P'ansori: Korean Opera and Improvisation

“[Bae Il-Dong’s] voice has such breath that it not only fills physical space like a lava flow, but seems to stretch back across time.” —ABC Jazz (Australia)

Music from “The Opera Project,” a San Francisco World Music Festival Production

Featuring Bae Il-Dong and Kim Dong Won with Jim Santi Owen

Rough-hewn, quavering, soulful song accompanied by a single drum is the hallmark of p’ansori, the centuries-old Korean folk opera style that has enjoyed a resurgence in recent decades. Singer Bae Il-Dong and drummer Kim Dong Won are among the finest contemporary practitioners of the art, with the former famed for his interpretation of the epic song Shimch’ŏngga (The Song of the Filial Daughter); both are also brilliant improvisers. Rooted in shamanism, p’ansori calls on vocalists in particular to train painstakingly in isolation. To develop his strength of voice, Bae Il-Dong spent seven years singing into a roaring waterfall—the traditional training method of p’ansori singers. Percussionist and educator Kim Dong Won, meanwhile, has toured the world as a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. This extraordinary performance also features percussionist Jim Santi Owen, music director of the San Francisco World Music Festival.

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TUES 11/13
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff