“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 bringing its performance of “Sleeping Beauty on Ice” to Korea. The award-winning cast of ice skaters soar through the air in stunningly 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 Province on Aug. 5 and 6. Ticket prices range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
“Don Quixote”: Following the Korean National Ballet’s production of “Don Quixote” in June, Korea’s Universal Ballet is scheduled to present its own rendition of the classic tale of humor and adventure. 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 Aug. 15-17 at the Chungmu Art Hall’s Grand Theatre in Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
|A scene from the Saint-Petersburg State Ballet on Ice’s production of “Sleeping Beauty on Ice.” (Courtesy of Saint-Petersburg State Ballet on Ice)|
“Prince Hodong”: The Korea National Ballet is slated to restage its production of “Prince Hodong,” an original work based on the traditional Korean tale “Princess Nakrang and Prince Hodong” ― a dramatic cultural tale of love, war and death. The ballet is a modernized retelling of the classic tale, combining elements of Western artistic culture with traditional Korean culture. “Prince Hodong” will be staged on Aug. 29 and 30 at the Sungnam Arts Center in Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
Opera “Tosca”: Korea’s Sol’Opera and Italy’s Rome Opera House are jointly presenting Puccini’s tragic opera “Tosca” for two nights at the Grand Theater of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. One of the most beloved operas, “Tosca” is a compelling story of love and death, revolving around the beautiful opera singer Tosca, who is in love with the artist Cavaradossi. The tragedy unfolds as chief of police, Scarpia, becomes infatuated with Tosca and stops at nothing to attain the object of his desire. The joint production features a predominantly Italian artistic team, including an Italian conductor, director, stage designer and costume designers, while three Korean singers have joined in the cast. “Tosca” will be staged at 8 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 5 p.m. on Aug 23. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 280,000 won. For more information, call 1544-9373.
|A poster for the opera “Tosca”|
“Midsummer Night’s Concert with Tchaikovsky”: Three up-and-coming Korean musicians have teamed up to present a night of music by the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky on July 24 at Seoul Arts Center. The three artists are violinist Lee Ji-hye, pianist Kim Joon and cellist Lee Sang-eun. Conductor Chung Chi-yong will hold the baton, with the KNUA Festival Orchestra, consisting of graduates of the prestigious Korea National University of Arts, performing with the three soloists a full program featuring Violin Concerto D major (Op. 35) and Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor (Op. 23). Tickets cost 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For details, call (02) 580-1300 or (02) 3487-0678.
“Great Mountains International Music Festival”: The annual Great Mountains festival will run from July 25-Aug. 5 under the theme of “O Sole Mio,” highlighting music from southern Europe ― namely Spain and Italy. A total of 12 concerts will take place at the Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, and another 10 in other cities in the province. Artists participating in this year’s festival include Spanish flamenco dancer Beln Cabanes; conductor Antoni Ros Marb; guitarist Xuefei Yang; soprano Kathleen Kim; mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong; violinists Svetlin Roussev, Clara-Jumi Kang, Kwun Hyuk-joo; cellists Jian Wang and Llus Claret; and pianists Kevin Kenner, Kim Dasol and Kim Tae-hyung. Cellist Chung Myung-wha and violinist Chung Kyung-wha, the festival’s coartistic directors, will also perform. For more information about the festival and its program, visit www.gmmfs.com.
“Wedding Shoes”: A musical about “comfort women,” Asian women who were forced into sex slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II, “Wedding Shoes” will begin its a Seoul run after its premiere in Daegu earlier this month. The musical tells the story of Soon-ok, a 16-year-old girl from a poor peasant family who is happily engaged to the love of her life, Yun-jae. On the day of their wedding, her humble but happy life turns into a nightmare as she is enlisted against her will to provide sex to Japanese soldiers at the war front. Yun-jae is conscripted into the Japanese army. Veteran musical actress Kang Hyo-sung plays Soon-ok, opposite Seo Beok-seok as Yun-jae. The cast also includes veteran TV actor Kim Jin-tae and singer Yoon Bok-hee. All cast and staff members are participating in the production pro bono and half of the proceeds will go to the House of Sharing, a shelter where surviving victims live together. “Wedding Shoes” will open on July 25 at Mapo Art Center and run through Aug. 17. Ticket prices range from 55,000 won to 99,000 won. For details, call (02) 420-2920.
|A scene from “Wedding Shoes” (Photo provided by producer Lee Jong-seo)|
“Dracula”: One of the most-anticipated musicals this season, “Dracula” raises its curtain on July 15 for a Korean premiere. With a score by Frank Wildhorn of “Jekyll & Hyde,” the musical is based on the original Victorian novel by Bram Stoker of the same title. Kim Jun-su, the hottest musical star in the scene, plays Count Dracula, who loves one woman for more than 1,000 years. Veteran actor Ryu Jung-han shares the role with Kim. It opens at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera House on July 15 and will run through Sept. 5. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 140,000 won. For details, call (02) 580-1300.
“Priscilla”: A jukebox musical from Australia, “Priscilla” is getting a Korean premiere. Full of well-known pop songs like “It’s Raining Men,” “True Colors,” “Material Girl” and “I Will Survive,” the show tells the story of two drag queens and a transsexual who travel from Sydney to a remote town in the Australian desert aboard their lavender bus, Priscilla, to put on a drag show. The cast includes Cho Sung-ha, a TV actor making his musical debut, Korean-American musical actor Michael Lee, 2AM member Jo Kwon and singer-turned-musical actor Lee Ji-hoon. “Priscilla” runs from July 8 through Sept. 29 at LG Arts Center near Exit No. 7 of Yeoksam Station. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For details, visit www.musicalpriscilla.co.kr or call 1577-3363.
“42nd Street”: The classic Broadway tap dance musical “42nd Street” is getting a Korean revival. Veteran actors and actresses Nam Jyung-joo, Kim Young-ho, Park Hae-min and Hong Ji-min have teamed up for the show, well known for its beautiful score and synchronized tap ensembles. It runs from July 8 through Aug. 31 at CJ Towol Theater at Seoul Arts Center, southern Seoul. For tickets and inquiries, call (02) 580-1300.
“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.
“A Tale of Two Cities”: A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Tale of Two Cities” is getting a third run in Korea since premiering 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 social 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 lead male 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.
“MOZART!”: An Austrian musical about the country’s greatest musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is starting its fourth run in Korea. “Mozart!” opened on June 11 and 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.
Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival: The annual Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, a three-day rock music fest, is one of the nation’s most popular summer music events. This year’s edition will include performances by popular English psychedelic-rock band Kasabian, Travis, Boys Like Girls and more to be announced soon. The festival will also include performances by a wide range of local bands including Dear Cloud, PIA and Romantic Punch. In its eight-year history, Pentaport has hosted internationally notable acts such as Korn, Snow Patrol, Hoobastank, Deftones, Placebo and Fall Out Boy. This year’s Pentaport will be held from Aug. 1-3. For information on ticket prices and reservations, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
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 two-day music 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.
|A Great Big World (A Great Big World offical website)|
Super Sonic: The upcoming Super Sonic 2014 music festival will be headlined by Brian May and Roger Taylor of the legendary English rock band Queen. Taking the place of the late Freddie Mercury will be Adam Lambert, the runner-up of season eight of “American Idol,” who has been filling the shoes of Queen’s former lead vocalist on and off over the past few years. Other acts of the night will include Phoenix, The 1975 and American singer-songwriter duo A Great Big World. Local bands No Brain, Crying Nut, Sultan of the Disco and Gateflowers are also slated to perform. Super Sonic 2014 will be held on Aug. 14 in the Auxiliary Stadium at Seoul’s Jamsil Sports Complex. Ticket prices range from 165,000 won to 240,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
AIA Real Life Now Festival: The inaugural AIA Real Life Now Festival will feature Lady Gaga, arguably the biggest global pop act, and some of the biggest names in K-pop. The upcoming two-day summer music festival will play host to worldwide pop phenom Lady Gaga; members of the YG Family including Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1; and American alternative-rock duo Twenty One Pilots, Crayon Pop, Galaxy Express and more. The festival will be held at the Jamil Sports Complex on Aug. 15 and 16. Ticket prices range from 126,000 won to 220,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
Busan Sea Festival: Live concerts, dance performances and fun activities will entertain vacationers who visit the five beaches of Busan during the Busan Sea Festival from Aug. 1-7. A spate of minor festivals will add to a festive mood on Haeundae, Gwanganli, Songdo, Songjeong and Dadaepo beaches. Highlights include a magic show at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 7, on Haeundae Beach; salsa dancing at 7 p.m. from Aug. 8-9; and a tango night at 7 p.m., Aug. 9, on Gwanganli Beach. For more information, visit www.seafestival.co.kr.
|Visitors enjoy the summer concert on Haeundae Beach during the previous Busan Sea Festival. (Busan Sea Festival)|
Keochang International Festival of Theatre: More than a dozen theatrical groups from countries around the world will present plays at outdoor theaters in the town of Wicheon, Geochang County, during the 26th Keochang International Festival of Theatre. The festival has played an important role in bringing local plays to a world audience and developing South Korea’s performing arts industry since 1989. Geochang also boasts beautiful scenery, and is surrounded by the famous Jirisan, Deogyusan and Gayasan mountains. The festival takes place from July 25 to Aug. 10. For further information, call (055) 943-4152 or visit www.kift.or.kr. (Yonhap)
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 re-created 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.
“Confession of a Mask”: This exhibition, titled “Confession of a Mask,” the name of a famous Japanese novel, asks whether confessions and secrets shared on social networking sites reveal who a person really is. With the increasing use of social networking platforms, more people are revealing their private lives online, but do their personal updates really reveal the truth? The dozens of participating artists are all attempting to answer this important question about the digital era. The exhibition runs through Sept. 14 at the Seoul National University Museum of Art. The admission fee is 3,000 won. For more information, visit snumoa.org.
|“Tragic Story with Happy Ending” by Regina Pessoa (Museum of Art, Seoul National University)|
“Shinseon Play”: This outdoor summer cooling spot, installed in the front garden of the Seoul Museum of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, is an architectural installation by Moon Ji Bang, a group of three architects that won the prestigious Young Architects Program run by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The installation is comprised of more than 30 white balloons which create shade where visitors can rest while sitting on benches. A mist of water from sprinklers cools off the hot summer air in a forest of high-rise buildings. It is on exhibit until Oct. 5. For more information, visit www.mmca.go.kr.
“Edvard Munch and the Modern Soul”: This exhibition presents 99 works by Munch created in diverse mediums throughout his artistic career, ranging from oil paintings, drawings and lithographs to photographs. They include Munch’s most famous works: “The Scream,” “Madonna,” “The Dance of Life” and “Starry Night.” The exhibition will be a good chance to gain insight into the artist’s life. The panoramic view of his works shows how his style changed over the course of his career, highlighting his gift to express emotions and characters in symbolic images. The exhibition will run until Oct. 12 at Hangaram Museum in the Seoul Arts Center. Tickets cost 15,000 won for adults, 12,000 won for teenagers and 10,000 won for children under 12. For more information, visit www.munchseoul.com.
“Zhang Xiaogang: Memory+ing”: Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang is holding a retrospective at Daegu Art Museum until Sept. 10. On exhibit are 105 pieces that range from earlier works made in the 1980s to 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.