Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Legend Comes to Seoul


A few weeks ago I opened a copy of The Korea Times while I was sitting in the teacher's lounge at work. It was my first time checking-out an English Language newspaper here and while it may leave a lot to be desired in the responsible journalism department (there was a front page editorial yesterday telling people to not take global warming too seriously), it is still valuable to hear about Seoul weather and some major news that is important to us Seoul area locals.

Much to my surprise, world-renowned Italian film composer Ennio Morricone will be coming to Seoul on October 2nd and 3rd to conduct an orchestra of over 100 musicians and 100 vocalists. It will be Morricone's first visit to Seoul, and potentially his last (he is 79 years old and aging fast).
Just this past Saturday, I asked one of the Korean staff at our school to help us purchase tickets online and she was a huge help. I couldn't find any websites in English and I wasn't able to use a foreign credit card to purchase tickets. She offered to pay for the tickets on her card and I ran across to a bank to get her money so that I could pay her back right away.

Apparently, it is a common thing for the Korean staff at our school to arrange such things. Crazy. After a couple of weeks of thinking about it, finally, I know we are going. We are also lucky that October 3rd (a Wednesday) is also a holiday in Korea ("Foundation Day") which means we won't be teaching that night. It seems the stars aligned for this.
I feel very fortunate to be living so close to one of the largest cities in the world, not because the shopping's good - but because I get to see one of the best film composers who ever lived, conduct a huge choir and orchestra in a concert venue in Olympic Park. I can't wait. Tickets ranged from 60,000 wan to 180,000 wan and even though we opted for the less expensive side of things, it is still a substantial purchase for us considering we won't get paid until 7 days later. Still - it's well worth it. I know I'd be kicking myself if I missed ths opportunity.

For those of you not familiar with Morricone's work, he is the composer of over 480 film and television scores. Some you might know include "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly", "A Fistful of Dollars", "Once Upon a Time in the West", "The Untouchables", "Bugsy" and "Cinema Paradiso" - one of my favourite films.
I first heard about Morricone through my music-loving sister, Sandy, who asked for the soundtrack to "The Mission" one year for Christmas. Next to Cinema Paradiso, The Mission is my favourite score from Morricone, and I can't believe that in just over two weeks I'm going to be hearing him conduct 100 voices singing "Vita Nostra". It's going to be sublime. I will be sure to take as many pictures as I can and tell you all about it.

If you think you're not familiar with Morricone's work, check him out on itunes and I'm sure you will recognize some of his stuff. I can't wait - a treat at the end of an extremely busy time. Thank you: Sandy, for introducing me to his music, and thanks to my Aunt Marilyn and Cousin Ernie for the extra financial boost before I left Calgary - I couldn't have afforded this night out without your generosity :)

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