Spotlight: Ji Young Yang


She loves cheeseburgers, BJ’s Brewhouse and Beyoncé—typical American, right? Wrong. Ji Young Yang hails from South Korea and, as a 31-year-old opera singer on the rise, is living a life that is anything but typical: She’s performed with the San Francisco Opera, the Boston Lyric Opera and, by the time you read this, the BBC Scottish Symphony. So how did this Manhattan School of Music-trained soprano end up in El Dorado Hills? Long story short, her dentist husband (also from South Korea) landed a job in Placerville. “Here, you see lots of trees and wake up to hear birds singing,” she says of her new home, a far cry from big city life in Seoul and New York City. “As a musician, it inspires me to be in this different atmosphere.” Problem is, Yang is on the road so much that it’s hard to find time to settle in. “As an opera singer, you audition a lot and travel constantly,” she says. To catch this lovely lyric soprano between plane rides, mark May 2 on your calendar, when she’s a featured soloist for the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra’s performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Mondavi Center. “It’s a beautiful hall,” she says. (Visit or for details.) Otherwise, you might just spot her at another one of her favorite local haunts: In-N-Out Burger.