“Don Quixote”: Following the Korean National Ballet’s staging of “Swan Lake” this past April, the company is gearing up to present it latest production, a resurrection of Marius Petipa’s classical tale of humor, “Don Quixote.” Based on the eponymous novel by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, the ballet version first made its premiere more than 260 years ago and has since become one of the ballet world’s most beloved comical productions. “Don Quixote” will run from June 26-29 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. Tickets range from 5,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, visit www.sacticket.co.kr.
A scene from the Korean National Ballet’s production of “Don Quixote” (Korean National Ballet)
“Madama Butterfly”: Austria’s Innsbruck Dance Company is presenting its production of “Madama Butterfly” for three nights from July 4 at Seoul Arts Center in Seoul. An adaptation of Puccini’s famous opera of the same name, the work was premiered in October last year in Austria. Kang Sue-jin, a principal dancer at Stuttgart Ballet and artistic director of the Korean National Ballet, will have the lead role in all three performances. Ticket prices ranges from 40,000 won to 200,000 won. For details, call 1577-5266 or visit www.clubbalcony.com.
“Sleeping Beauty on Ice”: The ice ballet rendition of “Sleeping Beauty” has captivated audiences for decades since its premiere in St. Petersburg, Russia. Founded in 1967, the Saint-Petersburg State Ballet on Ice will be continuing its long-held tradition by bring its performance of “Sleeping Beauty on Ice” to Korea. The award-winning cast of ice skaters soar through the air in stunning visual twists and turns in their ballet-inspired choreography of the classic children’s tale. The performance will take place at the Uijeongbu Arts Center in Gyeonggi-do on Aug. 5 and 6. Ticket prices ranges from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
Monni Rock Concert Vol. 3: The local rock band Monni debuted in 2005 with the studio album “The First Day, the Light.” Since then, the band has slowly climbed out of the small-time local club scene to play at some of the country’s most popular summer rock festivals. It has been nearly three years since Monni released a full studio album, and the group is making its return with its third album, “Follow My Voice.” Monni will put on a concert at the Gunpo Art Center in Gyeonggi Province on June 29. For more information on ticket prices and reservations, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
g.o.d. 15th Anniversary Reunion Concert: The newly reunited ’90s K-pop idol group g.o.d. will be embarking on a nationwide concert tour starting in July. After more than 12 years apart, the five original members of g.o.d. made their highly anticipated comeback in May with their newest single “The Lone Duckling.” The K-pop veterans are slated to hold concerts on July 12 and 13 at the Jamsil Sport Complex’s Auxiliary Stadium in Seoul, before moving on to Gwangju, Busan, Daegu and Daejeon in August. Ticket prices range from 99,000 won to 143,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
The American rock band Hoobastank is set to perform at the Hyundai Card City Break festival on Aug. 9. (Hoobastank Facebook)
Hyundai Card City Break: The newly inaugurated Hyundai Card City Break music festival is returning for its second year and is slated to be headlined by big-name artists Maroon 5 and Psy, along with many other notable acts. This year’s City Break festival promises to bring in more than 30 acts, with its first lineup including American rock guitarist Richie Sambora, U.S. indie-rock band The Neighbourhood and local talents Lee Juck and Nell. Last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 75,000 rock fans and included performances by Metallica, Muse, Iggy and The Stooges, and Limp Bizkit, among others. The festival will be held on August 9 and 10 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Tickets are listed at 230,000 won for a two-day pass, and Hyundai Card members will receive a 20 percent discount. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
Boryeong Mud Festival: The festival will take place from July 18-27 on Daecheon Beach, Boryeong. It is one of the most popular local festivals, and attracts millions of visitors to the southern town of Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province. Fun activities await visitors who are ready to get muddy doing mud wrestling, mud sliding and running a marathon on a mud flat. Organizers will set up a “prison” for those whose bodies are not covered in mud. Mudpacks are complimentary. Boryeong mud is known to contain plenty of minerals that restore the skin’s radiance and facilitate natural skin peeling. For more information, www.boryeongmudfestival.com.
Revelers pose for photographers at the 2013 Boryeong Mud Festival. (Boryeong Mud Festival)
2014 Daegu Chimac Festival: Following last year’s success, the Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival will return in July. The event devoted to the all-time Korean favorite combination of chicken and beer will be held from July 17 to 20 at Daegu Duryu Stadium. This year’s edition has invited local fried chicken brands such as Hosik’s Two Chicken, CHC Food Industries Co., Chicken Party and more. The festival will hold a contest to choose the best sauce for fried chicken. Applicants are to present fried chicken with soy sauce, spicy sauce, mustard sauce, low-sodium sauce and others. Visitors as well as judges will taste the presentations. Foods and beverages other than beer and chicken will also be available throughout the festival. For more information, visit www.chimac.or.kr.
Pohang International Fireworks Festival: Splendid fireworks will decorate the coastal skyline of Pohang at the 10th Pohang International Fireworks Festival from July 26 to Aug. 4. Visitors will be able to watch fireworks every night from 9 p.m. to 9:05 p.m. On July 27, the firework show will last longer as international fireworks teams will compete in a contest from 8:50 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. The fireworks will be visible along Yeongildae Beach and at the Hyeongsangang River Sports Park. Concerts and cultural performances will be held at two venues, adding to the festive mood. Various hands-on craft activities will be available as well. For more information, visit http://piff.ipohang.org.
Mokpo Maritime Cultural Festival: This festival celebrates the local sea culture with a 1,897 m parade that circles the Mokpo ferry terminal. An old-time fish market will be recreated to hold a traditional fish auction. Old bars, restaurants and theaters will be installed in the market. Other programs include a 400 m swim at Samhakdo Port and 5 km and 10 km marathons. Across the festival area, street food vendors will offer various local specialties. The festival will run from Aug. 2-3 at various places around Mokpo ferry terminal. For more information, visit www.mokpofestival.com.
“Flower”: Flower still lifes are so common that few people find them special. Two artists challenge such stereotypes with new painting methods and new interpretations of traditionally popular flowers among Koreans, such as peonies, chrysanthemums and apricot flowers. The two painters are New York-based Ahn Sung-min and Im Young-sook. They make modern interpretations of flowers. Flowers are portrayed as sweet deserts such as lollipops, ice cream and macaroons. Flowers fill an empty ceramic rice bowl. The exhibition is held from June 25 to July 12 at Samteo Gallery in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. For more information (02) 3675-3737.
“Paeonia” by Ahn Sung-min (Samteo Gallery)
“Zhang Xiaogang: Memory+ing”: Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang is holding a retrospective at Daegu Art Museum until Sept. 10. It exhibits 105 pieces that range from earlier works made in the 1980s and his latest human sculptures. Some major works include “Tian’anmen No. 2,” which is said to be the most expensive painting on display at the exhibition, and the famous “Bloodline: Big Family” painting series. His most recent works include sculptures of people and objects depicted in his previous paintings. The admission fee is 5,000 won for adults, 3,000 won for teenagers and 2,000 won for children. For more information, visit www.daeguartmuseum.org.
“Malfunction Library”: Artists in their 30s and 40s are holding an exhibition to present their critical views on the deluge of information and suggest alternative ways to produce and consume information. It is part of an exhibition series of the Seoul Museum of Art that showcases works by young artists in the middle of their careers. The artists offer different perspectives on information overload. Artist Kim Kyoung-ho touches on two forms of information, original and edited. Having worked at the Korean bureau of Iranian Press TV, Kim displays two versions of news footage ― the original, which he filmed, and the scenes edited for broadcast. Intangible information becomes visible in Kim Hwang’s “human library,” featuring one-on-one interviews with people on social issues. The exhibition continues through Aug. 3 at the Seoul Museum of Art. For more information, call (02) 2124-8868.
“A Dream I Dreamed”: Major works by celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama are on exhibit at Seoul Arts Center. The exhibition showcases about 120 works, including new pieces such as a room and a tulip installation covered in colorful polka dots. Her signature yellow “Pumpkin” sculpture and paintings are also on display. The exhibition, which started at Daegu Art Museum last year, will travel to China, Macau, Taiwan and India after the Seoul exhibition. Seoul Arts Center recommends booking in advance to avoid waiting in line. Reservations are available online at www.interpark.com. The museum also provides free admission for children accompanied by guardians on Mondays until the end of May. Up to two children per adult are granted free admission. For more information, call (02) 580-13000.
Ensemble DITTO: The famed ensemble DITTO will hold a concert on June 29 as part of this year’s DITTO Festival, which brings together young and talented musicians to make chamber music. DITTO, consisting of violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, violinist Stefan Pi Jackiw and cellist Michael Nicholas, will team up with Parker Quartet of the U.S. for the concert. It will be held at Seoul Arts Center. Tickets start at 25,000 won. For details, visit www.dittofest.com.
Piano recitals by Ben Kim, William Youn: Kumho Art Hall presents two piano recitals on July 3 and 10 from 8 p.m. On July 3, American pianist Ben Kim, the winner of the 55th ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 2006, will perform compositions of Mozart and Chopin, including Mozart’s 12 Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je maman (Shall I tell you, mother?)” for Piano in C major, K. 265., widely known for its use of the familiar tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” On July 10, William Youn will take the same stage with a program of Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D.960, and Liszt’s “La Serenade,” S.559a, and Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178.
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra: French conductor Yves Abel will lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in performing works by French composers including Ravel and Bizet. The program features, among others, both of Maurice Ravel’s piano concertos with American pianist Nicholas Angelich. The concert will start at 8 p.m. on July 4 at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Ticket prices run from 10,000 won to 70,000 won. For details, call 1588-1210.
Conductor Yves Abel (Seoul Philharmonic)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande: One of Switzerland’s primary orchestras, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande will hold its first concert in Seoul in 23 years on July 15 at Seoul Arts Center. Led by rising Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada, the orchestra will play Swiss composer Arthur Honegger’s “Pacific 231,” which is rarely performed here, a Tchaikovsky violin concerto with Clara Jumi Kang as soloist and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” Op.35. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 240,000 won. For details, call (02) 599-5743.
“A Tale of Two Cities”: A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Tale of Two Cities” is getting a third run in Korea. Premiered here in 2012, the musical tells the story of Sydney Carton, a shrewd young English lawyer who develops a strong, unrequited love for Frenchwoman Lucie Manette. It is set against the conflicts between rebels and aristocrats during the French Revolution and the parallels in 18th-century London. Actors Seo Bhum-seok, Lee Kun-myung and Han Ji-sang will share the male lead role. It runs from June 25 through Aug. 3 at Haeorum Theater of the National Theater of Korea in Seoul. Ticket prices range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For details, call 1577-3363 or visit www.twocities.co.kr.
A poster for “A Tale of Two Cities” (BOM Korea)
Daegu International Musical Festival: A total of 17 musicals, including four foreign works and two multinational ones, will run at various performing arts venues in Daegu as part of the 8th Daegu International Musical Festival. Highlights are “Mata Hari” from Slovakia, “Mama, Love Me Once Again” from China, “Monte Cristo” from Russia and “Lost Garden” by a five-nation creative team led by Korean producer Soh June-young. Four original Korean shows will get their premieres during the 17-day fest, which includes “Wedding Shoes,” a musical about comfort women, Korean women who were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. For more information about the festival, visit www.dimf.or.kr.
“Black Box”: This play takes places entirely inside a plane that is about to crash. Under the theme of “The truth unknown until we experience a crash,” the play portrays the vicissitudes of life and anxiety as two seatmates on a plane carry on a conversation. Acclaimed poet and performance artist Kim Kyung-ju wrote the play, combining poetic dialogue with flashes of black humor. “Black Box” runs from June 6-29 at Studio 76 in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. All tickets cost 20,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3676-3676.
“MOZART!”: An Austrian musical about the country’s greatest musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is starting its fourth run in Korea. “Mozart!” which opened on June 11, will run through Aug. 3 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. Veteran musical actor Im Tae-kyung will play Mozart, as he did in the three previous productions, sharing the role with Park Eun-tae and singer-turned-musical actor Park Hyo-sin. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 130,000 won. For details, call (02) 6391-6332 or visit www.musicalmozart.co.kr.
“Cats”: The original production of the Broadway classic “Cats” is having its first Korean run in six years. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011, is the second-longest-running show in Broadway history. It tells the story of the Jellicles, a tribe of cats who assemble for their annual junkyard gathering at which one is chosen to be reborn to a new life. One by one, the kittens take center stage to make their case for rebirth, singing and dancing. “Cats” runs from June 13 through Aug. 24. It will be staged at Blue Square in Itaewon-dong, Seoul. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363 or visit www.musicalcats.co.kr.
Play and Dance Art Festival: A hybrid performance of dance and theater will be staged at various venues in Seoul as part of the fourth Play and Dance Art Festival. The opening piece, film director Lee Jangho’s “God’s Eye View,” is reinterpreted to fit the Arko Arts Theater in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul, with an emphasis on the themes of life and peace. A total of 150 dancers, directors and actors will take part in the festival, which will be held from June 10 to July 20. All tickets cost 20,000 won. For more information, call (02) 521-8286 or visit www.padaf.co.kr.
“Miss France”: Popular TV and film actress Kim Sung-ryung is returning to the stage after seven years, starring in “Miss France,” a Korean adaptation of the French comic play “Jamais 2 Sans 2.” She appears as Fleur de Senlis, the president of a local pageant committee in France and a former contest winner. The character loses the ability to speak after learning that the winner of last year’s pageant posed nude for an obscene magazine. “Miss France” runs from May 15 to July 13 at Soohyunjae Theater in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. All tickets cost 50,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555.