The Korea Herald



By Korea Herald

Published : May 2, 2014 - 21:02

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Pop Music

“Hyundai Culture Project 14 John Mayer”: The multiple Grammy Award-winning American singer John Mayer will be putting on his first concert in Korea since his musical debut more than 10 years ago. Mayer made his official debut in 2001 with his first album “Room for Squares” that featured a number of hit singles including “No Such Thing,” “Why Georgia” and “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” which snagged Mayer his first Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2003. The upcoming concert is the 14th installment of the Hyundai Card Culture Project series, which in the past brought acts such as The Killers, Keane, John Legend, Ke$ha, Jason Mraz and many others. Mayer will perform on May 6 at Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul. Ticket prices are listed between 110,000 won and 132,000 won, with a special “couple package” listed at 300,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Seoul Jazz Festival 2014”: Every year the annual two-day Seoul Jazz Festival features a wide variety of musical acts from legendary jazz musicians to some of today’s popular contemporary figures. This year’s headline artists include Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice, jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum, jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri, the Jack Dejohnette Trio, R&B soloist Eric Benet as well as local band Jang Kiha and the Faces and Urban Zakapa. The 2014 Seoul Jazz Festival will be held at the Seoul Olympic Park on May 17 and 18. Ticket prices range from 99,000 won to 244,500 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit 
Jazz pop artist Jamie Cullum (Jamie Cullum Facebook) Jazz pop artist Jamie Cullum (Jamie Cullum Facebook)

“Paul McCartney: Out There”: Paul McCartney, former front man of the world’s most iconic music act The Beatles, will be holding his first concert in Korea in May. The show is part of his “Out There” world tour that began in Brazil last year and is hitting up major cities all across the globe. McCartney is slated to perform tracks from his latest solo album “New” as well as popular songs from his Beatles days. The legendary rock star is considered one of the most successful songwriters in history and composed many of The Beatles’ hit songs such as “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday” and “Let it Be.” As part of Hyundai Card’s “Super Concert” series, McCartney will perform live on May 28 at Seoul’s Jamsil Stadium. Ticket prices range from 55,000 won to 300,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Monni Rock Concert Vol. 3”: Local rock band Monni officially debuted as a band in 2005 with its first studio album “The First Day, the Light.” Since then, the band has slowly climbed out of the small-time local club scene to play at some of the country’s most popular summer rock festivals. Three years since its last full studio album, the rock group is releasing its third album “Follow My Voice.” Monni will put on a concert at the Gunpo Art Center in Gyeonggi Province on June 29. For more information on ticket prices and reservations, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

Classical music

“Opera Festival”: This year’s Korea Opera Festival brings five works, including two by Korean composers, to the Opera House of Seoul Arts Center from May 2-June 1. The five operas to be presented are Richard Strauss’ “Salome” by Korea Opera Group from May 2-4, Ji Seong-ho’s “Rutgarda” by Honam Opera Company from May 9-11, Giacomo Puccini’s “Madam Butterfly” by Gloria Opera Company from May 16-18, Camille Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah” by Beseto Opera Company from May 23-25 and June H. Lim’s “Soul Mate” by the state-run Korea National Opera Company on May 31 and June 1. Free outdoor concerts will be held on May 17 and 24, where top opera singers will perform famous arias. Tickets range from 10,000 won-200,000 won. For ticket purchases, call (02) 580-1300 or visit For more information, visit
A promotional image for G. Puccini’s opera “Madam Butterfly” (Gloria Opera Company) A promotional image for G. Puccini’s opera “Madam Butterfly” (Gloria Opera Company)

“Ahn Trio”: The three Ahn sisters ― Maria, Lucia and Angella Ahn ― known as the Ahn Trio, will hold their first concert in seven years in Korea. The classical trio will present a program titled “Ahn-core, Ahn Trio,” which the sisters say is “basically a program of our favorite pieces.” It is a mix of modern classical music, tango and rock. They have invited Korean B-boys to perform alongside them. The Ahn Trio concert will start at 2 p.m. on May 18 at Seoul Arts Center. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call 1577-5266 or visit

“Japanese Orchestras”: The New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra will hold concerts in Seoul on May 29 and June 1, respectively. The New Japan Philharmonic will perform works by Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and others, with Pascal Rophe holding the baton. Korean pianist Lim Dong-min will join as a soloist. Prior to the concert at Seoul Arts Center, it will hold concerts in Busan and Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on May 27 and 28, respectively. For more information call (02) 599-5743. NHK Symphony, led by conductor Junichi Hirokami, will present works by Prokofiev and Mahler, with Korean pianist Son Yeol-eum and soprano Rosa Feola. The concert will also be staged at Seoul Arts Center. Tickets are priced from 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6303-1977.

“Ivry Gitlis”: Legendary violinist Ivry Gitlis will perform at LG Arts Center in southern Seoul on May 25. At 92, the Israeli musician is the oldest violinist still performing in the world. At the Seoul concert, which will be recorded live by Sound Mirror Korea, he will perform works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Paganini. Tickets cost 50,000-120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114 or visit


“AlreadyNotYet”: The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company is premiering their new program, “AlreadyNotYet,” a dance that explores the themes of life and death, reality and fantasy, and the present and future. Choreographed by artistic director Ahn Ae-soon, who has been creating works that are inspired by traditional Korean shamanism, the piece blends contemporary and traditional dance. Its musical score is produced by local musicians Park Min-hee and Lee Tae-won, who specialize in traditional Korean music. The production runs from May 15-18 at Arko Arts Theater in Daehangno in Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000-50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3472-1420.
A scene from “AlreadyNotYet” (KNCDC) A scene from “AlreadyNotYet” (KNCDC)

“Mookhyang”: Fashion designer Jung Kuho’s dance “Mookhyang (Scent of Ink)” is returning for its second run in June. The piece is his second collaboration with the National Dance Company of Korea, a group that specializes in traditional Korean dance. It is inspired by Korean traditional ink painting and pays special attention to the “four noble ones,” the four plants believed to epitomize Korea’s Confucian aesthetics: bamboo, the chrysanthemum, the plum blossom and the orchid. The four were praised for their beauty and resilience, and were often painted by artists during the Joseon era. “Mookhyang” runs from June 1-7 at the National Theater of Korea in Jangchung-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 2280-4114 or visit

“Altar”: Fashion designer Jung Kuho and the National Dance Company of Korea’s collaboration “Altar” is being restaged in May and June. The dance is choreographed by local artist Ahn Sung-soo, who also choreographed the Korean National Ballet and Jung’s “Poise” last year. Jung is directing the upcoming performance, and is in charge of the stage and costume design, music, hairstyling, makeup and lighting. The piece explores the concepts of “the East” and of shared and imagined Koreanness. “Altar” will be performed on May 31, June 4 and June 6 at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4114.


“A Piece on Mother and Fatherland”: Polish theater director Jan Klata’s play “A Piece on Mother and Fatherland” is being performed by a Polish cast in Seoul. The play, which premiered at Teatr Polski we Wroclawiu in 2011, was performed in Russia, Switzerland, Japan and Croatia before arriving in Korea. It deals with a holocaust survivor’s difficult relationship with her daughter, who wants to distance herself from her mother’s traumatic past. The play will be held on May 16 and 17 at LG Arts Center in southern Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-1004. 
A scene from “A Piece on Mother and Fatherland” (LG Arts Center) A scene from “A Piece on Mother and Fatherland” (LG Arts Center)

“Ophelia”: Local musical “Ophelia,” an interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” will be staged in Seoul in May. Ophelia is a fictional character in “Hamlet.” She’s a young aristocrat whose father is killed by her love interest, Hamlet, and eventually goes mad. The upcoming musical is centered on Ophelia, rather than Hamlet ― the protagonist in the original Shakespeare play. Composer Choi Woo-jeong, screenwriter and former Culture Minister Kim Myung-gon, and contemporary dancer Cha Jin-yup participated in the project. “Ophelia” runs from May 16-25 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 515-0405.

“Le Roi Soleil”: The Korean production of French musical “Le Roi Soleil,” based on the life of Louis XIV, is being performed at Blue Square in Seoul. Actor Ahn Jae-wook and Shin Sung-rok share the role of Louis XIV. Actresses Yoon Gong-ju and Kim So-hyun are starring as Francoise, the second wife of Louis XIV. The ongoing show will run until June 1. Tickets are 60,000 won-130,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1591 or visit

“Bonnie & Clyde”: The Broadway musical “Bonnie & Clyde” is being staged in Seoul for the second time. The musical tells the infamous story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the well-known robbers who roamed the central United States during the Great Depression. The show had its Broadway premiere in 2011 and was nominated for two Tony awards in 2012. “Bonnie & Clyde” runs from April 15 to June 29 at BBC Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call 1588-0688.

“Full House”: The local musical “Full House” is kicking off its first run in April. Based on manga artist Won Soo-yeon’s 1993 hit series of the same name, the musical deals with an unusual romance between a famous actor and a scriptwriter. In 2004, Won’s manga was made into a popular TV series starring Rain and Song Hye-gyo. “Full House” runs from April 11 to June 8 at Hongik Daehangno Art Center in the Hongdae area of Seoul. Tickets range from 55,000 won to 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 744-4350.

“Seopyeonje”: A musical adaptation of late author Lee Cheong-jun’s celebrated novel of the same title, “Seopyeonje” is back for another run in Seoul. The musical tells the poignant tale of pansori singers trying to make a living in the modern world by performing their traditional vocal and percussion music. The show debuted in 2011 to much acclaim, winning five prizes at the 2011 The Musical Awards. Popular pansori singer Lee Ja-ram and musical actress Cha Ji-yeon share the lead role of Song-hwa, while Korean-American actor Michael Lee and actor Song Yong-jin star as Dong-ho, Song-hwa’s love interest. The show opened on March 20 and will continue until May 11 at Universal Art Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 110,000 won. For tickets and information, call 1577-3363.

“Ghost the Musical”: The Korean production of “Ghost the Musical” is being performed in Seoul. The show is an adaptation of the megahit 1990 romantic fantasy-thriller film “Ghost,” starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, which was also hugely popular in Korea. The musical had its world premiere in Manchester, England, in 2011, and was also performed on Broadway in 2012. The current Korean production is the first in Asia. It tells the story of Molly, a grieving young woman in danger, and the ghost of her murdered boyfriend Sam, who tries to save her with the help of a wacky psychic. The current run stars some of the most popular musical and TV stars in the country, including Joo Won, Ivy and Park Ji-yeon. “Ghost the Musical” runs until June at D-Cube Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 557-1987.


Gokseong International Rose Festival: The “Thousands of International Roses” festival has been canceled in the wake of the ferry sinking off the southern coast of Korea on April 16, but the rose park in Gokseong-gun, South Jeolla Province, where it was to take place, will open to the general public as scheduled from May 23 to June 1. Thousands of roses will start to bloom from mid-May. Visitors to the park will see a variety of roses from around the world. 
Roses are in full bloom at the Gokseong International Rose Festival in 2013. (Gokseong International Rose Festival) Roses are in full bloom at the Gokseong International Rose Festival in 2013. (Gokseong International Rose Festival)

Taean Flower Festival: Flower farms in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, will hold an annual flower festival on May 18. A variety of flowers including tulips, lilies and marigolds will be in full bloom on the vast field of Nature World. The flower festival started as an effort to tackle the financial difficulties facing the fishing and farming town after an oil spill contaminated its coastal waters and seashore in 2007. The festival will also hold experience programs such as aroma candle and craft making sessions. Other activities include archery and Korean seesaw. For more information, visit or call (041) 675-7881.

International Horticulture Goyang Korea 2014: One of Korea’s largest flower events will be held until May 11 at Lake Park in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. The annual horticultural event invites more than 120 horticultural companies from 35 countries to exhibit flower displays. Flower displays by top florists are also on view. The outdoor garden exhibits themed flower displays made with more than 100,000 flowers of 80 different varieties. Visitors are invited to take pictures at the flower studio installed in the outdoor garden. A variety of hands-on programs are also available, including making flower photo games, floral and herbal teas, and soap using flowers. On-site admission is 9,000 won for adults. Admission for a group of more than 10 foreign visitors is 6,000 won each. For more information, visit or call (031) 908-7750.

Garden of Morning Calm Spring Flower Festival: The Garden of Morning Calm boasts more than 5,000 plant and flower species. During the spring, there is a veritable parade of flowering trees and flowers in full bloom. More than 60,000 tulips adorn the themed gardens inside the arboretum and 200 kinds of flowers are on display along with 100 kinds of plants. The spring flower festival runs through May 25 at the Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province. For more information, visit or call 1544-6703.


“Artspectrum”: Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is holding its biennial exhibition Artspectrum, which presents the work of 10 emerging artists. They are selected by the museum curators and art experts in light of their artistic potential and fresh input that they are expected to bring to the Korean art world. The artists showcase artworks in diverse media including painting, sculpture, installation and performance. Scientist and artist Song Ho-jun shows his satellite launch project through installations and quizzes for the audience. Lee Wan documents his search for the origins of products such as sugar, a jacket and rice through a video work. The exhibition runs through June 28. For more information, go to
“Made in Thailand (Silk Suit)” by Lee Wan (Leeum) “Made in Thailand (Silk Suit)” by Lee Wan (Leeum)

“This is a Landscape of Desire”: The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is exhibiting works by Danish media artist Jesper Just until Aug. 3. Just gained international fame after representing the Danish pavilion as a media artist at the Venice Biennale last year. His first Seoul exhibition will feature 13 works from his decadelong artistic career. His works consist of two scenes showing different perspectives of each protagonist. Scenes on two screens hung on opposite walls are mysterious. For more information, call (02) 2188-6000 or visit “Then and Now”: The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is holding an exhibition for the 60th anniversary of the National Academy of Arts at Deoksugung Palace Museum until July 27. The exhibition showcases 79 artworks by 35 late members and 22 current members of the respected art institution. The works on display include paintings, sculptures and crafts made by renowned artists who have played pioneering roles in Korean modern and contemporary art. For more information, visit

“Shirin Neshat”: A retrospective on Iranian-born media artist Shirin Neshat covering 20 years of her works is showing at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition showcases the two photographic series “Women of Allah” and “The Book of Kings,” a black-and-white video trilogy ― “Turbulent,” “Rapture” and “Fervor” ― and the award-winning film “Women without Men.” Using visual metaphors and compelling sounds, Neshat confronts the complexities of identity, gender and power to express a vision that embraces the Islamic tradition and Western concepts of individuality and liberty. The exhibition runs through July 13 at the Seoul branch of the MMCA. For more information, call (02) 3701-9500, or visit