The National Opera
of Korea http://www.nationalopera.org/
The National Opera of Korea, having the longest history
and prominent vocalists, has performed over 80 productions
regularly, some of which were first staged in Korea
and most of which were grand operas.
Since it was organized in 1962, the National Opera of
Korea has promoted home opera through systematic programs
introduced below. It imported a repertory system of
its birthplace and tried to produce two works of opera
at a time. It has helped home music circles to
create operas suitable for Korean usage and sense of
life. In addition, it has held various opera festivals
for young music fans and potential audience.
So far The National Opera of Korea has tried to seek
out opera creations, which are based on the traditional
ones, and to make them reach a standard. We can name
a few recommendable ones; Chun-hyang-jeon, A life of
chun-hyang and Saint Won-hyo of Chang Il-nam, Non-gae
of Hong Yeon-taek, Cheo-yong of Lee Yeong-jo, A Wedding
Day of Kong Seok-jin, and Jewelry and Women of Park
Adopting the open audition system, The National Opera
of Korea has scouted for promising vocalists. It
has done its best to be the great opera band worthy
of the name. Prof. Lee In-beom, Hong Jin-pyo,
O Hyeon-myong, Park Seong-won have served as the leaders,
and now Park Su-gil, art director, make efforts to promote
the artistic quality of it.
At the time of organization, the National Opera of Korea
affiliated itself with the National Theater of Korea.
Now, greeting the new millennium, it restarts as an
independent foundation, which acts on its own responsibility.
The Korea National
The Korea National Ballet was organized under the
name of "The National Dance Company" in support
of the government in 1962. In the early days,
it devoted to ballet and Korean traditional dance as
well. Since its start, it has served as the model of
professional ballet companies in Korea. In 1973 when
the National Theater of Korea had moved to Jangchung-dong
nestling under Mt. Namsan, it was isolated from the
National Dance Company and became a ballet company affiliated
with The National Central Theater.
Until 1992, it had been led by Im Seong-nam who was
a pioneer of ballet arts in Korea. Since 1993, Kim Hye-sik
has served as the leader and art director, and formed
a Sponsor Association. The Sponsor Association has given
regular supports to it, which helped it to get a firm
stand for continuous development.
The Korea National Ballet has more than 50 ballet dancers
under exclusive contract with it. It presents over 40
public performances a year, which consists of 30 plus
more regular performances at the main hall of the National
Theater of Korea having a seating capacity of 1,500
persons and the program of "Balletic Creation of
the Member" which is planned to develop its repertory
for small-sized ballet performance and to inspire the
member to create more balletic creations, and has about
6 performance tours and some other special programs.
The repertory of a professional ballet company tells
its artistic character. So far the National Ballet
Company has developed a form of ballet drama based on
classical ballet. The whole acts of Swan Lake,
Giselle, Nutcracker, Notre-Dame de Paris, Carmen, Coppelia,
Le Corsaire, and La Bayadere have been performed by
the National Ballet Company for the first time in Korea.
In addition, it has made efforts to develop ballet
creations fit for Korean emotion, and introduced the
followings to the public; Dream of Ji-goi, Cheo-yong,
Baebi-jang, and Lover of Chun-hyang which was presented
for the Culture & Arts Festival of '86 Asian Games,
and Prince Ho-dong which was on the stage of Seoul Olympic
Culture & Arts Festival.
In the meantime, the National Ballet Company has invited
international dance directors and trainers in order
to diversify its repertory and to render the member
a chance to experience the international trend. With
such purposes, it has invited Asida Taneo, Marina Contrvachva,
Voris Afeman, and Pernande Nolt. They joined hands in
presenting Don Quixote, Requiem, Bravo Figaro, Carmina
Burana, and La Bayadere, Don Quixote of which was praised
highly: "With the stage of Don Quixote, Korean
ballet circles enter on a new phase." The
rest were also recognized as outstanding performances.
The National Chorus
of Korea http://chorus.joyclassic.com/
Since its start in May 1973, The National Chorus
of Korea has done its most to render professionalism
and artistic quality to home choral music. It
is the first to open the age of professional choral
music, and has been at the head of choral music movement.
So far it has had more than 70 performances including
4 regular performances, 2 concert tours, a performance
in concert with The National Opera of Korea and special
concerts every year.
Various music pieces ranging from the Renaissance to
our own day and sacred music as well are in its repertory.
Dealing with all sorts of choral music, it gave
choral music movement a certain artistic quality. Many
of vocalists who were once its members act in the leading
parts or as soloists in the opera circles. This
is just one of the important achievements equal to its
success at the stage of The National Opera of Korea
where it once presented harmonious and touching performances.
It is remarkable that it has contributed to the promotion
of choral music creation through various activities
such as holding festivals for development of home choral
music and for choral music creations of the undergraduates.
Since 1977 it has held the "Undergraduate
Choral Music Festival" where over 150 choral music
creations has been introduced.
Hoping to form the characters of our own music, The
National Chorus of Korea has layed experimentally a
series of opera creations in the style of music play
in which choral music, dance and acting are mixed one
another. It requested composers to compose cantatas,
and held "Prize Contest for Cantata" in order
to stimulate them to create more cantatas.
Youngbiachunga, a cantata creation performed in Oct.
1995, was meaningful in every respect. The performance
in remembrance of the 50th Independence Day of Korea
attracted public attention. It was founded on ,
the first poem of Korea, dealing with great ambition
of the Korean people. And it tried to mix Korean
traditional music expressed in sijo(three-stanza Korean
ode) or pansori(solo opera drama) with Western music
and computer-aided sound effects.
Prof. Na Young-su who served as the 1st and 3rd leader
and permanent conductor raised the artistic level of
the National Chorus. O Se-jong, the 4th leader
and art director, has tried for the continuous development
of it in corporation with its members since 1993.
The Seoul Performing
Arts Company http://www.spac.co.kr/
The Seoul Performing Arts Company was established
on August 1, 1986, with the founding ideal of dressing
the indigenous Korean performing arts in new attire
and promoting them around the world so as to share their
cultural benefits as widely as possible.
The Seoul Performing Arts Company has created many magnificent
productions including musicals and traditional Korean
songs and dances with its highly talented members.
Many of the members have been awarded top prizes by
the Korean National Musical Awards as well as a variety
of dance awards. The company has gone on the road in
40 countries, staging about 800 performances. All told
it has attracted over three million viewers at home
and abroad. Its performances at the closing and opening
ceremonies of the Seoul Olympic Games '88, at the presentation
to promote the World Cup 2002, and at the '99 Winter
Asian Games have raised the company to a high standard
For its participation in international events held in
the United States, Japan, Africa, and Europe, the company
has received superb reviews.
The remarkable and talented 62 members of the musical
staff and dance staff of the Seoul Performing Arts Company
are devoted to turning out new productions at a steady
pace to serve as a window on the essence of Korea and
Korean Symphony Orchestra http://www.koreansymphony.com/
The Korean Symphony Orchestra, which has been growing into an orchestra of Korean people, is making another start under an exclusive contract with the Seoul Arts Center as it celebrates its 17th anniversary.