December 11, 2019
KCNA Pyongyang Times

Scenes revive memories of sensation decades ago

Date: 02/12/2019 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

A performance of famous songs and scenes from revolutionary operas produced by the Phibada Opera Troupe is running on at the Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

Starting on July 16, it is now going on amid the enthusiastic interest of the audience.

“Seeing the performance, I looked back upon the days of the revolution in the operatic art which stirred up the hearts of all the people in the DPRK in the 1970s,” said Kim Hyang Sim, a 72-year-old spectator. “At that time when an epochal turn was being brought about in the themes and representation of operas, revolutionary operas The Sea of Blood and The Flower Girl were created to strike the world with wonder.”

Korean-style operas were new and original in the themes and general artistic representation, and they were created under the guidance of Chairman Kim Jong Il in the early 1970s.

Innovation was made in the content of opera by setting socio-political problems for glorifying the dignity and value of humans as social beings as the main task of description and representing them meaningfully and emotionally. Verse songs, off-stage songs, dance, orchestral music and stage arts were also introduced, and a new ground was broken in dramaturgy.

The first product was The Sea of Blood, which was followed by The Flower Girl, People’s Prize-winning Tell O Forest, Song of Mt Kumgang and People’s Prize-winning The Story of a Nurse.

In the period when these five “Sea of Blood”-style revolutionary operas were created, the Chairman gave detailed instructions with his brilliant artistic insight and energetically led the whole process of their production.

Amid the playing of solemn music pieces making the audience recollect his devotion, scenes from the operas are projected on the screen, during which a silent yet overwhelming emotion surges in the auditorium as they trace back the history of operatic development spanning some 40 years.

“Similar performances were given in the past, but this time we have compiled the performance by selecting typical songs and scenes from the five revolutionary operas so as to make them flow in a plot,” said Hwang Chol Ung, director of the performance.

The scenes feature heroes and heroines of the operas including a pitiful mother who cannot serve her children with enough meals; a pathetic Kkot Bun who devotedly takes care of her ailing mother and blind younger sister but loses her mother and is taken to the landlord’s to serve him unable to pay debts; Choe Pyong Hun who carries out his assignment given by the revolutionary organization while pretending to be a stooge of the enemy although he is rejected even by his daughter; and a nurse who guides wounded soldiers to her unit by displaying self-sacrificing spirit as she misses the Supreme Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army. The performance is appealing to the audience for the consummate singing skills, good interpretation of works and unique and affluent means of representation.

In the performance, famous songs Bumper Harvest of Apple and Beautiful and Nice to Live in from revolutionary opera Song of Mt Kumgang have been represented into national instrumental concert and female vocal quintet to enhance the mood of the play.

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