ONLY LOVE is a new recording of theater love songs by Sumi Jo. Jo, who is traditionally an opera singer, categorizes this recording as a departure she has wanted to pursue for some time. Jo is a supremely skilled singer, controlling every musical moment in detail, volume, shape and phrasing. She avoids the common difficulties of opera singers rendering theater songs with too much traditional shaping of words and comes across with the realism and sensibilities of a theater singer in her vocal expression.
The program of the disc must represent Jo's personal favorite songs, with several by Frank Wildhorn represented, along with songs by Sondheim, Bernstein, and Yeston. "Dream With Me" by Bernstein is a smartly subtle choice, and "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls" from 'The Bohemian Girl' by Balfe/Bunn is a beautifully rendered, compelling piece, which alone justifies the entire venture.