*Universal Ballet: Universal Arts Center
To Dec. 31: The Universal Ballet is back with “The Nutcracker,” a traditional Christmas performance that cannot be missed.
“The Nutcracker,” composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, premiered in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and has been loved since then as a Christmas ballet for the past 124 years.
The Universal Ballet premiered the piece in Korea in 1986, and performances of the piece have sold out every year for the past 30 years.
The performance starts at 4 and 8 p.m. on weekdays; 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m. on Sundays. There is no performance on Mondays.
Tickets range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won.
Achasan Station, line No. 5, exit 4
Seongnam Arts Center, Concert Hall
Dec. 24-25: Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” will be performed by the Dongseoyang Opera Troupe. Since its premiere in 1896, the piece has been recognized as one of the most notable opera pieces in history. The story is based on French novelist Henri Murger’s “Scenes de la Vie de Boheme,” depicting the life of four needy bohemians - Rodolfo the poet, Marcello the painter, Schunard the musician, and Colline the philosopher.
The four men live together in an old attic, and one day appears a beautiful woman named Mimi. Rodolfo soon falls in love with her, but as his love deepens, Mimi’s fatal disease gets more and more serious.
The performance starts at 5 p.m.
Tickets range from 25,000 won to 45,000 won.
Imae Station, Bundang line, exit 1
*Korean National Ballet: Seoul Arts Center, Opera Theater
To Dec. 25: The Korean National Ballet is also presenting “The Nutcracker” in its version that is adapted from the ballet choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich. He worked as the art director of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater from 1964 to 1995.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and at 2 and 6 p.m. on weekends. There is no performance on Monday.
Tickets range from 5,000 won to 90,000 won.
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5
Kwanglim Arts Center, BBCH Hall
To Feb. 5: A jukebox musical based on the music of Neil Sedaka is bound to mesmerize not only audiences in their 20s or 30s but older generations as well. The setting is the United States in 1960s, where Marge is about to get married to her first love. But on her wedding day, her groom Leonard appears, only to declare that their love is over.
Marge’s best friend Lois takes her brokenhearted friend on a vacation to Paradise Resort, where Marge planned to honeymoon.
During their vacation, the two women run into the resort’s star singers Del and Gabe, a shy worker at the resort.
Along with the four, other friends, Harvey and Esther, join along to add to the excitement at Paradise Resort.
Harvey works at the resort as the MC for its show, and Esther is an attractive owner at the resort. Harvey has been in love with Esther for 20 years, but has never managed to show his feelings for her.
The performance starts at 8 p.m. on weekdays; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won.
Apgujeong Station, line No. 3, exit 4
LG Arts Center
To Mar. 5: The hit 1992 film “The Bodyguard” was turned into a stage musical in 2012, which will be presented in Seoul.
The musical features songs that are familiar to the ears of both the young and old, such as “One Moment in Time” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
For the upcoming production in Korea, veteran musical actress Jeong Sun-ah and singers Lee Eun-jin, also known as the singer Yangpa, and Son Seung-yeon, have been cast as Rachel Marron. Actors Lee Jong-hyuk and Park Sung-woon will alternate the role of Frank Farmer.
The show starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; at 3 and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays; 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and at 2 and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays. There is no performance on Mondays.
Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won.
Yeoksam Station, line No. 2, exit 7
LENA PARK: “LET IT SNOW”
Olympic Park, SK Handball Stadium
Dec. 24-25: The so-called national R&B diva Park Jung-hyun, also known as Lena Park, is returning to the stage to celebrate the end of the year.
For the past few years, Park has held annual year-end concerts with different male artists such as YB, Kim Bum-soo, Fly to the Sky, and many more.
This year, however, she has organized a solo concert.
Despite the fact that almost two decades have passed since its release, the songs on her album “Piece,” like “P.S. I Love You” and “My Day,” live on, touching the hearts of many listeners.
The concert starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets range from 88,000 won ($734) to 143,000 won.
Olympic Park Station, line No. 5, exit 3
ECHAE KANG CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, M Theater
Dec. 25: Singer-songwriter Echae Kang surprised many with her recent solo album “Radical Paradise.” Listeners were enthralled by the harmony Kang’s dreamlike voice formed with the classical sound of the violin. Kang is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and she showcases works that range across diverse genres, from classics to jazz.
Her music has been well received among listeners, with one of her songs having marched up to third place in the K-IndieChart, a music chart for indie music.
The concert is to be accompanied by jazz pianist Yoon Seok-cheol and bandoneon player Koh Sang-ji.
The concert starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets cost 45,000 won.
Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 8
Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall
Dec. 24-25: Yuhki Kuramoto is once again ready to celebrate the holiday season with Christmas carols played on the piano. Every year since its first show in 2009, “Yuhki Kuramoto & Friends” has been one of the most popular ways for Korean families, friends and couples to get into the holiday mood.
This year, violinist Shin Zia, pictured above, and pianist Ji will join the stage to add to his soft melodies.
Shin will be performing “The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughan Williams as well as a duet with Kuramoto. Ji is to play “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.
The Korea Coop Orchestra will also be sharing the stage with the three musicians.
The concert will be held at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets range from 33,000 won to 120,000 won.
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5
JANG BEOM-JUNE YEAR END CONCERT
Ewha Womans University, Grand Hall
Dec. 30-31: Singer-songwriter Jang Beom-june is getting ready to warm up audiences’ hearts through his year-end concert.
Along with his solo activities, Jang is also a member of the band Busker Busker, which is famous for its grand hit “Cherry Blossom Ending,” a song that captures the atmosphere of spring.
Jang has held a total of 24 shows this year, all of which were sold out.
Drawing in a total of 25,000 fans, Jang has been much acclaimed for his well-made performances, and will wrap up this glorious year with a final show.
The concert starts at 8 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Tickets range from 88,000 won to 99,000 won.
Ewha Womans University Station, line No. 2, exit 3
METALLICA WORLDWIRED TOUR 2017 SEOUL
Gocheok Sky Dome
Jan. 11: The nine-time Grammy Award winning rock band Metallica is commencing their Asian tour in Seoul, marking four years since their latest performance in the country in 2013. The comeback is in celebration of their newest album, “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” which was released on Nov. 18.
The band was formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, and has grown into one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history. When Metallica held a concert in Antarctica, it even earned itself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first act to play on all seven continents within a year.
The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from 99,000 won to 165,000 won.
Guil Station, line No. 1, exit 2
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Theater
Dec. 27: Writer Lee Moon-youl’s novel “Geumsijo” (1981) is revived through traditional Korean music. The Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Music Orchestra premiered the show in 2014, and is staging it for the third time this year.
The novel revolves around the conflict between painter Seokdam and his student Gojuk, contemplating about the essence and real meaning of art. Baritone Jang Cheol is to take the role of Seokdam, and sorikkun (pansori vocalist) Ahn I-ho is taking the role of Gojuk.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets range from 10,000 won to 30,000 won.
Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 8
NEW YEAR’S EVE GUGAK CONCERT
Gangdong Arts Center, Grand Theater
Dec. 31: Gangdong Arts Center has organized a traditional Korean music performance as its New Year’s Eve concert.
The sounds of gayageum (traditional zither), piri (traditional flute), haegeum (traditional string instrument) and many more Korean instruments will fill the air, providing a unique way to celebrate the New Year.
After two sets of music performances, spectators will get to gather around at the outdoor garden to ring in the New Year. The event will consist of the countdown, photo shoots, balloons and making New Year’s resolutions.
The performance starts at 10 p.m.
Tickets range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won.
Godeok Station, line No. 5, exit 4
NEW YEAR’S EVE PANSORI CONCERT
National Theater of Korea, Daloreum Theater
Dec. 31: The National Theater of Korea invites people to welcome the New Year with a pansori (traditional narrative singing) stage. Pansori master Ahn Sook-sun will sing another pansori in full this year, mesmerizing the audience with her touching vibrato and witty storytelling skills.
The performance starts at 9 p.m.
Tickets cost 30,000 won.
Dongguk University Station, line No. 3, exit 2 for the shuttle bus, or bus No. 02 or 420 to the National Theater of Korea bus stop
*Event information collected from the Korea Tourism Organization.
Tickets are available at ticket.interpark.com/global or by calling 1544-1555.