Jang Bogo, a key historical figure of the later Silla period of the 8th century, who dominated maritime trade between the Korean peninsula, Japan and China, belonged to the lowest class. Nonetheless, Jang Bogo defied the restraints of social status and went to Tang China, where he rose to government power and earned a huge fortune. Back home, Jang Bogo built a trading port in Wando, South Jeolla Province, and he embarked on the policy that selects people not by status but by ability. .
A musical “Oceans,” which portrays Jang Bogo, premieres from September 1 to 4 at COEX Artium in southern Seoul. The work is produced by director Choo Jeong-hwa and music director Heo Soo-hyun, another series of their musicals together since the previous work “Frida”. The Dong-A Ilbo met the two at the EMK music company in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
“As a mother of a 20-year-old girl myself, I felt sad that young people without parental support and from affluent backgrounds had to settle for a realistic goal because of environmental constraints, at the place to dream big, as much as their ability and will allow,” director Choo said. “I was looking for a story that could give hope to these young people, and I found that Jang Bogo, who got an unprecedented miraculous result, was in fact the “earth spoon”, which was born with nothing.”
The musical depicts the journey of a young boy, who was born to a modest family, with no proper name, went to Tang China, where he got a job as an archer called Hwal-bo in Korean, and became Jang Bogo as we know him. This is a musical performance where five actors play Jang Bogo and the surrounding characters, telling a story to the audience, about Jang Bogo’s old friend Jeong-yeon and his fate, which is also recorded in The Chronicles of Three States.
As the musical is aimed at young adults, the script and songs are easy to sing along to and remember. “Rather than accurately depicting the story, the show focuses on vividly conveying how Jang Bogo runs towards his goal without hesitation,” Choo said. “I referred to songs by Korean singer PSY and Elvis Presley, as well as Korean folk song ‘Arirang’ and ‘Kwaejina Ching Ching Nane’,” said Heo, the musical’s composer.
First meeting as an actress and composer of the musical “Werther,” Choo and Heo got married and got married. Celebrating the 21st wedding anniversary, the couple produced their 13th creative musical “Oceans,” following previous works including “Frida,” “Secretly, Greatly” and “Ludwig.” “Heo is the only composer who can create the music I want,” Choo said. “She’s an amazing woman with an amazing musical sense,” Heo said.
Ji-Hoon Lee ea[email protected]