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Folk opera 'Tcheo Yong' to open in 3 European countries

This is the official poster for the European tour of the contemporary opera "Tcheo Yong" from June 9-13. (Korea National Opera)

By Yoon Seungjin

The Korea National Opera next month will stage the domestic contemporary opera "Tcheo Yong" in three European countries.

To mark this year's Paris Summer Olympics, the tour aims to showcase the potential of Korean classical music.

For this project, the opera company has partnered with the Korean National Symphony Orchestra and National Chorus of Korea. The tour commences at the Opera-Comique in Paris on June 9, goes to the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall on June 11 and concludes at the Vienna Musikverein's Golden Hall in Austria on June 13.

Composed by Lee Young-jo in 1987, "Tcheo Yong" was inspired by a Silla Kingdom tale of Okhwang Sangje (Great Jade Emperor), the supreme ruler of the heavens who decides to destroy the corrupt kingdom. His son, Cheo Yong, descends to Earth to save Silla but falls in love with the beautiful woman Ga-sil, something that leads to conflict and confusion.

Hong Seok-won, one of the nation's leading conductors and famous for his performances at Bern Theatre of Switzerland and Mainz State Theater of Germany, will lead this production. Lee Gina directs the work while tenor Alex Kim, a soloist at the Meiningen Court Theatre of Germany, plays Cheo Yong and soprano Yoon Jung-nan Ga-sil.

The cast also includes bass Kwon Young-myoung as the emperor and baritone Kong Byung-woo as the villain Yeoksin.