Elisabeth (Kunze&Levay) premiered yesterday in Seoul, South Korea. I'm not usually into Asian theatre scene, because I don't know the cultures or languages, and the Japanese and Korean etc. style of staging musicals usually doesn't appeal to me. But I must say I've been impressed by the South Korean take on Kunze's musical, first Mozart! and now Elisabeth. They're blending modern and traditional style in a way that, for me, hits the timeless and time-breaking world of Kunze's musicals perfectly. The characters portray feelings and emotional situations very familiar to modern spectators, even if their context is historical, and I think these photos are a perfect mixture of both. I dislike bringing the characters of historical stories into modern or some imaginary weird world, which happens too often especially in opera when people desperately try to "spice up" the traditional stories, but these photos show that it's possible to make (or at least promote) costume dramas with a stylish touch of modern style, too, without losing the historical costume drama aspect.
Photo copyrights: EMK Musical Company
|Elisabeth (Kim Sun Young and Ok Ju Hyun)|
|The Death (Ryu Jung Han, Song Chan Eui and Kim Jun Soo)|
|Lucheni (Kim Su Yong, Choi Min Chul and Park Eun Tae)|
|The three Rudolfs|
Based on the photos I've seen, the actual staging is slightly more traditional than in these early press picturses, but the general feeling of them is still there. I'd like to see a production like this done in Europe as well, since this semi-Gothic-Victorian-Modern-something style is popular here, too. For smaller theatres afraid of expensive costume dramas with hoop skirts and whatnot, a bit more modern take could be an interesting solution.
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