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Theater

“Bungee Jumping in Their Own”: A musical adaptation of filmmaker Kim Dai-seung’s 2001 unusual romance “Bungee Jumping of Their Own” is currently being performed in Seoul. The 2001 film featured late actress Lee Eun-joo and hallyu heartthrob Lee Byung-hun, and deftly linked the themes of magic and curse of first love, reincarnation and even homosexuality. The show tells the story of a man who lost his first love to a car accident in the 1980s. The show runs until Nov. 17 at Doosan Art Center. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, visit www.doosanartcenter.com 

A scene from “Music Show Wedding” (PMC Production)
A scene from “Music Show Wedding” (PMC Production)
“Music Show Wedding”: Popular musical producer Song Seung-hwan, whose 1997 non-verbal piece “Nanta” became a global hit, has returned with another foreigner-friendly work. Titled “Wedding,” Song’s latest musical is also non-verbal; its actors and actresses sing, dance, act and play over 20 musical instruments. The one-of-a-kind performance is specifically designed to draw foreign audiences. The show is a comical theatrical portrait of an ordinary Korean wedding, where the bride’s father isn’t particularly fond of his future son-in-law. Song follows the groom’s hilarious efforts to impress his father-in-law before the wedding ceremony, mixed with rhythmic music and dance. “Wedding” runs until Dec. 31 at Music Show Wedding Theater in Hongdae area of Seoul. For tickets and information, call (02) 739-8288.

“Notre-Dame de Paris”: The Korean rendition of the famous French-Canadian musical “Notre-Dame de Paris” is currently being performed in Seoul. Based on French writer Victor Hugo’s popular novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame,” the musical tells of Quasimodo, a deformed hunchback who dwells within the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and falls deeply in love with a beautiful gypsy dancer, Esmeralda. Local stars Yoon Hyeong-ryeol and Hong Gwang-ho are sharing the role of Quasimodo, while Bada and Yoon Gong-ju share the role of Esmeralda. “Notre-Dame de Paris” runs until Nov. 17 at Blue Square’s Samsung Electronics Hall. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555.

“Wicked”: After playing an unhappy Austrian empress (Elisabeth) and a mysterious, obsessive housekeeper (Rebecca), musical actress Oak Ju-hyun has now been cast to play the famous green-skinned witch in Broadway musical “Wicked.” The upcoming run, featuring an all-Korean cast, is the first Korean-language edition of the musical. The musical tells the story of two very different witches in the Land of Oz ― green-skinned, struggling and often-alienated Elphaba and beautiful and popular blonde Glinda. The show is a ravishing spectacle and fantasy, mixed with a touching account of one’s experience of a difficult youth, life-changing friendship and growing up. “Wicked” will open on Nov. 22 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.

Festivals
A display of lanterns at the 2012 Seoul Lantern Festival (Seoul Lantern Festival)
A display of lanterns at the 2012 Seoul Lantern Festival (Seoul Lantern Festival)

“Seoul Lantern Festival”: Thousands of light installations inspired by the landscape and history of Baekjae (B.C. 18-A.D. 660), a kingdom known for its extravagant and opulent artifacts, will be on view along a 900-meter stretch of the Cheonggyecheon Stream in central Seoul from Nov. 1-17. The annual lantern festival organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government will feature programs such as lantern-making sessions for adults and children and a make-a-wish event. An online lucky draw offers gifts such as North Face down jackets, drawings on Korean mulberry paper and coffee coupons to those who leave reviews of the festival on social media pages. For more information, visit www.visitseoul.net. (Korean and English are both available)

“The Garden of Morning Calm Chrysanthemum Exhibition”: More than 300 kinds of chrysanthemum are on view in the 33,000-square-meter outdoor Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi Province. The garden is designed to reflect the beauty of a Korean traditional garden in harmony with surrounding nature. The exhibition ends on Nov. 30. For more information, call (031) 584-6701, or visit www.morningcalm.co.kr.

“Gunsan International Migratory Bird Festival”: Bird-lovers will flock to Gunsan International Migratory Bird Festival from Nov. 22-24 to see migratory birds at the vast mudflats and reed fields in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province. The festival offers a rare chance to observe more than 50 kinds of winter migratory birds, often flying in spectacular formation, at the bird-watching area built on the banks of the Geum River. The festival features hands-on programs such as craft-making sessions for children. For more information, call (063) 454-5680, or visit http://www.gmbo.kr.


Exhibitions

A wedding photo of a Korean couple taken during the Japanese colonial era (Seoul Photo Festival)
A wedding photo of a Korean couple taken during the Japanese colonial era (Seoul Photo Festival)

“Seoul Photo Festival”: The Seoul Photo Festival unveils a rare compilation of portraits of Seoul citizens that date from 1883 as 2013. The photo exhibition features more than 600 portraits showing scenes behind major historical and social events in Seoul from the Japanese colonial era (1910-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), rapid economic development (1960-1980) and diverse social aspects of today such as the shift to a multicultural society.

The photo exhibition is on view until Dec. 1 at Seoul Museum of Art in Deoksugung-gil, Seoul. For more information, visit seoulphotofestival.com.

“Jesus and Deaf Lamb”: One of the most famous biblical scenes ― baby Jesus in the arms of Mary surrounded by wise men from the East ― doesn’t feature the usual Western biblical representation in the late artist Woonbo Kim Ki-chang’s Jesus paintings. At a thatched-roof house, a home for commoners in the Joseon period (1392-1910), Jesus appears as a happy child in the arms of Mary, wearing a rainbow-striped jeogori ― the traditional Korean jacket for children. The Eastern wise men worshipping the newborn are dressed in official robes of Joseon ministers. Such paintings interpreting Jesus in Korean culture are on view at Seoul Museum’s “Jesus and Deaf Lamb” exhibition that marks the centennial birthday of the artist Kim Ki-chang (1914-2001) at Seoul Museum in Buam-dong, Jongno, Seoul until Jan. 19, 2014. For more information, (02) 395-0100 or visit www.seoulmuseum.org.

“Waiting Room”: Wooden utility poles cut through a gallery space from one end to the other in a new exhibition of Brazilian artist Carlito Carvalhosa in Seoul. The poles, each measuring 8-12 meters long, pierce through the gallery walls at Kukje Gallery in Jongno and extend to the bottom of the floor while supporting other poles delicately placed one on top of another. The position of wooden poles in a white cube triggers questions among viewers as his past works did by transforming everyday materials and familiar space into unfamiliar things. The exhibition is on view at Kukje Gallery’s K3 in Jongno, Seoul, until Nov. 12. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.

“Video Vintage”: An extensive video art collection is on exhibit at the Gwacheon Museum of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. A total of 72 video works that date from the early 1960s to 1980s examine the birth of video art, its expansion into other media in art and connection with the television era. Highlights include “Button Happening” by Nam June Paik, “The New Wave” by Fred Barzyk, “The Eternal Frame” by ANT FARM and T.R. Uthco. The exhibition continues through Dec. 31. For more information, visit www.mmca.go.kr.

“The Sleep of Reason”: British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman hold their first exhibition in Seoul at SongEun Art Space in Apgujeong until Dec. 7. The artists, known for some gruesome images in their artworks, have brought major pieces for the exhibition, including 19th-century portraits of wealthy men and women retouched by the artists to make their faces look as if they are decomposing. “Unhappy Feet” features innumerable miniatures of penguins that turn into predators and kill whales, polar bears and walruses in the South Pole. The adorable penguins in the movie “Happy Feet” are transformed with bloodstains around their mouths, preparing to attack a polar bear. For more information, call (02) 3448-0100.


Classical music

Berliner Phiharmoniker concert poster (Kumho Asiana Culture Foundation)
Berliner Phiharmoniker concert poster (Kumho Asiana Culture Foundation)

“Berliner Philharmoniker”: The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Sir Simon Rattle, will perform at Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall on Nov. 11-12 featuring Schumann’s Symphony No.1; Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1; Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps,” Boulez’s “Notations pour orchestra,” and Brukner’s Symphony No. 7. Established in 1882, the orchestra has remained as one of the most powerful orchestras under the helm of legendary maestros including Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado and this time, Rattle. Tickets are priced between 70,000 won and 450,000 won. For more information call (02) 6303-1977.

“Magdalena Kozena’s Private Musicke”: Mezzo soprano Magdalena Kozena will perform at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall on Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. Dubbed as the “First Lady of Classical Music” for her skillful vocals and her marriage to maestro Sir Simon Rattle, Kozena will perform a total of 18 pieces, including Vitali’s “O bei lumi,” Marini’s “Con le Stelle in Ciel” and Monteverdi’s “Si dolce e il tormento.” Kozena garnered international attention when she won the International Mozart Competition in 1995 and became a member of Vienna Volksoper. Tickets are priced between 50,000 won and 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 599-5743.

“Jean-Guihen Queyras Cello Recital”: Famed cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras will hold his first recital at the LG Arts Center on Nov. 13. He will perform Witold Lutoslawski’s “Sacher Variation”; Magnus Lindberg’s “Stroke”; Kurtag’s “Jelek II Op. 5b,” “Arnyak,” “Az hit,” “Pilinszky Janos: Gerard de Nerval” and “In memoriam Aczel Gyorgy”; Bach’s Suite for Cello No. 3 in C major; and Kodaly’s Sonata for Solo Cello Op. 8. Queyras has previously performed with the internationally acclaimed Paris, Philadelphia, Netherlands Philharmonic and Tokyo Symphony orchestras and has released several recordings on Bach, Elgar, Haydn and others. Tickets are priced from 40,000 won to 80,000 won and reservations can be made at www.lgart.com. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114.

“Rigoletto”: “Rigoletto,” one of the most popular operas by Italian opera master Verdi, will be staged at the Seoul Arts Center Opera Theater from Nov. 22 to 24, with a star-filled cast including George Gagnidze taking the title role of Rigoletto and Elena Mosuc as Gilda. This will be the first time for both world-class singers to perform in Korea. Stefan Pop, the “new Pavarotti,” will be appearing as Duke of Mantova. Internationally acclaimed Verdi specialist Bruno Aprea will participate as the conductor leading the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra and Mario De Carlo will direct the drama. The “dream team” performed at La Scala in November last year. The opera portrays a tragedy among court jester Rigoletto, his daughter Gilda and playboy Duke of Mantoba. For more information, call (02) 542-0350.


Pop music

“Busker Busker”: Superstar K3 runner-up Busker Busker brewed up a storm with its latest second studio album. Shortly after the album was released, all nine of its tracks were ranked No. 1-No. 9 on most major online music services. In commemoration of the group’s follow-up album, Busker Busker has kicked off a nationwide tour and will be performing two concerts in Seoul on Nov. 1 and 2. Busker Busker’s upcoming Daegu show will be held at the Daegu EXCO with ticket prices listed from 77,000 won to 99,000 won. The band’s Seoul concerts will be held at the Gymnastics Stadium at Seoul Olympic Park. Ticket prices range from 77,000 won and 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.

“Parov Stelar Band”: DJ Parov Stelar, one of the pioneers behind the concept of mashing together new- and old-school music, will be returning to Seoul and his band in the group’s first solo concert in Korea. Although the band has performed in Seoul on number of occasions as part of the line-up for various jazz festivals, including the annual Seoul Jazz Festival, this time the Parov Stelar Band is bringing its brass and rhythm infused electronic sounds in a full solo concert. With the band’s unique style of swing-time pop and electronica, Stelar is credited as creator of the “electro swing” genre. The Parov Stelar Band will be performing on Nov. 13 in the Olympic Hall at the Seoul Olympic Stadium at 8 p.m. Tickets to the show range from 99,000 won to 110,000 won. For more information, visit www.interpark.com.

“Sensation: Wicked Wonderland”: “Sensation” is a live music and performance event that was first developed in Amsterdam 13 years ago. Over the years the event, which has been referred to as “The biggest club on Earth,” grew in popularity and has been brought all over the world to more than 30 countries and has been seen by millions. This year’s Sensation with the theme of “Wicked Wonderland” will be held on Nov. 30 at KINTEX in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online, with prices ranging from 99,000 won to 200,000 won. VIP packages are also available. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com

Official poster for the “2013 Psy Concert All Night Stand” to be held Dec. 20-22 and on Christmas Eve at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. (YG Entertainment)
Official poster for the “2013 Psy Concert All Night Stand” to be held Dec. 20-22 and on Christmas Eve at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. (YG Entertainment)
“2013 Psy Concert All Night Stand”: Psy will be ringing in the holiday season by holding a special four-day solo concert series in December. The upcoming performances will mark his first concert in Korea in nearly eight months after his globally broadcast “Happening” show in April, where he attracted around 45,000 concert goers and more than 130,000 fans who tuned in online for the live feed. The rapper has been busy this year promoting single “Gentleman,” which has also been nominated for the Video of the Year award at this year’s inaugural YouTube Music Awards. Psy’s special four-day solo concert series will be held from Dec. 20-22 and on Christmas Eve at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. Tickets can be purchased online, with prices ranging from 77,000 won to 165,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.


Dance

“Schwanengesang”: Local troupe Lee Tae Sang Dance Project is presenting “Schwanengesang,” which deals with young victims of sexual abuse. Choreographer Lee’s work has been featured at International Munchen Festival in Germany, International Kontakt Budapest Dance Festival in Hungary, and ImpulsTANZ Vienna Dance Festival in the past. “Schwanengesang” runs from Nov. 29 to 30 at Gangdong Arts Center in Seoul. All tickets cost 30,000 won. For more information, email ballet0639@hotmail.com 

A scene from “The Nutcracker” (UBCthe)
A scene from “The Nutcracker” (UBCthe)
“The Nutcracker”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is getting ready to attract fans with its popular rendition of “The Nutcracker.” First performed by UBC in 1986, the show is based on 19th-century German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann’s version of the story and French ballet choreographer Marius Petipa’s dance. UBC has cast some of its finest dancers, including principal dancers Hwang Hye-min and Eom Jae-yong. The show, which tells the story of a young girl’s favorite Christmas toy coming alive and whisking her away to a magical kingdom, is one of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet compositions along with “Swan Lake” and “Sleeping Beauty.” The show runs from Dec. 20 to 31 at Universal Art Center in Neung-dong, eastern Seoul. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, visit www.uac.co.kr.

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