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Fall winds blow Shakespeare to Korea

New local productions of ‘Macbeth,’ ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will provide a new twist on Shakespearean art for Korean audiences.

Oct 04,2007
A Rock Opera Hamlet” on Broadway.
Joseph Papp, founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival, liked to say, “Shakespeare wrote for the stage, not for the page.”
Three local production companies ― The National Opera of Korea, PMG Networks and Universal Ballet ― agree. This fall they will stage “Macbeth,” “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet,” respectively.
“Remaining faithful to the text, we adopted Macbeth and rediscovered Shakespearean art,” Kwon Kyung-ah, PR manager of The National Opera of Korea, said.
Characters have been double-cast. Opera singers Alexandro Agache and Yoo Dong-jik will play Macbeth, Georgina Lukacs and Seo Hae-yeon will play Lady Macbeth, Hahm Seok-hyun will play Banquo and Park Hyun-jae and Ryu Jung-pil will play Macduff.
“Macbeth isn’t widely recognized by the public compared to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Hamlet,’” Kwon said. “Despite the low name recognition, the performance will be a great artistic attraction.”
Macbeth will be staged at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera House (Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5) from Oct. 4 to 8 at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. on the weekend. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. For reservations, call 1588-7890.
“Hamlet,” another Shakespearean tragedy will run from Oct. 12 to Nov. 11 at the Universal Arts Center (Achasan Station, line No. 5, exit 4). Directed by Wang Yong-beom, actor Kim Soo-yong, Shin Sung-rok and Sung Doo-sup will play Hamlet with actress Shin Ju-yeon as Ophelia.

Romeo and Juliet” in Seoul. Provided by the organizers
“The Korean musical industry has rapidly developed over the past few years,” Kim Hong-jin, the PR manager of PMG Networks, said. “Various musical forms have been produced.”
“A Rock Opera Hamlet” is based on the original 2000 piece from Prague, Czech Republic.
“The musical has been a hit in the Czech Republic for the past 6 years and has attracted more than 10 million people,” Kim said. “Now, it’s in Korea. We dramatized the show to fit Koreans’ emotions.”
Shows are at 8 p.m. on weekdays (no show Mondays), 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 336-2360.
Seoul Arts Center will host the ballet “Romeo and Juliet” from Oct. 20 to 23.
“Romeo and Juliet appeals to the public without distinction of age or sex, East or West,” said Kim Bu-kyoung, the PR manager of Universal Ballet.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. everyday and at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call 1588-7890.


By Lee Eun-joo Contributing Writer



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