Barely three weeks to go until Christmas Day, the holiday spirit is in the air. December is when families, friends and couples spend time with each other, and maybe enjoy holiday-themed concerts, performances and shows.
Many Korean singers and groups are holding concerts not just on Christmas, but also New Year’s Eve. This gives a chance for fans to spend Christmas Day and welcome in 2009 with music from their favorite artists.
Whether you like pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, jazz or classical music there’s a concert for you this holiday season. Tickets to performances are mostly available on Korean ticket Web sites, Interpark (ticket.interpark.com), Auction (ticket.auction.co.kr) and Ticketlink (www.ticketlink.co.kr).
This Christmas, couples can spend a romantic evening listening to jazz or R&B music, while young people can have fun at hip-hop and rock concerts.
Popular hip-hop group Epik High will spend Christmas Eve with their fans at “The White Parade 2008” concert, Dec. 24, Jangchung Stadium. The group will perform hits such as “Love Love Love,” “Fly” and “Fan” during two shows. The first concert starts at 7:30 p.m., while the second one starts at 11:59 p.m., just in time to ring in the New Year. Tickets range from 55,000 won to 88,000 won.
Park Jin-young, also known as the founder of JYP Entertainment, is back on stage with a nationwide tour “One Night Stand” this month. He is holding two concerts, Dec. 24-25, at the COEX Convention Hall, Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 44,000 won to 110,000 won. Park is also holding concerts in Bucheon (Dec. 13), Cheonan (Dec. 14), Daejeon (Dec. 19), Busan (Dec. 27), Daegu (Dec. 28) and Ilsan (Dec. 30).
Listen to sultry jazzy versions of Christmas classics at jazz diva Woongsan’s concert, Dec. 24. Woongsan, who has released albums in Korea and Japan, is having a “Happy Christmas with Woongsan” concert at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts M Theater. Tickets are 66,000 won, 55,000 won and 44,000 won. Call (02) 720-3933.
Popular ballad singer Jo Sung-mo will serenade his fans at a Christmas Eve concert at the Kyung Hee University Peace Hall, Dec. 24. Call (02) 515-5880.
Singer Lee Sang-eun will perform at the “Christmas a la Carte” wine and acoustic party at the Apgujeong Ye Hall, Dec. 24. Tickets are 44,000 won.
Rock star Lee Seung-hwan will have fans banging their heads to his distinctive music at the “Original Lee Seung-hwan Live Concert,” Dec. 24-26, Olympic Park Gym No. 2, southern Seoul. Tickets are 55,000 won to 132,000 won. Call (02) 563-0595.
Lee Seung-chul is also having a series of “Crazy Night” Christmas concerts, Dec. 24-27, Jamsil Indoor Stadium. Tickets are 55,000 won to 120,000 won. Call 1588-4992.
Pop-rock group Jaurim is holding “Midnight Express The Great Show” concert at Busan KBS Hall, Dec. 25 and at the Olympic Gymnasium 1, Dec. 31. Tickets range from 44,000 won to 88,000 won.
Singer M, who is also a member of popular boy band Shinhwa, is holding two concerts on New Year’s Eve. The first concert will start at 7 p.m., while the second concert will start at 11 p.m. Both concerts will be held at the Yonsei Auditorium. Tickets are 77,000 won and 66,000 won. Call (02) 3446-3226.
Rap group DJ DOC will celebrate the end of the year with two concerts, Dec. 30-31, Olympic Hall, Olympic Park. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 88,000 won.
There are also special Christmas concerts that will give fans a rare chance to see several Korean singers and groups perform in one place.
R&B lovers will enjoy “The Soul concert” featuring four of the best R&B singers today, Gummy, Wheesung, Park Hyo-shin and Jung Yub. There will be four concerts, Dec. 20-21, Dec. 23-24 at the Olympic Park Gymnasium 1, Olympic Park, southern Seoul. Tickets are 110,000 won, 99,000 won, 77,000 won and 44,000 won.
The Big 4 Concert gathers top ballad singers Lee Soo-young, SG Wannabe, Brown Eyed Girls and Brown Eyes member Yoon Gun, Dec. 24 at the COEX Convention Hall, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 66,000 won to 99,000 won. Call (02) 541-4150.
Girls will certainly flock to the concert featuring ballad singers Kim Jong-kook and Fly to the Sky members Hwanhee and Brian. The three singers will be performing, Dec. 27-28 at the COEX Convention Hall. Tickets range from 44,000 won to 110,000 won.
Alex, one of the vocalists from electronic pop group Clazziquai, is teaming up with singer Park Jung-hyun for the “Sweet December” concert. They will be serenading fans with romantic love songs, Dec. 30-31 at the Olympic Fencing Stadium, Olympic Park, southern Seoul. Tickets are 44,000 won to 90,000 won.
Listen to the heavenly voices of acclaimed French boys’ choir Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois at a concert Dec. 12, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. The choir, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, is considered one of the top three boys’ choirs in the world. Visit http://www.sejongpac.or.kr or call (02) 548-4480.
Have an early “White Christmas” at Kim Nam-yun and 150 Violinists’ concert, Dec. 23 at the Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center. The program features a mix of classical pieces by Brahms and Mozart, film scores, pop songs and Christmas carols. Tickets are 80,000 won (for couple seats), and 40,000 and 20,000 won. Visit http://www.sac.or.kr.
The National Orchestra of Korea is having a concert, Dec. 25 at the National Theater of Korea. Tickets are 20,000 won. Call (02) 2280-4114 or visit http://www.ntok.go.kr.
A “Sweet Christmas” concert will be held, Dec. 25, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Chamber Hall. Tickets are 30,000 won. Call (02) 581-5404.
To welcome the new year, a special 2008 New Year’s Eve Concert will be staged at 9:30 p.m., Dec. 31, Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center. Laurent Petitgirard will conduct the Gangnam Symphony orchestra. Other featured performers are cellist Yang Sung-won, pianist Lee Yong-kyu, popera singer Rose Jang and the Grande Opera Choir. The program includes Symphonic Poem from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Ravel’s “Piano Concerto for Left Hand,” Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Opera and “Memory” from Cats. Tickets are 70,000 won and 40,000 won. Call (02) 580-1301.
Violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill is headlining the New Year’s Eve concert at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Theater, Dec. 31. Tickets are 20,000 won to 80,000 won. Call (02) 399-1114
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is perhaps one of the most enduring Christmas stories around the world. Who can forget the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future? The Korean musical “A Christmas Carol” will run from Dec. 20 to 30 at the Towol Theater, Seoul Arts Center. There are two performances every day, except Dec. 26 and 30 where there is only one performance. There’s no performance, Dec. 29. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. Call (02) 523-0985.
Another favorite holiday performance is “The Nutcracker.” The Korea National Ballet is staging “The Nutcracker 2008” at the Opera Theater, Seoul Arts Center from Dec. 25 to 31. Weekday performances are at 7:30 p.m., while weekend performances are at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. No performance on Monday. Tickets are 20,000 won to 70,000 won. Call (02) 580-1300 or (02) 587-6181.
It may not have a Christmas theme but the musical “Wizard of Oz” brings a lot of fun and laughter. The musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book about Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz will surely delight children and adults. It runs from Dec. 17 to 28 at the Sejong Center of the Performing Arts Grand Theater. Tickets are 30,000 won to 50,000 won. (Cathy Rose A. Garcia, Staff Reporter, The Korea Times)