Sae-Kyung Rim is an impressive, dramatic Verdian/Verismo soprano with a strong voice, rich in nuances and colors.

She has won several international competitions in singing, including the “Giambattista Viotti” in Vercelli.


Among the most recent and future engagements of the artist are:

  • Cio Cio San/Madama Butterfly at Opera Australia in Sydney, Opera Hong Kong, Daegu Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and Seougnam Opera House in South Korea;
  • a role debut as Odabella/Attila, a role debut as Lady Macbeth/Macbeth, Abigaille/Nabucco, and Minnie/La fanciulla del West at the Korean National Opera;
  • the title role in Aida at Daegu Opera House and Sejong Opera House;
  • the title role in Tosca at Sejong Opera House;
  • Maddalena/Andrea Chénier at Daegu Opera House;
  • Leonora/La forza del destino and the title role in Tosca at the Seoul Arts Center;
  • Puccini Opera Celebration Galà Concerts with Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.


Sae-Kyung Rim enjoys a successful worldwide career, traveling from Asia to Europe to take on renowned parts and winning international competitions along the way. She is well known for her highly nuanced hallmark role as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, which she has sung in over 150 performances across the world.

Her recent past engagements include Cio-Cio-San/Madama Butterfly at Arena di Verona, Theater Dortmund, Principal de Mallorca, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, at the Greek National Opera, at the Wiener Staatsoper, as well as in Budapest, Las Palmas, Bergen, Trondheim and at the Savonlinna Opera Festival; the title role in Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper w. Domingo, Antonenko, Hampson; the title role in Aida at Arena di Verona, at the Korean National Opera, and in Munich and Tokyo; Leonora/Forza del Destino at Teatro Filarmonico di Verona; Abigaille/Nabucco at the Greek National Opera; the title role in Manon Lescaut at Hungarian National Opera in Budapest; Liù/Turandot at Theater Dortmund; Maddalena/Andrea Chenier in Seoul.

In Teatro alla Scala in Milan, she has performed in productions such as Dialogues des Carmelites by Poulenc, Rinaldo by Handel, Elektra by Richard Strauss, La Boheme by Puccini,  Fiordiligi/Così Fan Tutte and others under the direction of Riccardo Muti, Ottavio Dantone, Semyon Bychkov, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Niksa Bareza, Jeffrey Tate, Riccardo Chailly, Lothar Koenigs, Daniel Barenboim.

In Seoul, she has performed many leading roles in the past years such as Madame Lidoine/Les Dialogues des Carmelites by Poulenc, Amelia/Un Ballo in Maschera, Leonora/Forza del Destino, Marguerite/Mefistofele by Boïto, Tosca.


Sae-Kyung Rim graduated in singing at the Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi” in Milan and in the course for opera singers Soloists dell ‘Accademia del Teatro alla Scala with Leyla Gencer.

Sae-Kyung Rim has been a professor at Chung-Ang University’s Faculty of Music in Seoul since 2020.


Sae-Kyung Rim – Macbeth by G. Verdi – Una macchia (KNO, 2023)

Sae-Kyung Rim – Un Ballo in Maschera by G.Verdi – Ecco l’orrido campo, role Amelia

Sae-Kyung Rim – Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini – Un Bel Di’Vedremo – Las Palmas

Sae-Kyung Rim – Attila by G.Verdi – Odabella/Foresto Duet (KNO, 2022)

Sae-Kyung Rim – Attila by G.Verdi – Santo di patria (KNO, 2022)

Sae-Kyung Rim – Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini – Finale, Act III


Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini, Sydney Opera House – June 2022

(…) South Korean soprano Sae Kyung Rim’s command of Puccini’s score and her vocal dominance lent her Butterfly quite a degree of knowingness. It would be a particularly noxious invader who could entrap her; but there was a huge red web as a design feature and even as a bridal headdress in Act one. Who could escape?

(…) Sae Kyung Rim gave us a Butterfly who seemed more in possession of her aspirations than is often the case. She dominated the stage from her first arrival in the marriage procession. Her big number in Act two “Un bel dì” when she visualizes Pinkerton’s return, authoritatively felt out the shapes of her big number giving us a full dimension of her tragedy. Isolating her upstage and providing a graphic of falling kanji letters amplified this sense.”

– Gordon Williams,

Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini, Sydney Opera House – June 2022

“As Cio-Cio-San, the Butterfly, Sae-Kyung Rim gives a triumphant performance with a voice of gleaming clarity through its many moods, from caprice and gentle satire to fiery power and tragedy. In the first act this stands as a counterfoil to the vulnerable freshness she creates as the teenage bride. She sang Un bel di, vedremo of Act 2, with graceful phrases of elegant simplicity, the climactic moments achieving power without disturbing the smoothness of the finish.”

– Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald