Musical Romeo and Juliet performed to Korean-style music
Musical Romeo and Juliet performed to Korean-style music
  • Ko Eun-mee
  • 승인 2008.11.04 00:21
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     Bright sunlight cast into the small window of the practice room for Korean Music majors, suddenly, a cranky voice broke the tranquility of the room.




     “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name!”  Kong Mi-seon (Korean Music, 3) majoring in Gyeonggi Minyo (Korean folk song in Gyeonggi area) began to sing Juliet’s aria in traditional Korean music, along to the background music played by daegum (traditional Korean wood instrument) and ajaeng (traditional Korean stringed instrument composed of seven strings).




       This year, the Korean Music department has decided to perform Romeo and Juliet for their “Korean Music Night.” According to Professor Jo Young-gyu (Korean Music) who is the director of this performance, this is the first time in entire traditional Korean music history to play Romeo and Juliet in Korean traditional opera.




       All of the songs sang in the opera was either created by students or adapted to existing traditional Korean melody. This was prepared by 20 students majoring in Korean music, with the support of several invited guests for directing, music composition, clothing and make-up coordination.   




      “We thought that Romeo and Juliet, portraying the basic human emotion of love would also match with Korean folk music especially that of the Gyeonggi area, which is known for its soft melody,” said Jo.




      “When we first started to practice, we could not help laughing at the peculiar scenes that had a mix of Korean and Western styles,” said Ryu Seung-hye (Korean Music, 2) who plays the role of Romeo.




       “For the final scene, we adjoined a shaman ritual to the ending as a means of consolation for their souls,” stated Lee shin-ae (Korean Music, 1) who performs as Mercutio on the opera.




       The distinct fusion of Korean traditional music and Shakespeare’s well-known play will unfold in Yong Theater at the National Museum of Korea free of charge at 7:00 p.m. on November 9. “I hope many people would come to the opera, enjoy it and fill up their hearts with the tranquil love story in the chilly month of November,” said Jo.













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