Sep 6, 2016 - Dec 30, 2100

 The National Theater of Korea

National Theater of Korea

The Art world of the National Theater, the culmination of years gone by. Scent of the arts will stir all our senses, Giving great pleasures deep in our hearts.


04. 29. 1950.
Foundation of the National Theater of
Korea(in Bumingwan building, which is now
the Seoul Municipal Assembly Building)
and the National Theater Company of Korea
12. 15. 1952.
Moved to Daegu Cultural Center
during the Korean War
06. 01. 1957.
Moved to the Seoul Public Hall
(current Myeongdong Theater)
01. 15. 1962.
Establishment of resident companies:
the National Changgeuk Company,
the National Dance Company,
and the Korean National Opera
03. 08. 1969.
Takeover of Korean Broadcast System (KBS)
Symphony Orchestra and renaming it
as the National Symphony Orchestra
05. 01. 1973.
Separation of the Korean National Ballet,
establishment of the National Chorus of Korea
10. 17. 1973.
Opening of the National Theater of Korea
building at its present location
in Jangchungdong (main hall and small hall)
08. 01. 1981.
Transfer of the National Symphony
Orchestra of Korea back to KBS
05. 15. 1982.
Opening of an outdoor performance site,
02. 01. 1991.
Renamed as the National Central Theater of Korea
01. 01. 1995.
Establishment of the National Orchestra of Korea
01. 01. 2000.
Designated as an autonomous
government-sponsored body
02. 01. 2000.
The Korean National Ballet,
the Korea National Opera,
and the National Chorus of Korea
became foundation corporations
05. 06. 2000.
Renaming of theaters
(The main hall – Haeoreum Hall;
the small hall – Daloreum Hall)
05. 23. 2001.
Opening of the Byeoloreum Studio
06. 11. 2002.
Opening of the Haneul Theater
(Former Norimadang)
04. 21. 2003.
Establishment of a foundation corporation,
the National Theater of Korea Foundation
10. 29. 2004.
Renovation and reopening of the Haeoreum Hall.
04. 29. 2005.
Renovation and reopening of the Daloreum Hall
04. 30. 2008. Opening of the KB Haneul Youth Theater
(Former Haneul Theater)
01. 01. 2009.
Switched from a corporate autonomous
government-sponsored body to
an administrative autonomous
government-sponsored body
12. 23. 2009.
Opening of the Museum of Performing Arts
04. 30. 2010.
The National Theater Company of Korea
became a foundation corporation

 The National Changgeuk Company, the National Dance Company and the National Orchestra, representing the National Theater,are the best performing art companies in Korea.About 160 outstanding artists in pansori, Korean dance, and Korean music devote themselves to artistic pursuits to create a uniquely Korean artistic performance with grace and elegant style.
The National Changgeuk Company of Korea
A national performing arts company specializing in changgeuk,a unique form of musical drama The National Changgeuk Company of Korea was established in 1962 to carry on and develop the spirit, style and joyous sound of Korea. Changgeuk, an art form with over 100 years of history, developed out of pansori,long dramatic, solo songs performed to the accompaniment of a single drum. Unlike pansori, the changgeuk performances are more like an opera.The National Changgeuk Company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has worked hard to popularize and globalize the genre through preservation, standardization and new creations. As a core project,the company has arranged five pansori songs–‘Chunhyangga’ (The Song of Chunhyang), ‘Simcheongga’(The Song of Sim Cheong), ‘Heungbuga’ (The Song of Heung-bu), ‘Sugungga’ (The Song of Sugung) and‘Jeokbyeokga’ (The Song of the Red Cliff)–into changgeuk scripts and has been performing the full versions since 1998.Now the National Changgeuk Company is ambitiously presenting the World Masters Series, producing changgeuk with world-renowned opera directors like Achim Freyer. It is also planning the creation of new changgeuk and the restoration of seven lost pansori songs as well as the ‘Changgeuk Series’ for Youth to revitalize the genre and expand the audience.

Mr. Rabbit and the Dragon King

The pansori opera, <mr. rabbit and the dragon king>, the acclaimed
opening work of the ‘National Repertory Season 2012-2013’, was directed
by the German director Achim Freyer as the first project of the World
Masters Series. It is expected that the series will help changgeuk make a
strategic advance onto international stages. It premiered at the Haeoreum
Hall in September 2011 and received popular and critical acclaim; its performance
at the Wuppertal Opera Theater, Germany in December that
year also received a standing ovation, signaling a successful start of the
Changgeuk Globalization Project.

Janghwa and Hongryeon

<janghwa and hongryeon> is one of the National Changgeuk Company’s
new attempts to discover interesting materials and arrange them into
changgeuk. Adapted from a classic novel of the same title, the changgeuk
version of <janghwa and hongryeon> reflects current social issues. The
imperfection and weakness of human mentality is expressed by traditional
sounds of Korean music.

Aerang and Baebijang

This changgeuk is a re-production of「Baebijangjeon」, one of the seven
lost pansori songs which have been only partially passed down. It sheds
new lights on the satire and sarcasm toward scholar officials and the humor
contained in the original work. The director’s focus is to create a sophisticated
stage with a feel of traditional Korea by employing effective
lighting and stage designs.

The National Dance Company of Korea
Sophisticated dance expressing traditional Korean materials The National Dance Company of Korea was established in 1962 to reinterpret traditional Korean dance and create new works. It has been led by Song Beom, Cho Heung-dong, Choi Hyun, Kook Soo-ho, Kim Hyeon-ja and Bae Jung-hae and Yun Sung-joo. The best dancers in Korea are carrying on traditional dance and developing it into modern Korean dance, which can appeal to today’s audiences. Of the works in its repertoire, <Madam Domi> and <Korean Fantasy> are masterpieces that are milestones in Korean dance history. As of 2012, there are around 50 dancers in the National Dance Company who present sophisticated, dynamic, delicate and graceful performances.Now the National Dance Company is building its repertoire by performing old and new works, training young choreographers and promoting popular programs to expand its audiences.

Madam Domi

<madam domi> was produced in 1984 when the National Dance Company
was invited to perform at the LA Olympics. A dramatic love story
between Domi and his wife Arang is expressed through brilliant and colorful
dances. At the premiere of <madam domi>, Lewis Segal, an American
dance critic, praised the work as a masterpiece of Korean expressionism.
Thanks to the favorable criticism, the work has been performed more
than 200 times at home and abroad.

Dear Nongae

New Artistic Director Yun Sung-joo ambitiously presents her first work:
the story of Nongae and a Japanese general, who are torn between loyalty
to their countries and feelings for each other.

Chum, Chunhyang

<chum, chunhyang> is a dance drama adapted from a classic novel
『Chunhyangjeon』 (The Story of Chun-hyang). It is a story of a young man
and woman falling in love despite the difference in their social status.
Customs for Dano, including washing hair in water boiled with iris and
subuhui, a water-splashing game, are presented with beautiful movements
and traditional beats and rhythm.

The National Orchestra of Korea
Evoking the identity of the Korean people and the sound of the soul The National Orchestra of Korea, an orchestra of traditional Korean instruments, was founded in 1995 as a resident company of the National Theater of Korea. From its founding to the present, the company has proudly presented contemporary versions of traditional music, particularly focusing on newly created works containing the identity of Koreans and the sound of the soul. It has also planned performances promoting rapport with audiences and has achieved a unique repertoire and sound. Based on the achievements of his predecessors Park Beom-hun, Han Sang-il, Choi Sang-hwa, and Hwang Byung-ki, the fifth Artistic Director Won Il is now fostering the National Orchestra into the country’s premier traditional orchestra by establishing a characteristic sound and encouraging innovation.

New Hearing

As the title implies, this concert series presents drastically different orchestral
sounds from the usual sound of a traditional Korean orchestra in
terms of music and technique. In this series, the orchestra performs with
invited virtuosi, presenting reinterpretations of masterpieces, premieres of
new compositions and rearrangements of existing pieces. This concert series
presents a new vision for the National Orchestra led by the progressive
young musician Won Il.

Five Elements-Lecture Concert

In this first lecture concert, a literary critic Go Mi-suk, who regards an
ancient medical book 『Five Elements-Lecture Concert』 (Exemplar of Eastern Medicine)
as a ‘secret book’ for life, meets Artistic Director Won Il, who has worked
to promote the dynamic aspects of traditional Korean music, which follows
the philosophy of the universe. This lecture concert, the first of its
kind, presents traditional and contemporary music and offers interesting
explanations regarding yin and yang and the five elements of the universe
in music.

Sinawi Project

The National Orchestra is launching the contemporary <sinawi project>
(ensemble improvisation), the first of its kind. Performers improvise on the
young artists’ new compositions, creating a whole new genre. The orchestra
is divided into four teams to work with nine music directors. Contemporary
compositions are played on traditional instruments and create rapport
with modern audiences.

Hae (Sun), Dal (Moon), Byeol (Star), Haneul (Sky) Spaces of unlimited possibility resembling nature All the songs here are presented to enrich our lives and offer hope.

Haeoreum Grand Theater

The largest among the National Theater’s four theaters, this hall is
equipped with 1,563 seats and 24 seats for latecomers in a waiting room
with a glass front. With the easily adjustable stage and high-tech sound
and lighting systems, the hall can stage performances in any genre. Its
spacious seats provide an optimal environment for audiences to enjoy the

Daloreum Theater

This hall with 407 seats (five for wheelchairs) is a proscenium stage. Its
high-tech sound and lighting systems enable it to stage performances in
any genre. This theater is the primary hall for plays and changgeuk.

Byeloreum Studio

This theater was built in 2001 to promote diversity in performing arts by
featuring more progressive and experimental performances of young artists.
This small theater with seating for 100 includes 74 fixed seats and approximately
30 moveable seats.

KB Haneul Round Theater

Under the sponsorship of KB Kookmin Bank, the KB Haneul Round Theater was renovated and reopened on April 30, 2008 as the first theater
in Korea with an automated retractable dome. This theater has 627 seats.

The National Theater of Korea
Credits: Story

발행(Publishing) — 국립극장(The National Theater of Korea)

발행인(Publisher) - 안호상(Ahn Ho-sang), 최석영(Choe Seok-Yeong)

기획(Planning) - 홍보팀(Public Relations Team)

편집(Editor) — 설인재 (Seol In-Jae)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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