Classic stage works hit movie screens

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 26, 2014 - 21:04
  • Updated : Mar 26, 2014 - 21:04
More operas, ballets and classical music concerts are coming to movie screens in Korea, offering a chance to watch and listen to world-renowned artists at a fraction of the cost.

Megabox, the nation’s largest cinema chain, is launching a new program Thursday, showing famed pianist Lang Lang’s solo recital held at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November last year.

Arguably one of the most beloved living pianists, Lang Lang mesmerized the 5,300 audience members who filled the prestigious British concert hall with a program of Chopin and Mozart.

“This is the latest in our efforts to introduce the most memorable classical concerts which have captivated aficionados,” said Kim Hyo-jin, an official at the cinema chain. “It is a chance to experience superb classical music concerts, which rarely take place in Korea, at your nearby cinema.” 
Posters for a production by New York’s Metropolitan Opera of Puccini’s “Tosca” (left) and pianist Lang Lang’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Both are currently showing at Megabox cinemas. (Megabox)

“Lang Lang Live in London” is showing at 11 Megabox theaters ― including Coex, Banpo, Dongdaemun and Mokdong ― in Seoul and seven other locations throughout Korea. Tickets are priced at 20,000 won.

The cinema chain has been screening operas produced by the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera. This month, it is showing Puccini’s “Tosca,” the third in its “The Met: Live in HD 2014” series.

Conducted by Riccardo Frizza, the opera is the tragic tale of a passionate and beautiful singer Floria Tosca (played by Patricia Racette), who is in love with a handsome young artist, Cavaradossi (played by Roberto Alagna). However, she is chased by the lustful chief of police, Scarpia (played by George Gagnidze).

It will be showing at five locations, including COEX, KINTEX and Dongdaemun, and tickets are 30,000 won, with a 50 percent discount offered to teenagers.

Next up in the Met opera series is Verdi’s comic opera “Falstaff” in April, followed by Dvorak’s “Rusalka” in May and Borodin’s “Prince Igor” in June.

The Seoul Arts Center, the nation’s top venue for classical concerts, ballets and operas, is pushing for a similar project titled “SAC on Screen.”

Following the screening earlier this month of “The nutcracker” by the National Ballet Theater in November last year, the center plans to take its filmed ballets and operas to other cultural performance venues across the country.

“On April 3, we will film the play ‘Mephisto’ for the SAC on Screen project. The ballet ‘Giselle’ and opera ‘Soulmate’ will also be shown as high-definition films when they are staged,” said Chung Da-mi, an SAC official.

By Lee Sun-young (