Each month, Penny & Pound Theatre Productions is proud to shine a light on past and present alumni who are making a difference in the KW arts community.
In February, we introduce P&P performer Christina Yun (She/Her), who made her P&P debut as The Ghost of Christmas Past in 2022's MISS SCROOGE: A NEW HOLIDAY MUSICAL. Christina is a Mississauga-based performer who is breaking down barriers and making a difference in the GTA opera and performing arts communities. WHO ARE YOU?
Korean-Canadian soprano/versatile singer Christina Yun from Mississauga, Ontario!
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF BEING AN OPERA SINGER?
The absolute drama. Upset? Would you like to storm off and have a sword fight with your best mate with no context whatsoever OR would you like to sing a 17 minute song about your feelings?!
I joke around, but really, opera is just an extension of what we feel inside: the drama. The things we want to say, the things we wished we could have said…all these very real and human emotions (in the hands of good actors and artistic teams) become an outstretched arm from your heart and land in the middle of the music. Being an opera singer is being a musical athlete, and we can’t let anyone know how hard we’re working to present a beautiful story.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My family and friends. I could not be a single step of where I am without their support, their butts in the audience chairs, the prayers, the hugs, the shouts of support. The art of music is beautiful but really, they don’t compare to the beautiful hearts of my community.
HOW HAS YOUR TIME WITH PENNY & POUND INFLUENCED YOU?
As one of my first premieres of a musical theatre work, it was a lovely challenge to roll with the punches in workshop, with changing music and orchestrations - it was not so easy as it sounded on show nights! However, any difficult or confusing time was made easier and simpler with the crew and cast. Working with such incredibly talented people in the community was so humbling and joyful! WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER EMERGING ARTISTS?
Never compare yourself to others. It is honestly so easy to, but when it comes to art, especially with an instrument that is built into your own body, the only competition there ever will be is you from today and you from yesterday.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE THAT YOU'VE PLAYED?
My favourite performance is tied between singing the Countess Almaviva in the MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (Mozart) with the now disbanded Long Reach Opera Workshop in 2019 and being a Wood-Sprite aka Forest Fairy in RUSALKA (Dvorak) with Halifax Summer Opera Festival in 2014.
Christina Yun as THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST in MISS SCROOGE: A NEW HOLIDAY MUSICAL (2022) | Photo by Tawp Photography.
HOW DO YOU THINK WATERLOO REGION CAN BETTER SUPPORT YOUNG ARTISTS?
Accessibility, flexibility, scholarships, and pay - being a young performer is not just singing on the stage. It’s the lessons, the coaching, the bus and train rides to auditions and rehearsals. It’s the “missing work for a whole week so I can do tech week.” Between school work, paid work, travel time, often lack of accessibility resources, rehearsals, shows, and everything in between, it is hard to make a fine line of what to prioritize. The science of the benefits of the theatre community/communal music is out there. Allow the if not talent, the love of music thrive by cultivating better rewarding experiences for those that deserve it!
WANT TO STAY CONNECTED WITH CHRISTINA?
* Some answers may have been edited for length or clarity.