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Genius of a Performing Arts High

Chapter 3.7 - Passionately 7

Chapter 3: Passionately 7

Cough cough.

When I let out a cough due to the strange prickly feeling on my throat, Lee Suh-ah threw a glance towards me.

“A cold?”



“I think my throat’s a bit sore.”

Lee Suh-ah frowned.

“Don’t you know the bodies are the instruments for opera singers?”

“You’re right...”

Leaning down onto the table, a cold touch embraced the stinging throat. Rubbing it for a bit, the cold feeling spread out towards the entire neck. Ah, it feels nice. I’m being healed.

Closing my eyes, I dedicated myself to enjoying that feeling that was no different from a paradise. After a while, I heaved a deep sigh.


Suddenly, I thought of the songs I heard yesterday – the songs from the concert. Thinking back on those, the hopping melodies passed by inside my head. The few melodies that sprang out in that manner soon intertwined against one another before beautifully mixing in.

Lee Suh-ah’s song flowing nonchalantly above and Kim Wuju’s song creeping into it. While I was grinning and appreciating that melody, a sudden depressing song interjected and made me burst my eyes open.


I slowly glanced at the surroundings. It was still the classroom with slight sounds of laughter here and there. Due to the throat aching once again, I placed my hand on top of it and tried massaging, but it didn’t lead to any great results.

Ah this doesn’t go down easily. I did practise a bit yesterday but it seemed like my throat was a little weaker than usual... I had no idea what the issue was.


Turning my head over, I saw Lee Suh-ah holding out something with her hands. With a glance, I saw something familiar on top of her palm – a circular candy in the shape of an orange jelly. When I accepted it without thinking, she opened her lips.

“You don’t like ipalats?”

“... Do you have any mint-flavoured ones?”

“Just eat it.”

With a small grin, I threw it into my mouth and felt the strange flavour spread out onto every single location inside my throat. As expected of a famous candy for sore throat, it did feel quite effective.

I continued lying down and massaged my throat for a bit when Han Dasom approached carefully.

Looking up, I found a face full of worry.

“Yunjae... should we skip today?”

Skip what, I thought as I stared at her face until it came to me. Ah, she’s talking about the concerted music practice.


When I replied like that her eyes sparkled in response. It was a rather familiar expression... back when I was giving lessons, I’ve seen it a lot from those students.

Barely stopping the smile from coming up, I asked nonchalantly.

“You’re right, it would be a bit bad for me to sing when my voice is not even coming out properly, right?”

“Un un. Rest well.”

“Right, I’ll rest and you can sing.” 𝙞𝘯𝘯𝙧𝒆𝘢𝐝. C𝑜m



At a garden prepared behind the dorms of the Future Arts High, I strode towards the bench and sat comfortably in the middle, and found Han Dasom grumpily staring at me. I gave a nod asking what was she doing.

“Is there anything you want to sing? It’s a bit strange to sing choruses by yourself so do you want to try something new?”


Standing alone with a pout, it seemed that she really did not want to sing alone. Well, it was understandable. If two crazy people were singing together then people might think, ‘is that some new concept?’, but if it was one person singing then they’ll just think it was a crazy person.

But what else can we do?

To stand on a stage in the centre of hundreds of eyes without trembling, we had no choice but to be slightly crazy.

I thought of the songs that would fit Han Dasom from my head with a grin. Let’s see... Han Dasom’s voice, a soprano solo and a song fine without accompaniment... ah I want to hear this.

Clicking my finger I asked.

“Do you know the Song to the Moon from Rusalka?”


“What about Come Scoglio?”


I tried asking but there was no song she knew.

... Right, she was just a normal highschooler.

There was no way she had a wide repertory so there would be no meaning in me choosing a song. Waving my hand, I gestured to her to do whatever she wanted and Han Dasom opened her lips after thinking for a bit.

“I’ll... try the song, Think of Me from the Phantom of the Opera.”


That was quite a surprising selection of a song. After all, that was a musical. She didn’t know any opera songs but knew about musical songs huh.

I’m sure they wouldn’t have been any helpful during the admission interviews though. After staring at her for a bit, I nodded my head.

“That’s good. I think it fits you.”

After a bashful smile, Han Dasom stood straight up. I thought of the song while gazing at her.

‘Think of Me’.

As it was a song from a famous musical, I knew it very well. Like how most soprano arias were, it was a pitiful love song, confessing to not forget herself. However, being a song from a musical, it made the analyses quite difficult and complicated.

I’m looking forward to how she’s going to sing it.

Throwing my gaze at Han Dasom, I found her scanning the surroundings a lot. She was still quite averted to singing alone apparently. After looking around the quiet garden for a while, she slowly opened her mouth.

A whispering voice tickled my ears.

“Think of me~ Think of me fondly~...”

The timbre was good and the vocalisation wasn’t bad either. There was a slight suppression of the sound but that couldn’t be helped since it was her first time singing it. After appreciating her singing for a bit, I gave her a round of applause when the Cadenza part ended.

“Well done.”


“Well done but,”


Tapping on the bench in thought for a bit, I opened my mouth.

“The diction is... it’s not wrong but slightly different. This song is from a musical but inside the play, it is an opera song with the singer being an opera singer right? Then, shouldn’t it be sung like an opera?”

“ an opera? How...?”

She blinked her eyes and appeared clueless. Do I have to explain from there? She would get it immediately if I could just sing and compare but with my throat in this condition...

Having no other choice but to explain it in words, I glanced up at Han Dasom.

“Dasom. What’s the difference between opera and normal singing?”

Han Dasom tilted her head.

“No mic...?”

“Yes. Opera doesn’t use mics while musicals, and other singers do. That’s where all the difference lies.”

Standing up from the seat, I walked around and continued.

“Without a mic, opera singers must fill a hall of over a few hundred metres in diameter with their own sound. Just screaming won’t do anything. That’s why we use the resonating chambers in our bodies. Mouth, nose and chest – using the resonating chambers in these areas we amplify the sound. Ah–! Like that.”

When I suddenly made a loud sound, Han Dasom was startled and pulled her head back.

Ouch, that was all I did but it still hurt my throat. While massaging my throat for a bit I resumed talking.

“To properly manipulate these resonating chambers, it is important to make the sound circular like a ball. Between a ball and a cube which would go further? Of course a ball, right? So our objective is to make every sound spherical and to push it through a long connected passage. The first step, is unifying the vowels.”


I started continuously pronouncing the vowels, while Han Dasom stared directly at me with concentrated eyes.

“IEAOU. If you try pronouncing those, you’ll feel like the sounds towards the end are different. Like the feeling that they’re coming out from deeper within? You’ll feel like that. However, that shouldn’t happen during opera. IEAOU, they must all have the same resonance. The ‘I’ sound must consciously come from deeper, while ‘U’ sound must intentionally be shallower, to form a perfect circle.”


She repeated those vowels. IEAOU. Every time she practised, it was evidently seen how her pronunciation was getting better. Indeed, from how her learning speed was extremely fast, she seemed to be a part of those geniuses as well. Judging from how she did not know about the basics, it apparently hasn’t been a while since she had started learning opera though...

Was she previously into popular music before coming into opera? Why did she come to opera in the first place though? During my short contemplation, Han Dasom opened her mouth.

“I’ll try.”


I saw Han Dasom breathe in deeply through her nose while standing still.


Closing her eyes, she laid her hand on her chest. Her small mouth started to gradually open as her hair fluttered in the wind showing her clean forehead. I could see a glimpse of her future self – the Han Dasom that sang before a crowd of tens of thousands.

In that instant, she opened her lips.

“Think of me–...”

I could hear a clear voice – a voice with a resonance different to before and it dug in deep into my eardrums.

More spherical, and more straightforward. The vowels were becoming one, but even then, the proper shape of the mouth supported the diction. A softer echo amplified by the resonating chambers shot up in a line.

That alone was enough to send her song away to a far, faraway place.

I felt my lips slanting up.

This girl, her maschera is amazing.

“...promise me that sometimes you will think...”

I could see the students in their dorms opening their windows. The students walking by in a distance halted to take another look while the normal people on the other side of the school fences turned over.

In the midst of all that, Han Dasom sang. With her eyes closed, not thinking of anything else, and only singing her song.

“Of me–!”


Staring blankly for a while, I then turned over. The opened windows were closed, the students resumed their feet and the normal people glanced at us a few more times before carrying their feet.

The song had ended.


Coming to myself, I gave her a round of applause.

Clap, clap, clap. The sound echoed through the gardens before eventually disappearing.

“Well done.”

She wore a bright smile.


“Well done but, in this musical, the female protagonist is passing the soprano audition with this song. So shouldn’t we sing it with more enthusiasm? To give off the feeling that she’s about to go crazy from her happiness. But then if she were to show it too much then it wouldn’t be like an actress so just enough, yeah?”

After staying quiet for a bit, she replied.

“...Un, I’ll try to be crazy.”


Jun Shihyuk leaned onto the windowsill.

From outside the closed windows, he could still hear some echoes of a conversation. A high voice and a low voice – Han Dasom and Jo Yunjae.

It was the voice he had been listening to until just then.

Tap, tap. After tapping on the windows for a while, he made a frown.

Jo Yunjae...

The scene he just saw was a bit strange. It was a scene that was totally different to the previous image he had of him. Those skills in teaching Han Dasom, the naturalness of it, aura and the passion.

Those weren’t things that someone who didn’t even practise one bit should have.


He remembered the in-depth description on vowels – Jo Yunjae who had explained it in a clear way without a single hesitation or a block.

Vowel unification.

Of course, Jun Shihyuk had mastered it, and if he was told to explain it, he definitely could. However, whether he would be able to explain it softly, like an experienced lecturer was a different question.

And yet that Jo Yunjae was able to? That guy who didn’t even have the basics?

Jun Shihyuk’s expression turned stiff.

“Let’s see.”

He slowly turned over the calendar. After quietly going through the dates with his fingers, he started to calculate.

Until the next Improvement Concert...

There was less than a week left.

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