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Orchestra to present fantasy period musical

June 30, 2021 - 15:52 By Im Eun-byel
Some members from the cast of “Geumak” (Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra)

The Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra is to present its new original musical, “Geumak,” Aug. 18 to 29 at the Gyeonggi Arts Center in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.

The fantasy period musical is set in the Joseon era (1392-1910). A mysterious event surrounding a forbidden music score from the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-AD 935) unfolds at Jangagwon, the institution in charge of court music and dance.

The orchestra’s Artistic Director Won Il directs the production. Won was the music director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He was also the artistic director of the National Orchestra of Korea.

Four composers joined hands to write the numbers for this musical, which was inspired by traditional music: Won, composer Seong Chan-kyeong, music director Han Woong-won and Son Da-hye, who wrote the script for the traditional Korean opera “Farewell My Concubine.”

Choreographer Cho In-ho, recognized at the 2019 Critic’s Choice Dance Festival, organized by local dance magazine Dance Forum, created contemporary choreography based on traditional, authentic Korean movements.

The cast includes Cho Pung-rae, Hwang Geon-ha and Na Ha-na, who played Glinda in the musical “Wicked.”

The Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra was founded in 1996 as the Gyeonggi Provincial Traditional Music Orchestra and changed its name in 2020. Its new name reflects a mission to create a new kind of Korean orchestra in the spirit of “sinawi,” a style of improvisation that has its roots in traditional Korean music.