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Daegu International Musical Festival comes back in full blast

DAEGU -- The iconic Daegu International Musical Festival kicked off Friday, returning in full blast for the first time in three years.

The opening event took place at Kolon Bandstand Stage, joined by generation-spanning musical actors as well as aspiring students, including Nam Kyeong-ju, Choi Jung-won, Michael Lee, Park Gun-hyung and Kim So-hyang. 

Park Gun-hyung performs with contestants of “Musical Star” on Friday during the opening show of Daegu International Musical Festival. “Musical Star” is the Daegu International Musical Festival’s competition for aspiring young musical actors aged 9 to 24. (DIMF)
Park Gun-hyung performs with contestants of “Musical Star” on Friday during the opening show of Daegu International Musical Festival. “Musical Star” is the Daegu International Musical Festival’s competition for aspiring young musical actors aged 9 to 24. (DIMF)


This year’s iteration brought back foreign musicals, also for the first time in three years. The Slovakian version of “Turandot,” the musical adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s opera of the same name, was chosen as the opening performance. The musical version, produced by Yoo Hei-sung, premiered in 2011 at DIMF and has since been exported to Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Concluding the festival will be “The Choir of Man,” a British jukebox musical running from July 2-7.

Taiwan’s “Non Reading Club” will be available for online viewing. Going forward, the committee plans to continue offering the online events they began adopting as a necessary response to COVID-19.

“This is meaningful that Korea’s big original musical was exported to Europe for the first time and its license version was invited to perform here,” an official of the DMIF organizing committee said.

In addition to the foreign musicals, the festival features 22 new and established musicals across the southern city of Daegu running 18 days, having begun Friday and continuing until July 11. The festival combines a musical academy, a college musical festival, lectures and backstage tours as well as a mix of online and offline events.

For this year’s musical star, DIMF selected Kim So-hyun, who has appeared in various musicals including “Marie Antoinette,” “Elizabeth,” “Phantom,” “The Last Empress,” “Wicked” and “Mozart!” Kim, is a classically trained former opera singer who had her musical debut in 2001 as Christine Daae in “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The DIMF Awards will be presented at the finale of the festival on July 11.

Hosted by the city of Daegu and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the annual event was established in 2006 to promote the city as a musical hub of Asia. In recognition of Daegu’s devotion to musicals and to support the musical industry, President Yoon Suk-yeol has pledged to build a national musical theater in the city.  (gypark@heraldcorp.ocm)

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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