Season of operas

Season of operas
Scene from the Seoul Opera Ensemble’s production of Rossini’s “Mose".

This year's sixth annual Korea Opera Festival is gearing up for its monthlong commitment to the operatic arts with five main-stage productions that are rare in the local scene.

Kicking off on May 8 at the Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-gu, the festival will feature productions from five major local opera companies: Muak Opera Company's rendition of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro;" Sol Opera Company's production of Puccini's "Il Trittico;" Seoul Opera Ensemble's production of Rossini's "Mose;" Nuova Opera Company's staging of Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur;" and finally the Korea National Opera's staging of the Park Young-geun's local repertoire "King Jumong."

"Despite all the struggles that occurred within the local opera scene this year, through this festival we would like to strengthen opera's vitality and importance to the public," said Choi Nam-in of the Korea Opera Festival, during a press conference at the Seoul Finance Center in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Tuesday.

"I am also very proud to say that this year's festival will feature a very wide array of repertories for the opera loving public that are not so commonly staged in the country. By combining forces with many different opera figures, we can better provide people with the opportunity to see quality productions."

Set as the opening production for next month's festivities, Muak Opera's "The Marriage of Figaro" is undoubtedly one of the year's most anticipated repertories as it marks the esteemed Metropolitan Opera principal soprano Hong Hei-kyung's first local opera production in a decade. She will take on the role of Countess Rosina Almaviva.

Sol Opera's staging of "Il Trittico" also draws interest as it marks the first time that Puccini's opera trilogy will be staged in its entirety in Korea in 15 years. The repertoire's finale act "Gianni Schicchi" is popularly staged as a solo opera act.

Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur" will also be making its appearance in front of the local audience in six years.

Along with the aforementioned main opera productions, this year's festival will also include two free outdoor productions and events ― the tale of "Opera's Exciting Story" on May 23 and an opera gala concert on May 30.

For true opera fans who wish to learn more about some of this year's productions, the festival will be hosting free lecture sessions on May 7 and May 21. The first lecture will cover "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Il Trittico" and will be led by music critic Yoo Jung-woo. This will be followed by a lecture hosted by music critic Hwang Ji-won, who will discuss the core of "Mose" and "Adriana Lecouvreur."

Ticket prices for all the productions range from 10,000 won to 180,000 won, with the exception of local repertoire King Jumong, which is priced from 10,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information on the Korea Opera Festival and its performances, visit www.koreaoperafestival.com.

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