|A scene from “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness” (Universal Ballet Korea)|
“Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness”: Kicking off the 2015 ballet season, the Universal Ballet Korea will be staging Nacho Duato’s “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness” as its season opener. The 1999 ballet is one of Duato’s best-known works and landed the choreographer the prestigious Benois de la Dance prize. As a homage to one of classical music’s greatest, Johann Sebastian Bach, the two-act ballet tells the story of Bach’s music by combining both baroque music and modern choreography. Almost dance touches up Bach and his music in the first act before transitioning to the last phases of Bach’s life including his death. The Universal Ballet Korea’s upcoming performance of “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness” will be held at the LG Arts Center in Seoul from March 19-22. For more information on the upcoming performance, visit www.universalballet.com.
“Giselle”: The Korean National Ballet will be kicking off its 2015 season with its opening performance of one of the ballet world’s most classic and beloved tales of love and heartbreak in “Giselle.” One of the most reprised and haunting ballet masterpieces of the Romantic era, “Giselle” touches upon the full spectrum of human emotions including happiness, love, heartache, pain and fiction’s ultimate example of forgiveness. Giselle is an emotionally and physically fragile village girl who falls hopelessly in love with her prince charming whose world becomes shattered after finding out that she was not the only woman in her man’s life. The KNB’s production of “Giselle” will be held at the Seoul Arts Center from March 25-29. For more information, visit www.kballet.org.
“Taming of the Shrew”: One of William Shakespeare’s most iconic comedic tales of love and cunning deceit, the ballet rendition of the “Taming of the Shrew” will be staged the Korean National Ballet as part of the company’s 2015 repertoire. The plot follows the storyline of the less-than-desirable Katherina ― “the shrew” ― frightens away any potential romantic suitors, while her younger and far more desirable sister, must halt her searches for a husband until her sister is married off first. The two-act ballet based one of Shakespeare’s classics will be performed from April 29 to May 3 at the Seoul Arts Center. For more information, visit www.kballet.org.
“Tragedie”: French-based troupe Ballet du Nord will be staging its erotic production of “Tragedie” in Korea for the first time in April. From the mind of French choreographer Oliver Dubois, “Tragedie” is a contemporary yet provocative three act-ballet featuring a total of 18 nude men and women. The age-restricted show ― 19 and up ― centers on the theme of social restriction and rediscovery of humanity. “Tragedie” will be performed for two days on April 10 and 11 at the Seongnam Arts Center’s Opera House. Ticket prices range from 20,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, visit www.snart.or.kr.
|A promotional image for the changgeuk performance of “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” (National Theater of Korea)|
“The Caucasian Chalk Circle”: The National Changgeuk Company of Korea is staging a changgeuk version of the play “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” written by German playwright Bertolt Brecht. Korean-Japanese playwright and stage director Jung Eui-shin will direct the changgeuk ― traditional Korean opera based on pansori ― to tell a parable about the peasant girl Grusha, who rescues a baby abandoned by his wealthy mother Natella during the war. The changgeuk performance will be staged at Haeoreum Theater of the National Theater of Korea in Seoul from March 21-28. Ticket prices run from 20,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4114.
“Gone with the Wind”: After a Seoul run, the Korean rendition of the French musical “Gone with the Wind” will tour major cities including Busan, starting March 17 at Busan Citizen’s Hall. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name and its 1939 film adaptation, the musical premiered in Paris in 2003. The touring production stars Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun and singer-turned-musical actress Bada as Scarlett O’Hara, opposite actor Joo Jin-mo and musical star Kim Pub-lae as Rhett Butler. For details, call 1577-3363.
“Kyung-sook, Kyung-sook’s Father”: Set in the post Korean War, the award-winning play centers on a family, consisting of the father, who leaves the family at the outbreak of the war, the mother, who loves and hates her husband, and their daughter Kyung-sook. The heartwarming narrative, helmed by award-winning director Park Geun-hyung, was also broadcast as four-episode TV drama series six years ago. The play runs from March 6 to April 26 at the Soohyunjae Theater in Daehangno, Seoul. Tickets are 40,000 won and 25,000 won for students. For more information, call (02) 766-6506.
“Phantom”: An American musical based on Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel “Phantom of the Opera” is getting a Korean premiere in April, with singer Park Hyo-shin and international soprano Im Sun-hae in the lead roles. Produced by Seoul-based EMK Musical Company, the Korean rendition of “Phantom” will first raise the curtain on April 28 at Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul. It will continue through Aug. 2. Tickets cost 50,000 won to 140,000 won. For details, call (02) 577-6478.
“Dreamgirls”: Korea-U.S. joint production musical “Dreamgirls” is back for its second run in Seoul since 2009. The musical has been adjusted from the original 1981 Broadway version to include famous melodies such as “Listen,” which was also in the 2006 eponymous cinema hit, starring Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson. It’s a story of a young African-American singing trio in the 1960s reaching stardom, overcoming obstacles. “Dreamgirls” runs through May 25 at Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 14,000 won. For more information, call 1588-5212.
“Notre-Dame de Paris”: The original French production of the musical “Notre-Dame de Paris” is currently touring Korea, marking the 10th anniversary of the show’s Korean premiere in 2006. Based on French writer Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame,” the musical tells the story of Quasimodo, a hunchback who dwells within Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and falls in love with the beautiful gypsy dancer Esmeralda. The touring show will stop by Ulsan and Gwangju before heading to Busan, where it will run until March 20 at Sohyang Theater. For details, visit www.mastent.co.kr.
“Das Musical: Robin Hood”: The story of Robin Hood, one of the most popular English folk heroes, will be staged as a musical in Korea. Based on the original German production by Andrea Friedrich and Hans Holzbecher, Korean director Wang Yong-beum helms the star-studded musical starring actor Yoo Joon-sang, Yoseob of K-pop idol group Beast, Kyuhyun from idol group Super Junior and musical actor Um Ki-joon. The Korean rendition runs through March 29 at D-Cube Arts Center, which is connected to Sindorim Station. Ticket prices range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 764-7857.
“Once”: The Korean production of “Once” is being staged at Seoul Arts Center. Based on the 2006 film of the same title, the original Broadway musical won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including best musical of the year. For its Korean version, veteran rocker Yoon Do-hyun will share the lead role. He will play Guy, an Irish street musician and vacuum cleaner repairman who falls in love with Girl, a Czech flower seller. Both Yoon and musical actor Lee Chang-hee will play the role, while two emerging musical actresses, Jeon Mi-do and Park Ji-yeon, will play Girl. “Once” continues through March 29 at the 1,000-seat CJ Towol Theater in Seoul Arts Center. Ticket prices range from 60,000 won to 120,000 won. For details, call (02) 577-1987.
|Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney Facebook)|
Ed Sheeran: Up-and-coming English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is making waves in the music industry as one of the decade’s notable breakthrough artists. In 2011 he released his debut album, “+,” which went certified quintuple platinum in the U.K. The album featured the hit singles “The A Team” and “Lego House” and helped him snag two gongs at the 2012 Brit Awards. Earlier this year he released his second album, “X,” and landed himself a Grammy nod for Album of the Year. Sheeran will be performing his first concert in Korea on March 8 at Seoul Olympic Park’s SK Olympic Handball Stadium. Ticket prices are listed at 121,000 won and 143,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
“Christina Perri The Head of Heart Tour in Seoul”: Christian Perri is an American singer-songwriter known for her 2010 debut single “Jar of Hearts.” The song appeared on the popular dancing reality show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and went on to sell more than 3 million copies worldwide. A year later she released her debut album “Lovestrong” and went on to release her hit single “A Thousand Years.” The song featured in the Blockbuster film “Breaking Dawn Part 2” of the Twilight Saga. The singer-songwriter will be giving a special performance, which includes a meet-and-greet session for VIP ticket holders, on March 10 at the Yes24 Muv Hall in Seoul. General standing ticket prices are listed at 99,000 won with VIP tickets listed at 154,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
Bobby McFerrin: Bobby McFerrin, a 10-time Grammy Award winning jazz and classical vocalist and conductor, is returning to Korea for two solo concerts on March 10-11 at LG Arts Center in Seoul. He will sing songs from his latest album ‘Spirityouall’ as well as some of his hit songs including “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Tickets cost 40,000 to 130,000 won. For details, call (02) 2005-0114 or visit www.lgart.com.
“Paul McCartney Out There”: One of the rock world’s most legendary figures Paul McCartney will be performing his first show in Korea on May 2. McCartney needs no introduction as the ex-Beatle and rock and roll hall of famer has solidified himself as one the most recognized musicians in the world. The 73-year-old rock icon was originally slated to perform in his show in Seoul last May, however canceled the show after falling ill. The musician is now picking off where he left off and will be making his way to Korea are part of the Hyundai Card Super Concert series. McCartney will be performing live at the Jamsil Sports Complex Olympic Stadium. Ticket prices range from 55,000 won to 300,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
|“The Encounter” by Bill Viola (Kira Perov/Kukje Gallery)|
Bill Viola: Renowned media artist Bill Viola is holding his third solo exhibition in Seoul. The exhibition at Kukje Gallery features seven video installations, including one of his recent “Martyrs” series, which is on permanent exhibit at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. On exhibit also includes the 5-meter video work “Inverted Birth,” showing a man deluged by fluids that slowly change color. The exhibition offers an overview of Viola’s work between 2005 and 2014 and his endeavor to challenge our understanding of time-based imagery. The exhibition runs through May 3. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.
“The Story of Bohemian Glass”: A special exhibition titled “The Story of Bohemian Glass” features a collection of some 340 glasswork items on loan from Prague National Museum and Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The rich history of the Czech Republic and Bohemian glass art can be traced through an eclectic series of vases, stained glass, tea sets, jewelry, and sculpture, all crafted from multicolored glass over the years. The display is available at the National Museum of Korea from Feb. 10 until April 26. Admission is free. For inquiries, call (02) 2077-9000.
“Roaming in Nature”: Opera Gallery Seoul is holding a solo exhibition of French artist Andre Brasilier, featuring 20 paintings inspired by nature, horses and women. The 86-year-old has brought together his major works from the late 1970s and eight paintings created in 2014. Born in the historic town of Saumur, western France, Brasilier rose to fame after receiving the Prix de Rome de Peinture at age 23. In 2005, he became the first French artist to hold an exhibition at Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, one of the oldest and largest museums in the world, and founded in 1764. In his paintings, he has attempted to depict the close bond between humans and nature. The exhibition runs from March 4-31 at Opera Gallery Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3446-0070.
“Shooting the Elephant/Thinking the Elephant”: Yang Haegue’s first exhibition in Korea in five years is centered around her thoughts on nature and community. The exhibition features woven straw sculptures in the form of a Mayan pyramid, a Russian Islamic mosque and various structures that represent indigenous cultures ― a way for the artist to highlight the disappearance of folk culture in the modern world. Other works include “Storage Piece,” a pile of boxes containing Yang’s earlier works. The exhibition runs through May 10 at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul. An English guided tour is available at 2 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call (02) 2014-6901.
Portraits of independence activists: The Independence Hall of Korea is presenting a special exhibition of portraits in celebration of 70 years of Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial rule. The images of 11 key independence activists, including Kim Gu and Kim Chwa-chin, have been restored through traditional Korean portraiture techniques and put on display. Until now, independence activists have been difficult to research due to the Japanese’s obliteration of many of their pictures. The exhibition runs until March 29. For inquiries, call (041) 560-0114.
“Millet, Barbizon and Fontainebleau”: Four masterpieces of Jean-Francois Millet depicting farmers and shepherds will be on view in Seoul for the first time. The exhibition started in Boston and stopped in Japan before arriving in Seoul on Jan. 23. The 64 paintings include major works by Millet and his contemporaries of the Barbizon School, a critical art movement that bridged realism and impressionism. The exhibition runs until May 10 at Soma Museum in Seoul. Admission is 14,000 won for adults, 10,000 won for teens and 8,000 won for children. For more information, visit www.milletseoul.com or call 1588-2618.
|The Sixteen (LG Arts Center)|
The Sixteen: The Sixteen, a U.K.-based choral ensemble famous for performing early music and baroque masterpieces, is coming to Korea for its first concert. Accompanied by its founder and conductor Harry Christophers, the group will perform a wide repertoire, extending from 16th-century Italian composers Palestrina and Allegri to contemporary James McMillan. The concert will take place on March 13 at LG Arts Center. Ticket starts from 40,000 won. For details, visit www.lgart.com
“Andrea Chenier”: The Korea National Opera is opening the 2015 season with Umberto Giordano’s four-act opera “Andrea Chenier,” with directing, costumes, stage designs and choreography by Stefano Poda. It will be staged from March 12-15 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. Ticket prices range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won and can be purchased online at interpark.com.
Seoul Metropolitan Chorus: The Seoul Metropolitan Chorus, under the baton of Kim Myung-yup, will present Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s “Stabat Mater” together with organist Shin Dong-ill at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ Grand Theater on March 19. The program also includes Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” Cesar Franck’s “Piece Heroique” and additional pieces by famous choral masters. Ticket prices range from 10,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 399-1777.
Woon-Hyung Lee Foundation: The Woon-Hyung Lee Foundation for culture and arts is presenting its first concert in commemoration of Lee Woon-hyung, the late chairman of SeAH Group and a dedicated patron of the opera. At the March 18 concert, world-class classical singers Samuel Yoon, Betsy Horne and Jung Soo-yeon and others will sing famous opera arias from “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Falstaff.” The 70-minute concert will take place at 8 p.m. at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera House. For details, visit woonhyungleefoundation.org.
Park Kyu-hee solo recital: International classical guitarist Park Kyu-hee is holding her first solo recital in Seoul on March 12 at LG Arts Center in southern Seoul. The Seoul-born guitarist has accumulated a number of international accolades, including the first prize at the 2007 Printemps de la Guitare international competition in Belgium and the first prize at the 2012 Alhambra International Guitar Competition in Spain. Ticket costs 33,000 won to 77,000 won. For details, call (070) 7579-3660.
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra: The Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, RSB), the oldest active radio orchestra in Germany, founded in 1923, will perform at Seoul Arts Center on March 13. Under the baton of polish conductor Marek Janowski, it will perform Weber’s “Oberon Overture,” Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto” and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Famed German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann will join the concert as soloist. Tickets cost 50,000 won to 240,000 won. For more information, call (02) 599-5743 or visit www.vincero.co.kr.
Gustavo Dudamel & LA Philharmonic: Gustavo Dudamel, one of the most sought-after conductors, will lead the LA Philharmonic Orchestra in two Seoul concerts in March. They will perform at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on March 25 and 26. The program consists of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor, John Adams’ “City Noir” and Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 340,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6303-1977 or visit www.sac.or.kr.