Cho Yong-pil Excited about Solo Concert in Pyongyang

    August 03, 2005 22:50

    Cho Yong-pil is quite excited about his forthcoming debut in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, saying, "The audience may perhaps feel like a bomb is falling." Cho is scheduled to hold a solo concert in Pyongyang's Yukyong Chung Ju-young Gymnasium on August 23 with over 12,000 North Koreans attending.

    He told a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday, "Didn't we experience an enormous cultural shock when Cliff Richard performed in Seoul decades ago? Then we adapted ourselves somewhat to pop music through radio and records. But visiting North Korea, opening the closed door... I'm excited."

    North Korean pop songs he had a chance to listen to at a North Korean restaurant in Shanghai last year were quite different from South Korea's, he reminisced. "Some of the North Koreans coming to my performance could feel like they are coming to an entirely different world, and others may find a new vigor for life," Cho said. Most North Koreans above middle school age, he understands, have had access to his songs through smuggled cassette tapes.

    "I'm most stressed about the reactions from the audience," added Cho. The last piece in his concert will be "Arirang Dream," with the refrain of Arirang that both North and South Koreans may sing together, he said.

    The Cho Yong-pil performance in Pyongyang, sponsored by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), will be broadcast live in the two Koreas simultaneously, with North Korea's Korean Central Television Station broadcasting the performance north of the DMZ. The stage will feature huge dove wings -- the symbol of peace -- as was the case with Cho's South Korean tours.

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