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Rethinking Korean Pirate Musicals ―The case of Jesus Christ Superstar

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2022, (76), pp.89-130
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2022..76.89
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : July 13, 2022
  • Accepted : August 13, 2022
  • Published : August 31, 2022

Seungyoun Choi 1

1청강문화산업대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Currently, the Korean musical scene tends to regard the history after the licensed version of The Phantom of the Opera in 2001 as an official history of industrialization, especially musicals in the era of piracy, as an era somewhat unrelated to the "complete musical history." This paper confronts the difference between the research achievements of early musical history and the real musical epistemology, and attempts to overcome it by utilizing the subversive and crack imagination of pirates/slavery shown by Marcus Reddicker in Outlaws of the Atlantic. To this end, the Korean pirate version of Jesus Christ Superstar, which premiered in February 1980, elaborately complements the existing musical history by examining how the original Jesus Christ Superstar absorbed, collided, fused, refracted, and transformed. The original Jesus Christ Superstar was developed in the "rock opera" style, and was first produced as a concept album using rock music in 1970 after the single "Superstar" was released in 1969. At that time, the concept album was produced in a way that unified all music within a single theme using rock music that expanded its scope, and the concept album "Jesus Christ Superstar" was also the same. "Jesus Christ Superstar" was produced in a way that deepened the theme within the concept of "rock opera" and music was listed according to clear dramas, and as a result, numerous pirated versions poured out in the United States between the concept album in 1970 and the premiere of the rock opera in 1971. Therefore, Yuk Wan-soon's dance play Jesus Christ Superstar which was first performed in Korea in 1973 and the pirate musical version, were not essentially different from the situation in the American performance industry, which showed the box office power of Jesus Christ Superstar, not Korea's solo pirated performance. In addition, the Modern Theater's Jesus Christ Superstar somewhat deviated from the progressive and telegraphic conceptual framework of "rock opera" discussed by the Korean media at the time, adding to the serious theatrical art aspect that strengthened the level of Christian faith confession. In terms of music, the arrangement of wind instruments by Jung Sung-jo's band stood out and combined with rock sound in the 1970s, which remained in the middle of easy listening and fork, was able to draw wide public sympathy at the time. In this way, it can be said that the Modern Theater's Jesus Christ Superstar in 1980 was an interesting musical "text" that was combined with the identity of the performing world of Korea of the time outside of standardized legal regulations.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.