It is crucial to plan your life ahead, to set goals, and dream big; otherwise, you will have to work twice as hard, and experience hardships that could have been easily avoided. My friend from Yongsan International School of Seoul, had a dream, and he worked every day to see that dream come true. Though his main goal is still far from being accomplished, Sebastian is on a highway that leads to success. Ever since he knew to talk, Seb loved to sing, thus it was evident that he would like to pursue a career in singing. However, he had bigger dreams; Sebastian decided to become an opera singer when he was 17, still, back in Korea. Ever since then, Sebastian took opera singing lessons, he learned to speak Italian, German, he learned to play the piano, he studied hard, and eventually sent tapes to the Conservatorio di Fermo, a prestigious conservatory in Italy. Naturally he was accepted. In the third year of his study, I ask Sebastian about his experiences, a little of the past, the present, and of course, future plans!
(laughs) This is not a serious question, but okay. Well, it varies, a lot. Depends on my classes really. Some days I have 3 hour long sessions, where I have to sing almost the entire time. Other days, when there are no classes, I sing at home, a few minutes, but sometimes even an hour. When the weather is good, I drive to a valley, and sing out in the open. It is very refreshing actually, I love nature, and the acoustic value is perfect.
Fine, a serious question then, do you miss me?
(laughs) Tamash you didn’t change at all! But yes, of course I do, we had good talks, and you recommended me great music, and of course, I miss partying in Seoul. Man, Doors was awesome!
Let us dwell on the past a little then. I’m sure the readers will enjoy reading about your time in Seoul as well, and how that contributed to your goals. After that we can return to Italy! Do you miss Korea at all?
Well, not really. I miss hanging out with you guys, Aldo, Edu, Reinis, Attila. I miss Doors, it was a great place, very good music. YISS was alright, I guess, but I am happier here, in Italy.
Ok, but did Seoul itself help you reach your goals?
Well, my maestro was Korean. He was very good, and I guess it is partly thanks to him that I was accepted to the conservatory.
Alright, let’s leave Seoul then. Tell me about your first days in Fermo, was it challenging? How did you manage living alone?
It was very hard! Italians are so different compared to Koreans! Everything is slow here, I had difficulties with the language – I was still learning Italian. The conservatory helped me a little, but I pretty much had to find out everything myself. Also, I didn’t have a car, so I had to walk A LOT. I had to learn to cook, to clean my things, it was a huge difference. Also, everything is closed between 12 and 4, which was a huge shock to me.
Three years have passed, what has changed since?
I got a car! It makes everything so much easier! Also, I changed my apartment. The first one I had was closer to the conservatory, but my landlady was a crazy old hag, and she got angry when I sang or played the piano. It was hurting my social and academic life, so I decided to get a new apartment. Funny story. I found this very old house at a great price, near Fermo, in a valley. I thought: this is the perfect place for me. It is in the middle of nowhere, the air is fresh and the acoustics are perfect. So I decided to buy it, and eventually moved in. However, on the second day I had enough. It was extremely cold! This is a very old country house from the renaissance, so obviously the hosue is very cold. Also, it is very farm from the conservatory, from the supermarket, from anything. I also felt alone, and realized I needed a little social life. So I told the landlord I’m very sorry, but I can’t live here! Luckily, I found a new apartment very soon, just constructed, and moved in there the next day.
So you are settled now?
Yeah, I don’t plan on moving until I finish my studies.
Let’s talk about your studies, what actually do you do? Just sing all day?
(laughs) Of course not! I have many different classes. This semester I have classes like: chamber music, piano classes, singing accompanied by piano, two music theory classes, choire. I have to study a lot, being a tenor is not easy.
Is it harder than regular school?
Yes, much harder! I have to memorize entire librettos; I have to practice playing the piano even though I am a singer. And of course, the singing is not easy, and it is very tiring. It is much harder than YISS, I didn’t even do anything there! I failed so many classes in fact, but I didn’t care. Here, however, I have to do my best; otherwise my singing won’t get better. I have to constantly improve my voice, and my knowledge of music, otherwise I won’t be able to win concertos.
What are concertos?
Basically, concertos are singing contests. I am not allowed to enter them yet, because you need a master level certificate. I will probably get it in a year, but until then, I have to improve a lot!
You seem very dedicated, that is good. What are your plans for the future, where would you like to sing?
Rome! It is my favorite city in the world, and the capital of music. I want so sing in operas of course; though, it is very hard to be selected. The problem is many directors want something in return for accepting you, if you know what I mean. Life of a singer is not easy. You have to work very hard, and please a lot of people.
I guess you are under a lot of stress then. Let’s change the subject. When you are not studying, what do you do to loosen up? Tell us something about your daily routine.
My days are pretty regular. I wake up, shower, eat, and then attend my classes. I eat something usually in the city, pasta or pizza. Back home, I play the piano, or sing, or study music. Otherwise, I watch series, like House of Cards, or Suits. When I feel like it I cook. I like to take drives also. As I said before, when I feel like it I drive down to the valley, or the seashore, take a walk and sing. I don’t have a tight schedule, so I can do pretty much what I want. Also, I get a lot of guests, so driving them around the area is something I do often. Oh and I became an Instagramer!
(You can check his Instagram here: http://instagram.com/sebastn91)
You could say! I am happy here, and I work hard so I think I deserve to be. Most people don’t do anything and hope to get everything – that’s not how life works. I can only suggest you do the same, work hard, and see the results!
I am out of question, thanks for your time Seb! If the group has more questions, I’ll contact you again, okay?
Sure, any time! Take care!
by Lengyel Tamás