A Chinese Opera company came rolling into town, much like a traveling circus, complete with frightening characters in exaggerated makeup sans bulbous red noses. There are only two things I fear in life: A land war in Asia and the unholy grin of a circus clown. Today I add to my list of fears: Chinese opera performers.
Above is a triptych of the lady in red created composed of the images that follow.
A double language barrier clouded the proceedings of today's events. The players of the opera spoke mandarin. The events announcers spoke another mysterious language: formal Korean. Put me in front of a nightly Korean TV news broadcast and I understand only the "...eem nee da" (???) ends of sentences. However, from what I can piece together, the opera was in town for CHIFFs, the Chungmuro International Film Festival. I was unable to comprehend the marriage of Chinese opera and the film festival but free nightly open air movie screenings made quick work to help me forget my confusion. First night: Slumdog Millionaire!
The woman spewed beautifully incomprehensible mandarin verse into her microphone. I venture a guess, much like me, no one in the audience was listening to her speak but instead mesmerized by her dramatic facial expressions and what they implied.
See a smaller version on Flickr.
Red cast is visible on the whiter parts of the photo. The proceedings took place on a stage in front of a monster TV screen emitting a red advertisement that bathed greater metropolitan Seoul in a reddish glow.
I wanted to leave you with a positive image from the opera in the hopes that you don't lose any sleep after viewing this series of images.