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Japanese Opera to Play In Seoul

Posted November. 22, 2005 08:34,   


An original Japanese opera called “Twilight Crane (picture),” that tells a beautiful love story between a husband and his wife who wove with a crane’s feather, will be performed at the Seoul Arts Center Opera House from December 2-4.

This piece, which is being jointly produced by the National Opera of Korea (choreography: Jeong Eun-sook) and the Japanese Yuzuru Korean Concert Operation Committee (representative: Miki Muzuko), is based on the Japanese comedy: “Twilight Crane,” a similar tale to Korea’s “The Grateful Crane.”

It is an opera that has been modernized into a contemporary drama by Kinoshita Junji, with music tacked on artfully by composer Dan Ikumaka. Receiving rave reviews such as: “The Japanese Opera you’ve been waiting for,” at its premiere in Tokyo in 1952, it swept the Mainichi Music Awards that year.

It was also the first original Japanese opera to be shown at the City Theater of Zurich in 1957, and it went on to be a hit in New York, Bangkok, and Moscow.

Once upon a time, an innocent young man and his wife, who wove beautiful fabrics, lived in a remote village. Falling prey to the greed of his friends, he breaks his promise to his wife by looking into the loom room. His wife was really an exquisite crane, plucking its own feathers to weave clothes for her husband. The revealed crane flies from her husband in tears, leaving behind only two sheets of delicate fabric.

For the performance, Japanese vocalists and staff will stay in Korea, and Korea will sponsor performances from the Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and PBC Boys and Girls’ Choir.

Next year, the National Opera’s original opera, “Wedding Day” will tour in Japan with the help of a Japanese orchestra and technicians. Grade school students have been invited to the concert, as well as children who attend Japanese schools in Korea.

National Opera director Jeong Eun-sook explains, “Seeing as it is the friendship year of Korea and Japan, cross-cultural fertilization of operas is very proper.”

The performances will be held on weekdays at 7:30 p.m. and on weekends at 4:00 p.m.. Tickets are 20,000-50,000 won.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com