The 50: A Goethe-Opera

Opera "The 50"I’ve never really thought about how life would be at the age of 50… it’s still some time to go, anyway. Helping a bit with the libretto of the experimental opera The 50, helped me to fill this gap…

German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote The Man of Fifty (Der Mann von Funfzig Jahren / 쉰살의 남자), the short novella that this opera is based upon. The full-length German text can be found at Project Gutenberg; see a review of the English translation in The Guardian; a Korean translation by 김숙희 is available, e.g. at Kyobo; see this blog for some more impressions on the work.

Goethe’s Man of Fifty tells the story of a major who, having just turned fifty, finds out that the young woman promised to his son has got a thing for him… On first view a light-hearted piece about the twists and turns of love, the work contains quite a few interesting observations about ageing, distorted self-images, and the power of make-up that are still relevant today.

The opera The 50 is written by composer Seong Se-in (성세인). The premiere, directed by Park Sangyun (박상연), will take place this February at the Bupyeong Art Center (부평아트센터) in Incheon, on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd (see below or the announcement for details). The cast features several great singers of the Korean National Opera. Anyone interested in contemporary music theatre that goes beyond Mozart, Verdi & Wagner should give this Goethe-Opera a try!

– 22 & 23 Feb. 2013 (金 & 土)

  • 오페라 “The 50”, 작곡: 성세인; 지휘: 이민형; 연출: 박상연; 출연: 함석헌, 김순영 등; 연주; TIMF앙상블; 기간: 2013년2월 22일(금) 오후 8시 ~ 23일(토) 오후 5시; 장소: 부평아트센터 해누리극장; 티켓 R석 3만원, S석 2만원, A석 1만원; 소요시간: 120분; 문의: 032–500–2000.
  • Opera “The 50”, composed by Seong Se-in, conducted by Lee Min-hyeong, directed by Park Sangyun, performed by Ham Seok-heon, Kim Sun-yeong and others, music by TIMF Ensemble, on show on Friday, February 22nd (8 p.m.) and Saturday, February 23rd (5 p.m.) at Bupyeong Art Center, Haenuri Theatre, tickets at 30.000 (R), 20.000 (S), 10.000 Won (A), duration: 120 minutes, inquiries: 032–500–2000.

About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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