“Delpire & Cie”: Though the name might not immediately ring any bells, unlike with other Magnum members, Robert Delpire is a powerful figure without whom photographic history cannot be properly discussed. The 82-year-old photographer, publisher and director of exhibitions, films and campaigns has a lot of clout over not only his fellow photographers but also in other cultural realms. The exhibition displays 185 photos by 52 significant photographers who were either friends of Delpire or who became known in the field with his help, through his 150 photobooks or four movies he produced. The exhibition runs until Sunday at Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 5,000 won to 10,000 won. For more information, call (02) 710-0762 or visit www.delpirekorea.co.kr.
“Chang Ucchin Retrospective Exhibition”: Chang Ucchin was one of the most renowned modern artists in Korea. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death, Gallery Hyundai and Chang Ucchin Foundation are holding the artist’s large-scale retrospective exhibition. It covers the artists’ whole career from the 1940s to 1990. Chang created simple paintings, reminiscent of those by children, but seems to have known exactly which buttons to push to move viewers -- whether to crack them up, leave them lost in childhood reminiscence or even to make them burst into tears. The exhibition runs until Sunday at Gallery Hyundai in Sagan-dong, central Seoul. Tickets are 2,000 won for teenagers and 3,000 for adults. The gallery is closed Mondays. For more information, call (02) 2287-3500 or visit www.galleryhyundai.com.
“Passion and Solitude: Picasso and Modern Art”: More than 120 paintings, drawings and sculptures by 39 European artists from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are on display. The exhibits were brought to Asia for the first time from the Albertina in Vienna. Wandering around four exhibition rooms packed with colorful and passionate works, visitors often come across familiar paintings and names as the artist list includes well-known masters such as Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall and Amedeo Modigliani. The exhibition runs through March 1 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Deoksugung, in central Seoul. Tickets are 3,000 won for children, 7,000 won for teenagers and 9,000 won for adults. For details, call (02) 752-3002 or visit www.moca.go.kr.
“Parrot Tulips” by Henri Matisse at the exhibition “Passion and Solitude: Picasso and Modern Art” which runs through March 1 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Deoksugung, in central Seoul. (National Museum of Contemporary Art)
“Limited Edition”: This exhibition introduces rarely publicized artworks by world renowned artists. Over 100 original print editions by great masters including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro; contemporary artists such as Julian Opie, David Gerstein; and five top Chinese artists, Yue Minjun, Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Wang Qingsong and Yang Shaobin are on display. Among the exhibits, Dali’s Tarot Cards series, a total of 78 gouache and collage works which were created in 1974, is being shown to the Korean public for the first time. The exhibition runs through March 2 at Opera Gallery Seoul in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3446-0070 or visit www.operagallery.com.
“Special Exhibition of Chateau de Versailles”: A rare opportunity to see some of The Palace of Versailles’ precious treasures in Seoul. The exhibition features 84 works of art and relics which span 200 years of the palace’s history from the 17th century to the late 18th century, including portraits of the royal family and Marie-Antoinette’s golden tableware. The portraits of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, which are on display as well, are France’s national treasures. The exhibition runs through March 6 at Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 5,000 won to 13,000 won. For more information, call (02) 325-1077 or visit www.versailles2010.co.kr.
“An Inconvenient Truth”: Too much honesty can make people uncomfortable. But artist Ahn Chang-hong is not afraid of putting people at unease. In fact, he seems to enjoy revealing the ultimate truth by showing humans in their naked state, sometimes adding grotesque details such as bugs and rats to the backdrop. His solo exhibition is packed with large-scale nude paintings which are shocking in the realistic way they are depicted and because of their use of regular people rather than professional models. The exhibition runs through March 6 at Gana Art Center in Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3217-1093 or visit www.ganaart.com.
“WA: The Spirit of Harmony and Japanese Design Today”: This show explains why adjectives such as “minimal,” “delicate” and, surprisingly, “thoughtful,” cannot help but be used to describe products made in Japan. It does more than introducing the latest cutting-edge designs: it offers an overall view of historically important designs by the Japanese that were created over 50 years ago and are continuously used. The show is arranged like a mini department store, showcasing 161 products divided into 12 categories and six key words such as “Cute,” and “Thoughtful.” The exhibition runs through March 19 at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center in Sunhwa-dong, central Seoul. Admission is free. For more information, call (02) 2151-6500 or visit www.kfcenter.or.kr.
“Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams”: The exhibition features home appliances designed by the legendary industrial designer Rams -- well-known for his influence on Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple. All 400 exhibits appear timeless and chic, fitting in anywhere, anytime. Rams created many best-selling designs throughout his 40-year-career at Braun and Vitsoe. The 77-year-old retired from Braun in 1997 and received the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2007 for achievements in the area of design. The exhibition runs through March 20 at Daelim Contemporary Art Museum in Tongui-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 1,000 won to 5,000 won. For more information, call (02) 720-0667 or visit www.daelimmuseum.org.
“Giselle”: The Korea National Ballet Company will stage the 19th century French classical ballet “Giselle” at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater until Sunday. The ballet company invited French choreographer Patrice Bart, first ballet master and associate director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet, to help dancers present French classical ballet. Tickets range from 100,000 won to 5,000 won. Groups of more than 20 people can get a 30 percent discount and students under 19 will get a 50 percent discount. For tickets, call (02) 580-1300.
“Varekai”: Canadian troupe Cirque du Soleil will perform “Varekai” from April 6 to May 29 at the tent of the Big Top Theater in Jamsil Sports Complex in southern Seoul. The show is about a story of Icarus from Greek mythology. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 220,000 won. The 220,000-won “Tapis Rouge” ticket includes a VIP lounge service and souvenirs such as a program book and CD. For more information, call (02) 541-6235 or visit www.varekai.co.kr.
“Mom”: This 2009 original stage drama starring veteran television actress Kang Bu-ja and Chun Mi-sun as a mother and daughter coming to grips with years of estrangement has moved many of its audience -- which has topped 130,000 -- to tears. The two take a three-day trip to a rural province where they try to make amends for the past. The show is to run in Jinju until Sunday. For more information on tickets, call Ticketpark on (02) 1544-1555 or (02) 333-7203.
“University of Laughs”: The hit play from last year by theater venture group Yeongeukyeoljeon is to run at COEX Arts Hall in Seoul from March 11 as an open run. Based on the popular Japanese novel by Koki Mitani, the piece depicts a seven-day confrontation between an inspector trying to ban comic plays and a scriptwriter who values humor above all in his works, and the friendship that later develops between the two. Tickets run from 20,000 to 40,000 won. For details, call (02) 766-6007.
“La Cantatrice Chauve”: This play -- the title of which means “The Bald Soprano” -- is determined to break the rules -- and break them it does. Viewers can eat snacks, drink up, answer phone calls and take photos of the show as freely as they want. Originally written by Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco in 1950, the play is filled with non sequiturs that satirize modern society and express the futility of meaningful communication and relationships. It runs through March 31 at SM Art Hall in Daehangno, central Seoul. Tickets are 40,000 won. For more information on both plays, call (02) 764-8760 or visit www.stage2010.com.
A scene from “La Cantatrice Chauve” which runs through March 31 at SM Art Hall in Daehangno, central Seoul. (Aga Company)
“Art”: When an art lover buys what is in essence a pure white painting for a fortune, his best friend goes ballistic and a third friend gets stuck in the middle. Questions about the meaning of strange modern art and strange modern friendships -- and how they are sometimes not all that different -- fly thick in the limelight. This local adaptation will run until March 31 at Daehagno Art Madang in Seoul. For details call Aga Theater Company (02)764-8760 or Interpark (02) 1544-1555.
“Kiss of the Spider Woman”: Based on Argentine writer Manuel Puig’s script “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” director Lee Gi-na and four male actors are to present a uniquely Korean drama of a male couple locked in a prison cell. Politically revolutionary Valentin and gay Molina, who has been convicted for having sex with a minor, have nerve-breaking arguments but fall in love after all. Actors Jung Sung-hwa and Park Eun-tae have been cast as Valentin and Molina. The drama will run through April 24 at the Daehangno Art One Theater. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For details, call (02) 764-8760.
“Billy Elliot”: Based on the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name written by Lee Hall, the musical version of “Billy Elliot” will be staged until Sunday at the LG Art Center as the first non-English production in Asia. Set during the coal miners’ strike of 1984-85 in a working class northern English town, a young boy Billy pursues his dream in secret to become a ballet dancer. Tickets cost from 50,000 to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3446-9630.
“While you were sleeping”: In this homegrown comedic musical set on Christmas Eve a paraplegic patient disappears from a charity hospital in Seoul. The mystery plot is centered on the search for the missing patient by a rag tag group of volunteers working tirelessly to get to the bottom of the disappearance. With more than 1700 performances throughout its run since debuting in 2005, the musical has become one of Daehangno’s must-see holiday shows. It runs at the Daehagno Art Madang in Seoul through Feb. 28. For details, call (02) 501-7888.
“Aida”: The Korean adaptation of hit musical “Aida” runs through March 27 at the Seongnam Art Center Opera House. The local version will star Ok Joo-hyeon, Kim Woo-hyeong, and Jung Seon-ah. The popular two act musical is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s Italian-language opera by the same name, the scenario of which was written by Auguste Mariette. The musical was produced by Disney Theatrical, with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang. The musical originated from a children’s storybook version of Verdi’s opera written by the soprano Leontyne Price. For details call (02) 02 577-1987.
“Gwanghwamun Younga”: Based on 33 songs by late composer Lee Young-hoon, this jukebox musical will run from March 20 to April 10 at the Grand Theater of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Rock musician Yoon Do-hyun has been double cast with actor Song Chang-eui as the main character, Sang-hun of the past. Powerful vocalist Lisa Chung has been cast for Yeoju, while actors Kim Moo-yeol and Lim Byung-geun will play Hyeon-woo. Actor Park Jeong-hwan will play Sang-hun of the present. Three characters Sang-hun, his brother Hyeon-woo and Yeo-ju tell a story of their love triangle, intertwined with protests for democracy in Korea in the 1980s. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 130,000 won. For details, call 1666-8662.
“Beethoven Violin Sonata Cycle”: Veteran violinist Kim Min and pianist Lee Dae-wook will present a mature classical sound by staging all 10 of Beethoven’s violin sonatas through a three-week concert series in March at the Kumho Art Hall. The 69-year-old violinist and the 64-year-old pianist will perform together in concerts on March 10, March 17 and March 24 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from 8,000 won to 30,000 won. Call (02) 6303-7700.
“Tenor Francisco Araiza Opera Concert”: Mexican operatic tenor Francisco Araiza is to have his first recital in Korea on Feb. 26 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Considered as one the best interpreters in the lyric repertory, Araiza will sing Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” Weber’s “Freischutz,” Puccini’s “Turandot” aria “Nessun dorma” and more. Tickets range from 77,000 won to 165,000 won. For details, call (02) 6377-1250.
“El Sistema II”: The Caracas Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conductor Christian Vasquez are to stage Saint Saens Symphony No. 3 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on March 27. El Sistema refers to a music education program in Venezuela dedicated to teaching juvenile delinquents and children from low-income households to play musical instruments. Its director and founder Jose Antonio Abreu received the 10th Seoul Peace Prize last year. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For details, call (02) 1577-5266.
“Maksim Mrvica Korea Tour”: Young Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica is to have his first concert in Korea at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on March 6, in Changwon on March 4, in Daegu on March 5, and in Daejeon on March 8. The program includes Tchaikovsky’s “Dumka,” Skrjavin’s “Etude Patetique” and “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Tickets range from 44,000 won to 110,000 won in Seoul and to 99,000 won in other cities. For details, call (02) 6377-1250.
“Steve Barakatt’s ‘Shall We Love’”: New age pianist and composer Steve Barakatt will hold a concert on March 13 at the Seoul Arts Center, under the title “Shall We Love” to celebrate White Day which falls on March 14.
The program will include his popular works including “I’m Sorry” and “Flying.”
Korean vocalists John Park and Kim Geu-rim, who gained fame through the reality TV show “Superstar K,” will join him on stage. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. Call 1577-5266 for more information.
“Slash live concert in Seoul”: Slash, best known as former lead guitarist of U.S. rock band Guns N’ Roses, is to hold a solo concert on March 20 at Ax-Hall in Seoul. He was last in Seoul in 1999 when here performing with Michael Jackson. Born in 1965 and debuting in 1983, Slash was named the No. 2 guitarist on Time Magazine’s list of 10 best electric guitar players of all time in 2009, trailing his hero Jimmy Hendrix.
Myles Kennedy, lead vocalist of the rock band Alter Bridge, will also join the show. Tickets are 99,000 won. For details, call (02) 3141-3488.
“Fourplay 20th Anniversary Live in Seoul”: Contemporary jazz quartet Fourplay, consisting of keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Chuck Loeb and drummer Harvey Mason, will have their 20th anniversary concert on March 2 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. The program includes songs from their latest album “Let’s Touch the Sky.” Tickets range from 55,000 won to 132,000 won. For details, call (02) 941-1150.
“Iron Maiden Live in Seoul”: Rock band Iron Maiden are to make their first ever visit to Korea. The concert will take place at the Olympic Gymnasium No. 1 on March 10, as part of The Final Frontier World Tour. The legendary rockers will be arriving in their specially customized Boeing 757 airliner Ed Force One which, will be transporting the band, crew and their entire 10 ton stage production 50,000 miles around the globe piloted by lead singer Bruce Dickinson. For more information, visit www.ticket.interpark.com or call (02) 1544-1555.
“Fran Healy Live in Seoul”: Scottish rock band Travis’ lead vocal and guitarist Fran Healy is to hold a solo concert in Seoul on March 18. Travis won the best new artist in Brit Awards in 1998 and the best rock band with its second album “The Man Who” in 1999. The band had its first concert in Korea in 2008. The show will be at V Hall in central Seoul at 8:30 p.m. Call (02) 332-3277.
“Corinne Bailey Rae Live Concert”: British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae is to hold her first solo concert in Korea at Ax Hall in Seoul on March 10. K-pop idol IU will also perform. The U.K. artist was here last year to participate in the Jisan Valley Rock Festival. Tickets are 110,000 won. Call 1544-1555.
2011 Tongyeong International Music Festival “Moving Dimension”: Under a new artistic director Alexander Libreich of Germany, the 10th Yongyeong International Music Festival will kick off on March 26. The theme, “Moving Dimension,” was suggested by Libreich based on Isang Yun’s work “Dimensionen.” The festival will feature stages by Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Isang Yun Competition winners Kim Jae-young and William Hong-chun Youn, jazz vocalist Nah Youn-sun, composer Chin Un-suk & Heiner Goebbels and more. The festival runs through April 1 in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 100,000 won. Call (02) 3474-8315.