2015 Uijeongbu Music Theatre Festival
Uijeongbu is a satellite city north of Seoul with a strong military presence. It is also famous for budaejjigae (literally “army base stew”) to the point that there is an Uijeongbu Budaejjigae Street, a street with many buddaejjigae restaurants.
Also in this city of culture and arts is the Uijeongbu International Music Theatre Festival. This May was the 14th consecutive festival. It showcased outdoor performances, newly-released musicals, and new works of art. This year’s theme was ‘playing life,’ and it was hosted by the Uijeongbu Art Center. The shows included overseas plays like ‘Historia de Amor’ and ‘I on the sky,’ domestic plays like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Musical Farinelli,’ outside concerts, several exhibitions, and even an art market. There were also some arts and crafts programs with chalk, tile painting, and traditional Korean paper. Check out the Web site at http://www.umtf.or.kr/.
One of the most popular performances was the musical ‘Mahlermania,’ which depicted a story of the life and agony of the composer Gustav Mahler. Gustav and his wife led a dramatic life including his illness, her affair, and the death of their first child. Nico & the Navigators and Deutsche Oper Berlin coproduced the musical that was acclaimed by critics as an innovative, fresh and imaginative performance. Additionally, the orchestra pit is placed on stage “helping to deliver the delicate and grand feelings inherent in Mahler's music.”