Welcome 2023 with fireworks and festivities

The fireworks at the Seoul Arts Center, southern Seoul, that signal the start of a new year will resume this year for the first time in three years. [SEOUL ARTS CENTER]
Soprano Sumi Hwang [SAC]

The fireworks that signal the start of the new year at the Seoul Arts Center every year will resume for the first time in three years. The event has been suspended for the previous two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Seoul Arts Center, the New Year’s Eve concert will begin at 10 p.m. at the Concert Hall. The Korean National Symphony Orchestra will perform under the baton of Hong Seok-won. They will perform “Bacchanale” in Saint-Saens’ opera “Samson and Delilah,” followed by Rachmaninov’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” which will be accompanied by pianist Shin Chang-yong. In the second half, the orchestra will be joined by soprano Sumi Hwang and bass Park Jong-min, who will sing “La Calunnia E Un Venticello” in Gioachino Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville,” “Song to the moon” from Dvorak’s “Rusalka,” “Quel guardo il cavaliere” in Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” as well as “Lippen Schweigen” from Lehar’s “Die Lustige Witwe.”

After the concert, the audience will be ushered outside to count down to 2023 together. They will be given out “wish balloons” to write their wishes for 2023 on the balloons and let them float away right before the fireworks commence. The concert will also be available online via Seoul Arts Center’s YouTube channel SAC on Screen. Tickets range from 50,000 won ($39) to 100,000 won.

Pianist Yunchan Lim [JOONGANG ILBO]

At Seongnam Arts Center in Gyeonggi, pianist Yunchan Lim, who surprised the world by becoming the youngest winner of Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in June, will accompany Seongnam City Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Chang Yun-seong. Soprano Seo Sun-young and tenor Lee Jeong-won will also join the orchestra on stage for some of the pieces in the program.

The program includes “Pace, Pace mio Dio” in Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino,” “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” in Lehar’s “Das Land des Laechelns,” “Dich teure Halle” in Wagner’s “Tannhauser,” Curtis’ “Non ti scordar di me” and “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” in Verdi’s “La Traviata.” Lim will perform two pieces with the orchestra — Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat Major” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7 in A Major.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 30,000 won.

For those who want to enjoy a music performance in the afternoon, the New Year’s Eve concert at the National Theater of Korea in central Seoul is recommended. At 3 p.m. at the Haneul Theater, the National Theater of Korea’s signature performance “New Year’s Eve Pansori” concert by pansori (traditional Korean narrative singing) master Ahn Sook-sun will be organized. Tickets cost 30,000 won.