In rare full show, Puccini opera to be staged at Korean festival
“I agonized over whether I should select this piece or not,” said Lee So-young, president of Sol Opera Company, which will present “Il Tritico” during the upcoming sixth Korea Opera Festival. “It’s a very difficult opera for a private opera company to stage on its own.”
As the three operas come as a set, there is no doubt that the production cost is high. It is also difficult to draw in the approximate 50 singers required for leading and supporting roles in the three pieces at once, which is likely why it has been nearly a decade since “Il Tritico” was last staged in Korea as a tripartite piece- its premiere here.
All three segments have not been shown together anywhere in the world for the past five years.
“The three operas are very different,” said Lee. “The atmosphere and staging of the first piece is totally different from the second, and second from the third.”
The government financially supports companies selected for the Korea Opera Festival, which is why Lee’s Sol Opera Company decided on “Il Tritico.”
“It’s not to be missed,” said Lee. “It may be unfamiliar, but it doesn’t get staged very often around the world. Also, this is the final opera of Puccini as he died while he was writing ‘Turandot,’ which his student completed. In many ways it is very significant for us to stage this opera.”
The state is funding five of the opera companies participating in the event, which starts from Friday and runs to June 7 at the Seoul Arts Center.
To appeal to both opera aficionados and newcomers to the genre, the organizing committee said it has carefully selected the lineup and planned out the program.
Excluding Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” by the Muak Opera, others including Rossini’s “Mose” by the Seoul Opera, Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur” by Nuova Opera and “King Jumong” by the Korea National Opera are all quite new, even to avid fans of the genre.
In order to popularize opera, which has been criticized for being boring and hard to understand, the organizing committee said it has prepared several outdoor programs for the public.
“We’ve worked for the past five years to revitalize the production of operas made in Korea while popularizing the genre,” said Choi Nam-in, the chair of the organizing committee.
“Although we have a long way to go to make this into a real festival where the whole city is in a festive mood, we believe we have the potential. With the support, we believe we can achieve that goal in the near future.”
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [firstname.lastname@example.org]