UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Chunhyang-ga as pansori-style opera : a guide for performing pansori with classically-trained singers outside of Korea Klippenstein, Jason Abram


My love of Korean traditional vocal music stemmed from my two years of living and working near Seoul as an English teacher. Upon returning to Canada, I entered a Masters program in music which required the performance of a recital. Choosing a Korean art song cycle for this recital sparked my research into other Korean vocal art forms. From this, I discovered changgeuk, which is commonly referred to as “Korean Traditional Opera,” and subsequently pansori, a traditional form of Korean sung storytelling on which changgeuk is based. A continued curiosity in these two traditional art forms during my UBC doctoral studies inspired me to question whether there was an in-road for classically-trained singers in North America to perform them, and led to this creative-interpretive thesis project. The purpose of this thesis, which includes a dissertation and performance project, is to provide an example of a possible guide and template for individuals or institutions interested in presenting an opera production of pansori material. It provides an overview of pansori's theory, historical background, and repertoire; the basics and history of changgeuk; details of the production process for my Lecture-Recital performance (singing Korean, transcribing a vocal score, arranging full scores, directing the drama, and presenting suitable visual aspects); and a distilling of the successes and challenges of this project into suggestions on how future productions of pansori-style opera may be presented effectively. A great deal of the experience I gained from this project involved navigating the adaptations necessary for performing this traditional Korean source material with the resources available to me in a non-Korean location. I plan to expand this thesis project into a full opera production and hope that my efforts may encourage others to experiment with similar hybrids using traditional musical-theatrical material. Ultimately, the goal is to establish such cross-cultural experiments as a more frequent source for opera productions, increasing exposure and interest in the traditions on which they are based. Supplementary material available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/71674

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International