SEOUL ARTS CENTER, Concert Hall
Today: “Rose Jang Pop Opera Concert.” American-born Rose Jang, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning classical crossover vocalist, is holding a solo concert in Seoul to promote Korean culture around the world. She will perform much-loved traditional Korean folk songs in English along with popular Broadway musical showtunes as well as opera arias.
Jang began studying piano, violin and singing at the age of 4 and has been praised by critics around the world for her vocal abilities. She reached No. 1 on the domestic and international music charts with her performance of the song “Memory” from the musical “Cats,” topping versions by both Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand.
The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Ticket prices range from 30,000 won ($26) to 200,000 won.
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5
(02) 580-1301, www.sac.or.kr
KT&G SANGSANGMADANG LIVE HALL
Feb. 28: “3rd Line Butterfly: Nine Days Tour.” Indie rock band 3rd Line Butterfly is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a nationwide tour that begins in Seoul.
The band’s members have long been players in the underground rock scene in Korea. Before forming 3rd Line Butterfly, band members played in top Korean indie bands Huckleberry Finn, Ppi Ppi Band and 99.
Their first album, released in 2000 and called “Self-titled Obsession,” was featured in the popular MBC drama “Ruler of Your Own World” and was an instant hit.
After a five-year lull, 3rd Line Butterfly released their fourth album. called “Nine Days or a Million,” in 2009. Sunday’s concert will also feature the indie bands Cocore, Goonamguayeoridingstella, and The Freaks. After playing at Sangsangmadang, they will continue on with their tour in Daegu and Busan.
The concert starts at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets range from 25,000 won to 30,000 won.
Hongik University Station, line No. 2, exit 5
(02) 330-6212, www.sangsangmadang.com/concert
LG ARTS CENTER
March 12: “Cafe de los Maestros.” Some of the greatest living tango stars will travel halfway across the world to perform in Seoul in March.
Cafe de los Maestros features some of the most prominent tango stars of Argentina from the 1940s and 1950s. The group’s members are now between 80 and 100 years old, and are still bringing the energy and passion of Latin music to audiences around the world.
The group was brought together by producer/writer Gustavo Santaolalla, famous for his Grammy Award-winning film scores. Cafe de los Maestros’ performances were documented in a 2008 film of the same name.
The group’s Seoul performance will feature tango music played with bandoneon, violin, piano, cello, double bass and more. Musicians that will perform include Fernando Suarez Paz, Luis Stazo, Juan Carlos Godoy and Anibal Arias.
The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from 40,000 won to 120,000 won.
Yeoksam Station, line No. 2, exit 7
(02) 2005-0114 , www.lgart.com
YONSEI UNIVERSITY CENTENNIAL HALL
March 16: “Melody Gardot: The First Live Concert in Seoul.” Having debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard charts and No. 1 on Japanese pop charts, American jazz singer Melody Gardot has swept the world with her music.
This young singer has attracted listeners through her heartfelt songs and tragic story.
Born in 1985, Gardot suffered a serious car accident at the age of 19 as she was riding her bike in the streets of Philadelphia. The accident caused her severe neural, spinal and pelvic injuries. She experienced temporary memory loss, where she couldn’t remember what she had done that same morning, and her eyes became hypersensitive, forcing her to rely on dark sunglasses for protection.
Despite her difficult physical conditions, Gardot has managed to overcome her hardships, going on worldwide tours and sharing her music with her fans.
The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from 77,000 won to 88,000 won.
Sinchon Station, line No. 2, exit 3 or 4
(02) 2123-3818, http://ycac.yonsei.ac.kr
To March 14: “Legally Blonde.” The Broadway musical based on the 2001 hit film “Legally Blonde” starring Reese Witherspoon will soon end its run here in Seoul.
The Korean production features an impressive cast including Honey Lee, the 2006 Miss Korea; Jessica, a member of the pop group Girls’ Generation; and actress Kim Ji-woo.
Each plays Elle Woods, who enters Harvard Law School and breaks the prevailing stereotype of a dumb blonde. Through her studies at Harvard, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.
The performances start at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets range from 40,000 won to 90,000 won.
Samseong Station, line No. 2, exit 6
(02) 738-8289, www.coex.co.kr
DAEHANGRO ARTONE THEATER
Ongoing: “Encore! University of Laughs.” “University of Laughs” is a play written by Japanese dramatist Mitani Koki. After its debut on stage in 1997, its huge popularity led to the making of a movie version in 2004.
The major theme of the play is the tension between censorship and an artist’s freedom of expression. Despite the seemingly serious topic, the play has a light, comical tone rather than a heavy political message.
The story begins with a young playwright, Hajime Tsubaki, during the 1940s after World War II.
The government sends him an order to delete all of the comical scenes in the play he is working on if he wants to see the play performed. As he rewrites it, he realizes that the play keeps getting better and better with the revisions.
The Korean version of University of Laughs will star actors Jung Woong-in, Jung Gyeong-ho and more.
The performances start at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 3 and 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets range from 20,000 won to 40,000 won.
Hyehwa Station, line No. 4, exit 2
(02) 762-0010, www.theatergroupeda.com
March 5 to 28: “The Sopalovic Traveling Theater.” Serbian poet and playwright Ljubomir Simovic’s award-winning play “Putujuce Pozoriste Sopalovic,” or “The Sopalovic Traveling Theater,” is coming to Seoul.
The play is set in Serbia, during a scorching summer in World War II. A traveling theater visits a Nazi-occupied Serbian town to perform a play. But the police locks the troupe up for being too rowdy. The actors insists on continuing with their performance as planned.
Organizers of the Myeongdong performance hope that Koreans will reflect on their own experiences with war and occupation after seeing the play, drawing parallels between the Serbian experience and the Korean one.
The Korean production will include the talents of producer Lee Byeong-hoon, music director Jeong Je-il, along with actors Cho Young-jin, Lee Jeong-mi, Kim Myeong-su and Hwang Yeon-hee.
The performances begin on 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets cost 20,000 won to 50,000 won.
Myeongdong Station, line No. 4, exit 6 or Eul-jiro 1-ga Station, line No. 2, exit 6
GOYANG ARAM NURI ARTS CENTER, Aram Opera House
March 13 to April 4: “Miss Saigon.” The musical that BBC calls “a wonderful timeless score” is coming back to Korea. Based on Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly,” this epic production centers on the romance between a strong-willed Vietnamese woman and an American soldier during the Vietnam War.
After making waves on Broadway, the musical came to Korea in 2006. That first run had over 250,000 viewers and ranked No. 1 most for the popular musical in 2006 by Ticketlink.
The performances will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays. Beginning March 21, there will be additional performances at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets cost from 35,200 won to 99,000 won.
Jeongbalsan Station, line No. 3, exit 3
Korean Basketball League
Mobis Phoebus vs. KT&G Kites
Ulsan Dongchun Stadium, 7 p.m.
KCC Egis vs. KT Sonic Boom
Jeonju Indoor Stadium, 7 p.m.
ET Land Elephants vs. Samsung Thunders
Incheon Samsan World Stadium, 7 p.m.
KT Sonic Boom vs. Daegu Orions
Busan Sajik Stadium, 7 p.m.
LG Sakers vs. KT&G Kites
Changwon Indoor Stadium, 7 p.m.
Samsung Thunders vs. KCC Egis
Jamsil Indoor Stadium, 3 p.m.
ET Land Elephants vs. Dongbu Promy
Incheon Samsan World Stadium, 3 p.m.
Mobis Phoebus vs. SK Knights
Ulsan Dongchun Stadium, 5 p.m.
Dongbu Promy vs. KCC Egis
Wonju Chiak Stadium, 3 p.m.
Daegu Orions vs. KT&G Kites
Daegu Indoor Gymnasium, 3 p.m.
LG Sakers vs. SK Knights
Changwon Indoor Stadium, 5 p.m.
KT Sonic Boom vs. ET Land Elephants
Busan Sajik Stadium, 3 p.m.
Samsung Thunders vs. Mobis Phoebus
Jamsil Indoor Stadium, 3 p.m.
Daegu Orions vs. LG Sakers
Daegu Indoor Gymnasium, 5 p.m.
SK Knights vs. Dongbu Promy
Jamsil Students’ Gymnasium, 7 p.m.
JEJU JEONGWOL DAEBORUM FIRE
FESTIVAL, Jeju Island
Feb. 26 to 28: The Jeju Jeongwol Daeboreum Deulbul Festival, which has been designated twice as the best festival by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, will celebrate its 14th anniversary this year.
The festival originates from the Jeju Island tradition of breeding cattle. Pastures grazed on by the cattle needed to be well tended, so Jeju farmers started setting fire to the pastures between late winter and early spring in order to destroy the old grass and kill any harmful insects in the fields.
The Jeongwol Daeboreum Deulbul Festival takes these old traditions and updates them for our modern lifestyle. The major programs include a torchlight march, a straw rope-making competition, rock lifting and setting fire to the oreum, or high hills.
From Seoul, take a boat or plane to Jeju Island.
(064) 728-2751, www.buriburi.go.kr
SAMCHEOK JEONGWOL DAEBOREUM FESTIVAL, Gangwon
Feb. 26 to 28: The Daeboreum festival celebrates the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. The Gangwon version of this festival began in 1973, and has become an important part of the province’s annual celebrations.
The initial festival featured folk games and prayer services for good harvests in the new year. This year’s festival will include some of the same traditional folk games, such as tug of war, and a chance to see the beautiful scenery of Gangwon.
From Seoul, catch a bus from Express Bus
Terminal to Samcheok.
(033) 570-3224, http://eng.samcheok.go.kr
CHEONGDO BULLFIGHTING FESTIVAL, North Gyeongsang
March 17 to 21: Korea has a long tradition of bullfighting. The province of North Gyeongsang, in particular, has a bullfighting competition that dates back 1,000 years, and is now the home of the country’s largest bullfighting festival.
The highlight of the Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival is the bullfighting competition, in which over 100 bulls compete.
The festival programs include a competition between the Korean and Japanese teams. There will also be a U.S.-style rodeo featuring members of the armed forces who are stationed in Korea, and a performance by the U.S. rodeo team.
From Seoul Station, take a train to Cheongdo Station to reach the festival venue.
(054) 370-6376, www.xn--hq1bj5xh5aw0hv6i.kr/
Event information is culled from the Korea Tourism Organization and other online sources.