The Korea Herald


Star-studded outdoor opera put to test

By Korea Herald

Published : Aug. 22, 2012 - 20:01

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Local production company of ‘La Boheme’ cancels two shows due to sluggish ticket sales

The cast is amazing: The combination of the three top names ― maestro Chung Myung-whun, prima donna Angela Gheorghui and rising star Vittorio Grigolo ― has already mesmerized audiences, even before the curtain goes up next week.

However, ADL, a local production company that brought these celebrities together for outdoor opera “La Boheme,” admitted on Wednesday that its sales have failed, forcing the company cancel two of the four shows scheduled next week.
Angela Gheorghiu (left) and Vittorio Grigolo pose for photo at a press conference held in Seoul, Wednesday. (ADL) Angela Gheorghiu (left) and Vittorio Grigolo pose for photo at a press conference held in Seoul, Wednesday. (ADL)

“We had to make the painstaking decision to cancel two shows due to failure in ticket sales. The ticket sales were low because of bad weather and bad economy, and partly because of controversy of us presenting highly priced tickets,” Park Pyeong-joon, president of ADL, told reporters in Seoul. VIP seats are priced at 570,000 won.

“But we won’t give up on the two other shows despite a huge loss,” Park said. Discounted tickets for limited seats ― seats with restricted views ― are offered now through online markets to make up the loss, the company said.

Artists at the press conference on Wednesday encouraged Park, saying that they will make the show the best ever.

“I heard that the production company is suffering (from bad sales) but I’m sure we’ll overcome this hardship. This isn’t just an ordinary show but very special. We will make the show very successful,” said Grigolo who is in Korea for the first time.

The 34-year-old tenor said his acquaintanceship with Chung, who has musically inspired him for many years, led him to come to Korea.

“Like Vittorio has said, we’ll all be fascinated by the beautiful music produced by the best artist, conductor and producer,” said Gheorghui.

The Romanian opera singer said she chose “La Boheme” because she wanted to celebrate a year full of “La Boheme.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of her international debut at the Royal Opera House.

“This is also my debut stage because I am performing with maestro Chung for the first time,” she added.

Chung, who is leading Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra for the opera, said the upcoming shows will contribute much to the development of the country’s opera production.

“I think this is a case of good investment. I believe many Koreans are born with vocal talents and therefore we need to support opera (singers and productions). And having this kind of performance featuring world-class opera singers is a rare opportunity for many,” Chung said.

“La Boheme” will be held at the Amphitheater at Yonsei University in Seoul on Aug. 28 and Sept. 1. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 570,000 won. For reservations, call 1544-1555 or 1544-6399.

By Cho Chung-un (