sad or serious,” she said. “It will be uplifting.”
Kwan Bin Park, the concert’s music director, said Lee’s performance will be a treat for Snohomish County residents.
“We will hear the fine phrases she creates with her nuances in a beautifully acoustic hall,” he said, “(and we’ll) feel the warmth of the holiday.”
Featured musicians at the concert are Park on violin, Kenneth Kletzien on piano, Michael Van Bebber on trumpet, David Horton on organ and Joshua Park on flute. Also performing are Seattle Children’s and Sotto Voce Chamber choruses.
The concert has benefited Neighbors in Need since moving to Trinity Lutheran in Lynnwood in 2014. It was held at Mukilteo Presbyterian Church for 19 years before gaining too much popularity — there were no longer enough seats at the Presbyterian church.
Last year’s concert raised $3,015 for Trinity’s homeless mission.
The concert is dedicated in memory of Park’s grandfather, Rev. Sung Jin Ahn, a longtime resident of Mukilteo. Ahn, who died in 2002, conceived and financially supported the annual concert as a gift to Mukilteo.
A lover of music, Ahn was a South Korean Presidential Award-winning Christian educator who published more than 80 books for youth ministry and founded two prominent Korean-American churches in the Seattle area.
The Ahn family formed the Mukilteo Christmas Concert Foundation in accordance to his will to the support the concert, youth ministries, charities and scholarships for promising music students.
At first, the concert only featured Ahn family members playing various instruments. Over the years, it expanded to include professional soloists, such as Lee.
“This is showing their gratitude to the community,” Lee said. “I thought it was so meaningful.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, email@example.com.
If you go
The Ahn family Christmas concert, presented by the Mukilteo Christmas Concert Foundation, is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St. SW, Lynnwood. Admission is free, but donations will be collected for Neighbors in Need, a homeless mission of Trinity Lutheran. A reception will follow. Call 425-346-0320 for more information.