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Korea Opera Festival kicks off in May

By Korea Herald

Published : April 18, 2012 - 18:02

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A scene from the Korea National Opera’s “Soulmate,” an adaptation of the Korean novel “Wedding Day.” (KNO) A scene from the Korea National Opera’s “Soulmate,” an adaptation of the Korean novel “Wedding Day.” (KNO)
The country’s five leading opera companies will hold a month-long festival in May at the Seoul Arts Center.

Titled “Korea Opera Festival,” the state-funded Korea National Opera and four private opera companies ― New Seoul Opera Company, Grand Opera Company, Nuova Opera Company and Seoul Opera Company ― are participating in the annual event. The festival kicks off May 6 and ends June 8.

In its third year, the five companies will stage not only popular opera repertoires from Europe but also homegrown opera programs at SAC’s Opera Theater.

Korea Opera Festival opening day will see the five companies staging highlights of operas they are to perform during the festival.

From May 11 to 13, New Seoul Opera Company will stage Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” followed by Nuova Opera’s “The Tale of Hoffmann,” a French opera by Jacques Offenbach, from May 18-20.

Grand Opera plans to stage Puccini’s “Tosca,” featuring opera singers from La Scala, a world- renowned opera house in Milan. Soprano Francesca Patane, tenor Maurizio Saltarin and baritone March Chingari will play the main roles of the opera, offering a chance for the audience to appreciate the original Italian opera, festival organizers said.

Seoul Opera Company will perform Verdi’s “La Traviata” from June 1-3 while the Korea National Opera will wrap up the festival with its own creations.

The national opera, which recently staged “La Boheme” as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, will perform a collection of operas inspired by Korean legendary tales.

From “Opera Chunhyang,” the country’s first opera staged in 1950 to “Prince Hodong,” the first opera performed by the National Opera in 1962, the company will stage highlights of creative Korean opera from June 7-8.

Tickets for the Korea Opera Festival range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 586-5285.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)