Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall
May 13: Pianist Son Yeol-eum is holding her first recital in Seoul in four years. The pianist will play pieces by Robert Schumann, one of her favorite composers, including “Arabesque in C major (Op. 18)” and “Fantasie in C major (Op. 17).”
All of the pieces were reportedly written during a turbulent time in the German composer’s life.
After the Seoul concert, Son will head down to Busan for another show.
The pianist made a name for herself after she won the second prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011, when she was 25.
Apart from performing as a pianist, Son has been serving as the music director for local music festivals. Most recently, she took part in Music in PyeongChang, a classical music festival held biannually in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon, as an artistic director.
The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from 30,000 won ($24) to 100,000 won.
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5.
National Theater of Korea, Daloreum Theater
May 14-24: Marking the 70th anniversary of the National Changgeuk Company of Korea this year, the all-time classic “Chunhyang” is returning to the stage with some new touches.
The changgeuk or traditional Korean opera, is based on “Chunhyangjeon” or “The Tale of Chunhyang.”
Set in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), this changgeuk tells the story of the noble and pure love that Chunhyang has for Mongryong. Although the two belong to different classes, Mongryong and Chunhyang know that they are meant to be for each other at first sight. As Mongryong goes to Seoul to pursue his studies, however, the young lovers are separated by distance.
Meanwhile, a corrupt magistrate comes into the office and forces Chunhyang to become his concubine.
The show starts at 8 p.m. during weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends. There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won.
Dongguk University Station, line No. 3, exit 6.
May 16-17: The annual Beautiful Mint Life music festival, in its 11th year, has begun selling tickets for its two-day event. The festival is best known for featuring a refreshing roster of local indie musicians, and this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint.
According to organizers, this year’s lineup includes a wide variety of musicians from veterans to up-and-comers. Some of the performers include 10cm, who broke onto the music scene in 2004, Jang Beom-june and Paul Kim, pictured. Other artists who will take the stage include Peppertones, O.When and Zitten.
The concert starts at 11 a.m. on both days.
A one-day ticket costs 88,000 won, while a two-day ticket costs 140,000 won.
Olympic Park Station, line No. 5 or 9, exit 3.
SWAG AGE: SHOUT OUT JOSEON!
Hongik Daehangno Art Center, Grand Theater
Through May 24: Set in the Joseon Dynasty, “Swag Age: Shout Out Joseon!” revolves around a sijo (traditional poetic format) competition of denizens.
The musical is based on the premise that sijo is part of the country’s ideology, but people are not allowed to write or recite sijo. But for the first time in 15 years, the ban has been lifted. To commemorate the return of sijo, a nationwide competition is held, and people relieve their pent-up desire for freedom and equality through their own poems.
Although actors are clad in shaggy hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), the musical blends gukak (traditional Korean music) with hip-hop and a traditional mask dance originated from the Bongsan region of Hwanghae Province in North Korea with street dance of today.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, audiences are required to wear masks throughout the show.
The musical starts at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. There are no shows on Mondays.
Ticket prices range from 66,000 won to 88,000 won.
Hyehwa Station, line No. 4, exit 3 or Jongno 5-ga Station, line No. 1, exit 2.
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Theater
May 23 -24: May is often dubbed “Family Month” in Korea as it is full of days especially for parents and children. This year, May will also include a show full of sumptuous songs from a series of popular Disney animated feature films like “The Little Mermaid” (1989), “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), “The Lion King,” (1994) and “Frozen” (2013), which will be accompanied by the 60-member Ditto Orchestra.
Disney concert singers such as Lisa Livesay, Whitney Kaufman and Aaron Phillips will sing in front of a larger-than-life screen, which will display clips from Disney animated films on stage.
The concert starts at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 23 and 2 p.m. on May 24.
Ticket prices range from 40,000 won to 110,000 won. A child who is older than 5 years old is eligible to enter the concert.
Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 8.
LG Arts Center
June 17-20: The 7 Fingers, an artistic group based in Montreal, is coming back to Seoul with its new circus titled “Passagers.”
The contemporary circus group, which consists of seven performers from famed circus “Cirque du Soleil,” presents a story about eight travelers, all with different stories to tell, against the backdrop of a train station.
Directed and choreographed by award-winning artistic director Shana Carroll, the show is a combination of drama, music, acrobatics and dance.
Lines will be spoken in English, but Korean subtitles will be provided through screens.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Ticket prices range from 40,000 won to 80,000 won.
Yeoksam Station, line No. 2, exit 7.
Dream Art Center, Theater 1
Through June 21: Based on the true story of Lizzie Borden, the main suspect in a 1982 Massachusetts murder case, this musical takes audiences into the courtroom as the story unfolds.
On one summer day, Lizzie’s father and stepmother were found axed to death. The brutal murder case, of which Lizzie is the main suspect, attracted media interest from all across the country.
Although Borden was later acquitted, the case inspired many films, stage productions and books.
“Lizzie” focuses on four female characters including Lizzie, Lizze’s older sister Emma, their neighbor Alice and maid Bridget.
Musical actors Yuria and Na Ha-na are both playing the role of Lizzie.
Only those over the age of 16 years old will be allowed into the theater to see the production.
The musical 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 and national holidays. There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets are priced from 55,000 won to 66,000 won.
Hyehwa Station, line No. 4, exit 1.
*Most tickets are available at ticket.interpark.com/global or by calling 1544-1555.