|Year of Birth:||1976|
Sunhae Im was born in Cheorwon, South Korea. She studied vocal music with Lokyung Pak at Seoul National University in South Korea and with Roland Hermann at Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe in Germany. In 1997 she was awarded the Grand Prix in the Korea Schubert Society–Munhwa Ilbo Competition (Seoul), the Grand Prix in the Korean Voice Competition (Seoul), the Second Prize in the Dong-A Music Competition (Seoul), and the Second Prize and the Audience Prize in the International Schubert Competition (Osaka, Tokyo). In 2000, she was a finalist in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels).
She made her European debut with the conductor Philippe Herreweghe in Antwerp, Belgium in December 1999, by singing Mozart's "Et Incarnatus Est" from Great Mass in C Minor as well as his solo motet Exsultate Jubilate. Her operatic debut was made in early 2000 as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart at the Frankfurt Opera, where she also performed as Amore and Valetto in The Coronation of Poppea by Monteverdi. She was a member of Staatsoper Hannover and performed as Zerlina (in Don Giovanni), Papagena (The Magic Flute), Blonde (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Adele (Die Fledermaus), and Yniold (Pelleas et Mélisande) between 2001 and 2004, before freelancing.