April 18, 2024

MSM Spotlight: Meet Seul Lee, a featured performer in MSM Opera Theatre’s production of La rondine on stage APR 25 to 28

This spotlight feature was posted prior to the APR 25–28 performances of MSM Graduate Opera Theatre’s production of La rondine.

Seul Lee (MM ’24) is a second-year master’s student from Seoul, South Korea, studying under the tutelage of Shirley Close. She sings the role of Magda in MSM Graduate Opera Theatre’s production of Puccini’s La rondine at Manhattan School of Music for four performances only, APR 25–28.

Seul spoke with us before the performance about her role and why people should come and see the production.


Seul Lee is thrilled to return to Neidorff-Karpati Hall to sing the role of Magda in MSM Graduate Opera Theatre’s mainstage production of Puccini’s La rondine. Other MSM performance credits include “La Bergère” in L’enfant et les sortilèges with MSM’s Opera in Concert and MSM Graduate Opera Scenes. Seul also performed as Donna Anna at the 2023 MSM Annual Gala Concert held at Rockefeller Center’s iconic Rainbow Room. Additionally, Seul has been part of master classes at MSM, including those held by Michael Heaston and Helmut Deutsch.

(Scroll down to read our interview with Seul Lee).

MSM Opera Theatre
La rondine

7:30 PM

APR 28 | SUN
2 PM

Music by Giacomo Puccini 
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami 

Marcello Cormio, Conductor
Katherine M. Carter, Director

Tickets required
$30 adults, $15 non-MSM students and seniors

MSM Opera Theatre is made possible in part by the Joseph F. McCrindle Endowment for Opera Productions. 

Neidorff-Karpati Hall
130 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027

Tell us about the role you are performing in La rondine.

Seul: I’m singing the role of Magda. Her personality differs from other heroines in Puccini’s operas – many female leads in his operas have tragic stories involving illness or death, however Magda lives her life entirely by her own choices. She is elegant, romantic, and dreams of pure love. She lives as a woman who is free and passionate.

How have you prepared for this role?

Seul: To prepare for the role of Magda, I first delved deeply into the character’s background and emotions. Then I worked on understanding the music and lyrics to express the character’s emotions effectively. Additionally, I actively participated in shaping the character’s portrayal with Maestro Cormio, with [director] Katherine M. Carter, and with coaches, to refine Magda’s emotions and actions.

Seul Lee as "La Bergère" in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Spring 2023

What is the opera about?

Seul: Puccini’s La rondine tells the story of young Parisians filled with love, glamor, and longing. The story follows the romantic adventures of  Magda, a high-class courtesan, and Ruggero, a naive young man. The conflict between their desire for pure love and the realities of life, as well as Magda’s secret past, lead to a heart-breaking ending.

How have the rehearsal processes been?

Seul: It is an honor to be able to work with such an amazing and talented cast and creative team. There have been many challenging moments for me, but I feel like I have grown so much as a musician and performer through this process.

Magda lives her life entirely by her own choices. She is elegant, romantic, and dreams of pure love. She lives as a woman who is free and passionate.

Why should people come and see La rondine at MSM?

Seul: Doesn’t everyone dream of passionate love in their lifetime? But we all encounter moments where our idealistic desires clash with reality. With the beautiful music of La rondine, we can experience these moments together. My fellow cast members are extraordinary singers, and the orchestra sounds incredible! It’s a performance you don’t want to miss.

What are you listening to right now?

Seul: I’m currently listening to my recording of today’s rehearsal!

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