Monday, November 30, 2015

Review After Opera Faust

French romance to drama "Faust" of Germany Goethe's masterpiece, plus a composer Charles Gounod's music. Was premiered in 1859 in Paris, France, it is a beautiful lyrical and musical features. Made opera "Faust" is the most famous work of 16 pieces. 
The old philosopher Faust is trying to find meaning in life, 
but in the end did not find. 
the devil appeared in front of him Mephisto Pele offered youth and pleasure to Faust against his soul 
Soul to Mephistopheles and Faust plate is gripped in the mundane desires and pleasures are finally leads to the salvation of souls realized the mistake. 

Stage and opera director John Dew and designer Dirk Acker Hope that showcase the modern stage utilizing an LED participation by producers. 

Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the Yunhogeun activities in Berlin, Germany give the harmony to the play 

Dr. Faust Tenor Lee Won-jong, Gimseungjik, the devil Mephistopheles Bakgihyeon , Jeontaehyeon takes on those roles . Seoul Metropolitan Chorus, also with Scala opera chorus. 

For more Detailed Info ;

A Great day of history and Spaghetti, afterwards.

Last weekend we had a real treat of a visit to Deoksu Palace with an official guide, followed by a meal in a quant little restaurant which served up a whole selection of different spaghetti dishes. This palace is among the famous five palaces located around Seoul. The palace can be found along the oldie, woldie street which has its distinctive and quant cobbled wall. Of course, being from England, I know this street well because it is located along the wall in which on one of these side streets leads to the British Embassy. Deoksu Palace's main exit serves as the main entrance but it used to be a side entrance - due to the main entrance having to makeway for modern road progress.  As a visitor to downtown Seoul,  you may have noticed it is popular among visitors for the changing of the guard. 

Last Saturday, after meeting the Meet-up leader,  as well as the rest of our group of four, we then entered the entrance of the palace where we met one guide who took us on a tour around the grounds of the palace. You can learn alot about the turbulent history of Korea, and especially about the last King of the Joseon dynasty whose son became the first King of Korea, which is an interesting fact. The last dynasty of Korea was the Joseon dynasty which lasted from 1392 all the way until 1910. Over the reign of Joseon, Seoul became the capital city and center of state affairs. Throughout the years, the kings had many grand palaces built here – five of them are currently open to the public. For those looking to explore the history and culture of Seoul, a tour of the Five Grand Palaces is a great way to spend a few days. 

If you have visited this palace, Daehanmun (Gate) is the gate which you will soon notice is one of the main attractions among visitors, and foreigners for its changing of the guard ceremony. It  was originally called Daeanmun and was the eastern gate of the palace. The main gate was originally the south-facing Inwhamun Gate. Due to the construction of new roads in front of Daeanmun, the east-side of the palace became the center of the city,and Daeanmun took the role of the main gate. The literal meaning of Daeanmun is “being greatly peaceful” but it was renamed Daehanmun after the maintenance work in 1906. The meaning of Daehan is “Seoul becomes prosperous”.

Doeksu Palace was first used by the Joseon Dynasty King Gojong and his elderly father, as a secondary residence, but after the great fire of his main residence by the Japanese Doksu Palace became his main palace. King Gojong moved his main residence to here as well as using other residents around Seoul. This palace had to undergo a major rebuilding after fire destroyed most of the structure.  During my tour, I learned many things. It was at this site that the infamous signing of Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire on August 22, 1910. In this treaty, Japan formally annexed Korea following the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 by which Korea became the protectorate of Japan and Japan–Korea Treaty of 1907 by which Korea was deprived of the administration of internal affairs.  I learned about how the nation of Korea was hoodwinked into handing over the sovereignty of Korea to the Japanese Emperor; the Japanese claimed that theJapanKorea-Japan treaty was legitimate and legal, but subsequent investigations have exposed the truths that Japan forged the oringinal seal. The seal of the Emporer of Korea was claimed to be used as a ligimate legal device, but subsequently,it has been found out that his name in the document is a forgery,  and also the seal is not his official seal, but just a copy; the King refused to have anything to do with this co-ersed ceremony;  when Russia was making in-roads into Far East, Japan offered to be a Protectorate for Korea under the auspices of protecting it from foreign aggression, mainly Russia. It was during this era that Japan took over Dok Island and built a watchtower there. I learned that the special royal seal which was allegedly used in the signing ceremony which annexed Korea into the Japanese Empire was in fact a replica - a  forgery. The legality of the Treaty would later be disputed by the exiled Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea as well as the South Korean government. While the treaty was affixed with the national seal of the Korean Empire, Emperor Sunjong of Korea refused to sign the treaty as required under Korean law. The treaty was instead signed by Prime Minister Lee Wan-yong of the Korean Empire, and Resident General Count Terauchi Masatake of the Empire of Japan. The Korean Prime Minister, although he was co-ersed into signing, is regarded in Korean history as "a traitor."

This issue caused considerable difficulty in negotiating the establishment of basic diplomatic relations between the countries. Korea insisted on including a chapter stipulating "The treaty was null and void". A compromise was reached in language of Article II of the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations: 

There’s an interesting story behind Deoksu Palace– it wasn’t a palace at all to begin with: After the Japanese invasion in 1592, all of the royal palaces had been destroyed or at the very least heavily damaged. A temporary palace had to be chosen from the royal houses, and this was it. King Gwanghaegun named it Gyeongungung and made it an official royal palace. It didn’t get its current name – "Palace of Virtuous Longevity" – until 1907 in a doomed attempt to ensure the longevity of King Gojong. As I said, he was the last Joseon king and first emperor of Korea, and he died in 1919 at the palace. This palace is unique amongst the five for having many western-style buildings. It also has lovely forested gardens and an art museum on site. As I found out during my tour, its architecture has both Russian as well as Japanese architecture; the tumultuous events during this era are reflected in the buildings we saw. 

After our tour, as I mentioned above,we then strolled down some quant old streets to reach the quant restaurant which is so cute and lovely, with a low ceiling inside which reminded me of old style houses. The menu was a selection of tasty spaghetti.

I enjoyed our historical excusion and meal. Although the tour highlights the worst and most sad part of Korea's history, I learned many things which I learned you cannot find in a Korean textbook because this era is not something which the Korean government wants to expose. If, however, you find anything to the contrary in Korean textbooks, now or in the future, please let me know. -Thanks.

Kimchi Class

Pulun meratakan sos kimchi ke seluruh kobis

Baru tahu rupanya leceh buat kimchi. Kata chef untuk dapat kimchi yang sedap itu kena peram selama 2 tahun. Chef juga inform bagus untuk kesihatan, ada banyak vitamin sebab tu ia boleh mencantikkan kulit lebih-lebih lagi ia tidak menggandungi sebarang bahan kimia. semua bahan adalah semulajadi dan tiada penggunaan gula. 

Saya tiada bukti untuk menyokong kebaikkan makan kimchi. sudah bertahun duduk korea, balik ke malaysia dan kembali lagi, tekak saya masih tidak dapat menerimanya. Agaknya tekak orang kampung di dalam diri saya terlalu kuat. Dan juga mungkin kerana saya bukan peminat sayur termasuk bawang putih/merah, budu dan cencalok. tapi itu tidak bermakna kimchi itu tidak sedap. cuma ia tidak sesuai dengan diri saya walau dah cuba beberapa kali tetap tidak dari saya.

Bertuahlah kepada mereka yang menggemarinya. Silakanlah amalkan. kot-kot kulit boleh cantik macam orang korea...(^_^)

Cara-cara buat kimchi
1. Sediakan sayur yang berkenaan. dalam kelas ini kami pakai kobis. kobis panjang dibelah 4. kemudian dibasuh dengan air bersih. selepas itu rendamkan kobis dengan air garam. selepas rendam sekitar 4 jam, periksa kobis anda dan pastikan kobis telah sepenuhnya berubah sedikit warna dan lembut sehingga tidak berbunyi kalau cuba untuk dipatahkan. jikalau selepas 4 jam masih tidak berubah, tambahkan masa rendaman.

2. kobis yang telah siap direndam dan sesuai digunakan, di angkat dan cuci dengan air bersih sebanyak tiga kali. selepas itu keringkannya sehingga tiada lagi air menitik. mungkin perlukan masa sekitar 2-3 jam untuk pengeringan 
3. penyediaan sos. bahan-bahannya serbuk cili kering, bawang putih yg telah dicincang halus, buah pear, bubur nasi, air putih, budu, daun bawang dan byk lg, boleh tgk di gambar. kalau saya, saya akan olah ikut selera saya sendiri, yang penting dapat sos yang kena dengan selera kita.
4. ratakan sos tersebut ke setiap celah kobis yang telah dikeringkan tadi.
5. kemudian peramkannya. paling cepat yang sesuai dimakan adalah sekitar 5 bulan..nak sedap lg kata chef, peramkan 2 tahun.

begitulah kisah kimchi

No telefon:02-6002-6456

Bahan-bahan sos kimchi 
Bersama-sama rakan dari Jepun menggauli sos kimchi

Bersama chef yang telah bersusah payah menurunkan resepi turun temurun keluarga beliau dalam pembuatan kimchi

Der fliegende Hollander by R.Wagner, Korea National Opera

 Der fliegende Hollander or The flying Dutchman by R.Wagner. It has been presented in German language. It tells the story of a young man who cursed to roam the sea forever without rest and every seven years the waves will cast him upon the shore; if he can find a wife who will be true to him he will be released from his curse.

Watching the Wagner's operas in Korea National Opera is an unforgettable experience. Watch it and forget about your troubles, forget about your job and soak in really old Germanic culture. Played by professional operatic singers and conductors. However in my opinion it is better to read/review a bit about the show before for a more understandable. But this is by no means to turn you off but to draw you in instead. The staff at both the ticket kiosks and info points were very friendly and gentle.

Thanks a lot to Seoul Low for sponsoring my ticket. It was well worth the time and money. I would certainly recommend the experience.


The Korean citizen enjoying the opera as well
The friendly staff at the ticket kiosks
The  professional operatic singers

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review from an opera newbie on the "The Flying Dutchman"

When it comes to opera, I am what one would call a newbie. My knowledge of arts and entertainment evolved mostly around watching live musicals, movies and the occasional museum explorations. Therefore, when an opportunity to watch an opera came up, I grab it straight away.

Watching “The Flying Dutchman” for the first time, or opera for that matter, requires full attention. That meant 3 hours of no contact with the outside world, or simply phone down. Not because one can’t, but because right from the beginning, the audiences were hooked. The opera opened with a few words describing the Flying Dutchman and its myth. It was projected live on a large screen for the audience to read and digest. Right after, there was a musical ensemble led by the talented Austrian conductor Ralf Weikert. It was intriguing to watch how he swayed the baton passionately at each note. The entire performance was filled with musical scores at its best and dramatic portrayal of each character’s expression. I felt the piece was a mixed of classical art and technology from the orchestra and opera singers to the lightings and projector.

One way to sum up opera for me would be, “an intimate storytelling experience expressed in the most dramatic way involving quality vocal performances”.

The Flying Dutchman @ Seoul Art Center

Wunderbar and Sehnsucht. Two German words that perfectly summed up my first experience in a German-language opera (or any opera performance, for that matter). My wonderful experience watching the Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner begun even before the performance started. From the moment I stepped into the opera house in the Seoul Arts Center, the feeling felt epic. I felt I was taken into a sacred world where the best and musically gifted people were invited to perform. And though I am a complete newbie in the world of theater, arts and opera (I don't think watching the Phantom of the Opera movie counts), I felt I had been given the privilege to experience the magnificence of it all.    

Simply put, the cast and music were amazing. Impressively orchestrated for almost 3 hours without intermission, the performance seemed out of this world. The solos and duets were just wonderful to behold. There is a huge difference seeing and hearing the performances live on stage than a cinema. And the story told out in an opera performance perfectly evoked the emotions and tensions the characters were feeling, something that hardly any Hollywood movie could ever do. The Dutchman's tragic tale of finding redemption and hope through the love of Senta, could indeed only be brought fully alive by the magic of opera. 

Yet it also left me with a tinge of "incurable longing" or Sehnsucht. Perhaps more of an observation, than a dramatic feeling, I thought of what "entertainment" was like during the long past history or more specifically in 1843 when the Flying Dutchman first premiered. Sitting in the opera house, I longed for the creative efforts and talent it took to compose and produce such an artistic piece. How long and how much industry it took for Richard Wagner to prepare an opera, and without Google and Microsoft Word! Nowadays, it seems movies, some good, some bad, go mostly rushed and without much thought (sorry Spectre, it seemed like you didn't know what to do with the villain, especially at the end). Maybe I'm complaining too much, but when I watched  Richard Wagner's opera, I felt what perhaps the Dutchman felt when he met Senta for the first time, Wunderbar and Sehnsucht.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Korean Folk Museum

韓國民俗村 한국민속촌

韓國民俗村 한국민속촌 

盆唐線 上葛站 3號出口
前方公車候車站 搭乘 37號 或是 10-5號公車

一號線 水原站 4號出口
10:30     12:30     14:30
江南站 1560號公車參觀時間:2、3、4、10月 09:30-18:00
5、6、7、8、9月 09:30-18:30
11、12、1月 09:30-17:30
#수원 #용인 #한국민속촌
#水原 #龍仁 #韓國民俗村
#suwon #koreanfolk

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