It's Friday which means our arts and culture correspondent Kim Bokyoung is live in the studio to guide us through what to check out this weekend.
Hello there, Bokyoung. So, the long weekend is upon us. What are some ways we can replenish our soul and creative spirit this weekend?
Hi Conn-young, like you said, lots of people could be wanting to make some special plans as a new August public holiday makes a three-day vacation possible. For those who would rather just relax and enjoy some entertainment, there are some special cultural events. One of them is 'Hwajeonga', a play that lets foreigners enjoy elements of Korean culture.
Let's take a look.
With the prolonged monsoon season and COVID-19 still lingering, we wouldn't be blamed for wanting something to help alleviate stress, and there's a play that can do exactly that.
“The National Theater Company of Korea’s first new play of this year 'Hwajeonga’, marks the 70th anniversary of the theater’s foundation. After being postponed for around six months, it finally kicked off last week.”
The play shows nine women enjoying certain aspects of their daily lives in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
Family members arrive from all over the country to celebrate Mrs. Kim's sixtieth birthday, and instead of having a large banquet, Mrs. Kim suggests they should enjoy 'Hwajeon' instead, a picnic of rice cakes with spring petals.
All the women look thrilled to dress up in beautiful Korean traditional clothing hanbok, and eat delicious food.
But, in the early 1950s, even before the Korean War broke out, the peninsula was going through troubling times trying to decide the political direction of the country after being liberated from Japan's colonial rule.
Nine of the women's husbands or sons had either passed away, or were sent to prison due to conflicts of ideologies. And so, it cannot be overlooked that the whole family were going through some trying times.
"Even Korean audiences might find it hard to understand the dialects spoken. But I can relate to Shakespeare's work, even without fully understanding the language. I believe foreigners would also be able to enjoy the beauty of the play."
English subtitles will be provided every Thursday and Sunday, and the show will run until August 23rd.
It sure sounds like a heart-warming play, and I heard it is a big hit with most of the tickets already sold out. What about for those of us looking for some classical music?
Sure, there are many other great performances ready to lift people's minds including classical performances at Lotte Concert Hall.
Pianist Kim Kwang-min will play his first solo concert in three years on Saturday, and cellist Hong Jin-ho will perform his first solo concert on Sunday as part of the 'Summer Breeze' concerts.
Also, 'Classic Revolution 2020 Seoul' which highlights Beethoven's music to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, starts from August 17.
Seoul Metropolitan Opera will showcase Rossini's two-act comedy opera 'The Barber of Seville' at Sejong Theater, and at the same site, the musical 'Murder Ballad' depicts a thrilling tug-of-war between love and desire.
The musical 'Sonata of a Flame', showing a musician's inner conflict and desire, kicks off on Friday, with K-pop idol 'Ryeowook' from Super Junior as the main character, and at Theatre Company Sanwoollim near Hongdae Station, French Classics such as Alphonse Daudet's 'The Child Spy' will be turned into a play.
I'm very excited to hear there are lots of shows for us to enjoy during this short vacation. Thank you Bo-kyoung for letting us know.