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From League of Legends to Mariinsky, Sejong Center embraces diversity

In 2020, the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts hopes to offer its audience cutting-edge stage art in a less rigid manner.

The center released the program for its 2020 season Monday, featuring 54 shows and 393 performances. Innovative, low-barrier productions are what stand out most.

“This year’s slogan is to ‘enjoy Sejong,’ meaning that everyone can enjoy more than just performances at the Sejong Center,” the center’s CEO Kim Sung-kyu said at a press event held Monday at the center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul. 

Sejong Center for the Performing Arts CEO Kim Sung-kyu speaks during a press conference at the center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts CEO Kim Sung-kyu speaks during a press conference at the center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)

In December, the center allowed people to bring alcohol into the show “Introduction to Indie Music,” hoping to lighten up the concert atmosphere. Each person was allowed to bring up to two plastic cups of alcohol.

“We originally planned to present food- and beverage-friendly shows this year. December’s concert was like a test. From this year, we will expand such performances,” Kim said.

At the “LoL Concert,” Nov. 27-28, the audience will be allowed to use smartphones. Kim did not say whether audience members would be allowed to take photos. 

“LoL Concert” (Sejong Center)
“LoL Concert” (Sejong Center)

Developed by Riot Games, League of Legends, often referred to as LoL, is a multiplayer online battle game. The game is the most played video game in the world. The KBS Symphony Orchestra will bring to life the music from the popular game while a video clip of the game will be projected on a big screen.

“The young audience may feel that they are trapped inside a concert hall, if not allowed to use their phones. We are reflecting such feelings in the concert that is a game-inspired show,” Kim said.

The Sejong Center will turn into a cinema-like theater when “Harry Potter Film Concert” returns to its stage, as the audience will be allowed to bring popcorn and soda into the theater.

After its successful 2019 Korean premiere, “Harry Potter Film Concert” will return with film scores from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Aug. 18-20, and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Nov. 20-22.

The Sejong Center has arranged shows that can draw a wider audience to the concert halls.

At “Five One,” which runs April 22-26, babies and toddlers under 36 months of age can enjoy music along with their parents. The staff are to bring beautiful classical music to the young audience with creative methods to stimulate the youngsters’ five senses and their imaginations.

Normally, children under 8 or 13 are not allowed at concert venues.

“Children are the future audience. It is important for children to visit the center often. But if young children are admitted to shows, other audiences may feel uncomfortable. That is why we are presenting this toddler-friendly show,” Kim said.

The Sejong Center will feature traditional programs, too, as the hub of the performing arts scene in northern Seoul. 

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Sejong Center)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Sejong Center)

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (the Wiener Philharmoniker), performs Nov. 3 under the baton of conductor Valery Gergiev, joined by Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, the winner of the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition.

The Mariinsky Ballet, a renowned ballet company from Russia, will present a compilation of scenes from “Carmen,” “Le Jeune Homme et la Mort” and “Paquita” from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.

Original musical “Mozart!” will take the stage June 11 through Aug. 9, followed by Broadway rock musical “Murder Ballad” from Aug. 11 through Oct. 25.

At some opera or other classical music concerts, wine will be allowed, Kim said, stressing that the details have not been set yet.

“The audience should feel that something has definitely changed this year,” the CEO said.
 
Poster image for Sejong Center’s 2020 season program (Sejong Center)
Poster image for Sejong Center’s 2020 season program (Sejong Center)

The 2020 Sejong Season package tickets will go on sale from Thursday at 2 p.m. until March 11 at the center’s website at www.sejongpac.or.kr/eng. Individual tickets can be purchased from the center’s website or other online ticket-selling websites.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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