Folk & World

Ahn Sook-sun

Uncover the power of pansori, Korea’s narrative song tradition, at a concert from legend of the genre Ahn Sook-sun.

Sook-sun, proclaimed a ‘living national treasure’ by South Korea’s government, has previously sung the complete canon of five pansori pieces in their entirety, including the beloved eight-hour pansori Chunhyangga.

In K-Music 2018, she shall be performing the pansori Heungbuga.

There are five surviving stories within Korea’s pansori tradition and Heungbuga is the most humorous and immediately enjoyable, depicting the lives of ordinary people and their trials and tribulations.

Greedy, rich Nolbu has inherited his parents’ house and land and banished his poor but good-hearted brother Heungbu, leaving the brother with nothing but a large family to support. One day, Heungbu finds a swallow with a broken leg. He cares for the bird, who repays this kindness by bringing Heungbu a gourd seed to plant. When the seed bears fruit, it is full of treasure. Upon hearing of this, the unscrupulous Nolbu is overcome with jealousy and breaks the swallow's leg, hoping for his own reward. Nolbu receives a gourd seed too, but finds that it is full of goblins...

Pansori is a way of sharing myths, folklore and drama through passionate vocal-led music.

‘The intimacy, the translation, the audience and the ambience are just as important as the music. When all that comes together, pansori really is one of the world’s great musical art forms.’

Part of K-Music Festival 2018.

She commands the stage, makes people listen to her. It feels like a conversation at a dinner table

Dates & times

3 Nov 2018
Approximate run time: 210 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Purcell Room


Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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