|Seoul Arts Center aims to extend its reach to a wider audience with various programs. The photo shows the interior of the arts center's Opera Theater, which has 2,283 seats. Courtesy of Seoul Arts Center|
By Anna J. Park
In line with the Seoul Arts Center's direction to proactively reach out to new audiences, the center has been developing special festivals and concert series for years to engage with less typical audience members.
'Kids & Family Festival'
Children are one of their target groups; the arts center just began its annual "Kids & Family Festival" earlier this week. Intended for very young audiences, the annual event will run through the last Sunday of August. First launched in 2017, the annual festival has introduced quality productions for families with small children. The minimum age for attendance is only 36 months old, so parents with young children should check out their calendars to see what the festival has to offer.
|Canada's Theatre Bouches Decousues presents "Papa Hen" at SAC's Jayu Theater from July 10-21. Courtesy of Michel Pinault|
As the first performance of the festival, Theatre Bouches Decousues is presenting "Papa Hen" at Seoul Arts Center's Jayu Theater until July 21. This is the first time for this original production by the Canadian theater company to be showcased in Asia. This musical play comically depicts how the main character, Papa Hen, is juggling his dual duties of work and childcare, while his spouse is busy with work. It also gives young audiences an idea on how both spouses share a fair amount of childcare and chores.
|During SAC's "Kids & Family Festival," the Seoul Ballet Theater presents "Dancing Museum" from July 24 to Aug. 4 at Seoul Arts Center's Jayu Theater. Courtesy of Seoul Arts Center|
From July 24 to Aug. 4, the Seoul Ballet Theater will present "Dancing Museum." This ballet production unfolds as key figures from some of the most famous paintings in history, including works by Leonardo da Vinci and Edgar Degas, come to life and dance on the stage. With media art technology employed for the production, this combination of ballet and play will also be a good opportunity for child audiences to learn about some Western masterpieces in painting.
|Japan's Theater KAKASHIZA and Korea's Artstage San jointly present "Ruru Island Mystery" from Aug. 6 to 25 at Seoul Arts Center's Jayu Theater. Courtesy of Seoul Arts Center (SAC)|
From Aug. 6 to 25, Theater KAKASHIZA from Japan and Korea's Artstage San will be presenting "Ruru Island Mystery," a joint production by the two companies that took over five years in the making. The production features a sophisticated art of shadow puppets and visual technologies on stage, giving whole new experiences to children.
SAC 11AM Concert
|Children enter the Concert Hall of Seoul Arts Center to attend "SAC 11AM Concert" on June 13. Courtesy of Seoul Arts Center (SAC)|
Seoul Arts Center's "matinee concert" series that runs all year round is for those who have more available time during the morning hours to attend classical concerts than typical evening concert hours. "SAC 11AM Concert," which began back in 2004, was the first matinee concert series attempted by any Korean concert hall that held classical music concerts in the morning.
Held every second Thursday morning at 11 a.m., the concert series has been hailed ever since by audiences, who tend to have more free time during the morning. The latest "11AM Concert" was held on July 11, presenting parts of Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1, Brahms' Symphony No. 1, Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 1.
SAC Saturday Concert
The "SAC Saturday Concert" series is a similar matinee concert launched in 2010; it is held every third Saturday at 11 a.m. for people who cannot make time to enjoy performances during weekdays. This month's "Saturday Concert" will be held on July 20, presenting famous pieces from the Baroque and Classical periods.
Conductor Choi Soo-yeol will lead the Korean Chamber Orchestra, playing Haydn's Symphony No.1 and Mozart's Symphony No.41. Violinists Lee Kyung-sun and Wei He will also play together on Bach's Concerto for 2 Violins.
|Seoul Arts Center aims to proactively reach out to new audiences. The photo is taken in front of the arts center's signature music fountain. Courtesy of Seoul Arts Center|
SAC Artist Lounge
And for those who want more casual, less time-consuming music concerts, there is Seoul Arts Center's "Artist Lounge" concert series. Started in 2014, "SAC Artist Lounge" presents a one-hour concert without intermissions every last Wednesday evening of each month. Admission costs only 10,000 won ($8.50), almost the same as a movie ticket.
With this very affordable price, the concert series not only introduces classical music pieces, but also other genres like jazz and traditional Korean music. It will serve as a light refreshing moment for stressed-out workers during weekdays.
For this month, "SAC Artist Lounge" is scheduled to be held on July 24, presenting works including Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 1 and parts from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake."