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Nodeul Island to turn into outdoor stage for 'Swan Lake' and 'The Barber of Seville'

Aug. 29, 2023 - 14:54 By Park Ga-young
"The Magic Flute" takes place at an outdoor stage during the first Nodeul Island Festival on Oct. 1, 2022. (Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture)

Every Saturday and Sunday night from Oct. 14 to 22, a small island at the center of the Han River will be turned into a stage for spellbinding ballet and opera performances.

Under the theme of “Timeless Classic,” the second edition of Hangang Nodeul Island Festival by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture will present one ballet and one opera, bringing together Korea’s top performers.

After presenting “The Magic Flute” at the inaugural festival last year, this year’s edition will offer one ballet performance and one opera -- “Swan Lake” and “The Barber of Seville.”

Universal Ballet and Ballet STP, a collective of seven ballet companies, have joined forces to stage “Swan Lake" in a rare full performance of a ballet outdoors. Kang Mi-sun takes the role of Odette and Rhee Hyon-jun Rhee the role of Siegfried. The ballet performance is set to take place on Oct. 14 and 15.

On Oct. 21 and 22, "The Barber of Seville" will feature soprano Park Hye-sang, baritone Ahn Dae-hyun and tenor Alex Kim under the baton of conductor Kim Ghun.

The producers for both performances said they will create a beautiful stage that utilizes nature, with the Han River as a backdrop.

Posters for Nodeul Island Festival's "Swan Lake" (left) and "The Barber of Seville"

The event is a part of Festival Seoul, which takes place from May to December across the capital city including Seoul Plaza and Culture Station Seoul 284. Other series include the Seoul Street Art Festival, Seoul Circus Festival and Seoul B-Boy Festival and Seoul Convergence Art Festival.

Nodeul Isalnd is located under the Han River Bridge connecting Yongsan and Noryangjin. Officially opened in Sept. 2019, the island serves as a cultural space with a focus on nature, books and music. It hosts a variety of facilities such as Live House, Nodeul Gallery, Nodeul Lounge and Nodeul Book Store.

Admission to the festival is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance. Reservations will be available starting at 2 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the ticketing platform Interpark. The event is subject to cancellation in the case of heavy rain.