National opera gala features gems from repertoire

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National opera gala features gems from repertoire

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Idomeneo (Kim Jae-hyung), center, tries to kill his son Idamante (Yang Song-mi), right, as llia (Lim Sun-hye) tries to stop him in “Idomeneo,” one of the works in the Korea National Opera’s gala at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul. Provided by the Korea National Opera


The end of the year often brings performances of old favorites.

To send off the old year and bring in the new, the Korea National Opera is presenting its “Adeiu 2010, Hello 2011 Gala,” featuring encore performances from the opera company’s repertoire and previews of the company’s upcoming season. The gala will be presented at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater on Dec. 29 and 30.

In the spirit of the season, many of these operas revolve around love. Love between couples, affection among family members and love of country dominate the works, though each is set in its own time and space.

The first half of the program includes “Idomeneo” by Wolfgang Mozart, which was presented in January, and “Lulu” by Alban Berg, which completed its successful run in November.

While “Idomeneo” tells the story of love between a princess and prince whose fathers are enemies in war, “Lulu” is set in more modern times and tells the tale of a woman who goes from being popular to total despair, with many affairs in between.

Also included in the first half are arias from “Lucia di Lammermoor” by Gaetano Donizetti, “Macbeth” by Giuseppe Verdi and “Orfeo ed Euridice” by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

The second part of the show features previews of works from next season, including “The Flying Dutch Man” by Richard Wagner and “Simon Boccanegra” by Giuseppe Verdi.

Both operas will be performed in full next year and will be the highlight of the company’s season, according to Hyuny Kang, director of the KNO’s public relations department.

Though the songs and costumes will be created in full for the gala, the sets will not. Instead, the singers will be framed by simplified sets enhanced by video images.

“For those anxiously waiting for new performances, this gala concert will be a good way to explore the performances that will decorate the opera landscape next year,” said Kang.

*Performances start at 8 p.m. on Dec. 29 and 30 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won ($26.48 to $44.13).

Go to Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5. For details, go to www.nationalopera.org.


By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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