(Born July 4, 1959 in South Korea)
Hong Hei-Kyung is a South Korean-American operatic lyric soprano.
She won a scholarship and went to the United States to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York at the age of 15.
She participated in master classes conducted by Tito Gobbi, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Walter Legge and won the 1982 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Her first major role with the Metropolitan came in 1987 when she sang Mimi in La Boheme.
Since then she has sung Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, and Gilda in Rigoletto, Liù in Turandot and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.
While generally recognised as a Mozart specialist she has a wide repertoire and has sung Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Bizet, Gounod and Offenbach.
Among other roles she has not sung at the Met are the title roles in Massenet's Manon, Musetta in La Bohème, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, and Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles.
She has sung at the Royal Opera House London (as Mimì and Liù), Wiener Staatsoper (as Mimì), Bayerische Staatsoper (as Mimì), L'Opéra de la Bastille (as Liù, Countess Almaviva, Micaëla in Carmen), Arena di Verona (as Micaëla),and Opera di Roma (as Liù)
In 2003, she debuted at La Scala as Musetta in La Bohème. She returned there in 2004 to sing Lui and in 2005, Mimi.
In 2006, she was the first Asian to sing Violetta in La Traviata at the Met then in 2007, she sang Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
In 2008 she lost her husband to cancer and took two years off from the stage, returning in 2010 to sing La Traviata, Micaela in Carmen and Juliette in Romeo et Juiliette.
She currently resides in New York.