[Big Picture] Why did Seungwoo Cho dedicate his Best Actor trophy to ‘Hakjeon’

[SBS Entertainment News | [Reporter Kim Ji-hye] Actor Cho Seung-woo surprisingly has no mourning clothes. He is the only actor in Korea who has maintained his position as the best actor for 24 years across movies, dramas, and musicals, but his skills have not translated well into trophies. His most recent awards include the 2018 Baeksang Arts Awards TV category Best Actor Award for the drama ‘Secret Forest’, and the 2016 Yegrin Musical for ‘Werther’. He received the Male Popularity Award.

At the 8th Korea Musical Awards held on the 15th, Cho Seung-woo won the Best Actor award for his role in the musical “Phantom of the Opera.” This was the first award received during the eight awards held. Cho Seung-woo seemed confused about receiving the award, saying, “I’ve been with you since the first episode, but I’ve never received an award. Still, it was good. I liked it even though fans asked me why I was laughing so much about going on an awards shuttle. “It was a joy and honor to be able to participate in a festival where musical people gather in one place to enjoy, and I am grateful that they even gave me this award,” he said.

Cho Seung-woo dedicated the honor of receiving the award to CEO Kim Min-ki, who led the Daehakro Theater Company ‘Hakjeon’ In his acceptance speech, we were able to meet Cho Seung-woo’s present and Cho Seung-woo’s past. In addition, I was able to reflect on the ‘great legacy’that ‘Hakjeon’ has left on Korean popular culture over the past 33 years.


◆ ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was also a challenge for Cho Seung-woo

“I went to various hospitals, but my voice didn’t come out even during the dress rehearsal. ‘Can I have my first performance?’ The stress was at its peak and the burden was weighing down on my shoulders. I couldn’t breathe and I wanted to give up. Every time felt like hell. “It was my first experience while doing a musical.”

Last April, in Busan, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Cho Seung-woo, who started the performance, made a sincere confession through his agency. He wrote about the moment when the long-awaited dream musical seemed like a huge wall. He said that ahead of the performance, he was worried about leaving because his voice was not working.

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is a musical adaptation of a novel by French mystery writer Gueston Leroux published in 1910 by British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. It depicts the tragic story of a ghost born with genius talent, but who was born with a deformed face, falling in love with the beautiful prima donna Christine. Seungwoo Cho played the title role, ‘Phantom’.


It is not easy for a musical actor who is not a vocal music major to digest the high baritone vocal range of ‘Phantom’. Moreover, there are many scenes where the song is sung with desperate and desperate emotions. It is not easy to sing in a high register without wavering when emotions are pouring out.

Seungwoo Cho is ‘Phantom’ Among the four actors playing the role, he is the only one who is not a vocal major. Because he had to perform a musical number in the high baritone range, he prepared for the performance by taking vocal lessons. Seungwoo Cho is not a murderer. ‘I can’t’ Wouldn’t the greater pain be ‘no’? He overcame the extreme fear he experienced for the first time in his life and began his performance. There were concerns at the beginning of the Busan performance. This is because the condition of the neck, as well as the condition, did not seem to be 100%. However, the power of time, experience, and history was great. Cho Seung-woo’s Phantom became more mature with each episode.

Acting is an emotional art. The sincerity that comes from the heart is more important than the techniques learned through academics. That is the reason why Cho Seung-woo is the best actor in the performing arts industry. Even in ‘Phantom of the Opera’, the acting was a masterpiece, creating layers of emotions by stacking them up, and controlling the layers of emotions by raising them and then lowering them. Their skills in using their vocal cords may not be as advanced as those of majors, but their ability to express emotions through their voices is the best.

As Cho Seung-woo said, Phantom is a person who has fallen into a distorted love. The mood of the labyrinth scene where the Phantom first appears is also close to ‘horror’. This fear, combined with the mysterious mood, makes the audience nervous at the beginning of the play. However, the interaction between the Phantom and Christine evokes different emotions. In Cho Seung-stamp Phantom, the ‘solitude’ appears greater than the ‘madness’ of the character. The more the audience becomes immersed in the Phantom, the more they can understand Christine’s feelings.

The highlight of Joe Phantom’s singing is not ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ but ‘The Music of the Night’.. This is a number that truly reveals the true value of emotional artist Cho Seung-woo. The sad feelings toward Christine were expressed in the song. Emotions were put into every voice, facial expression, and hand gesture. The lingering feeling of the scene where she sings ‘Christine’ inaudibly after finishing the song is not forgotten even after the performance is over.

Musical performances have immutable value as ‘on-the-spot art’, but Cho Seung-woo’s stage is worth experiencing even after going through the high cost, time, and intense ticketing process.


Seungwoo Cho, whom we met in the waiting room after a performance in Seoul in mid-November last year, said about the eight-month journey from Busan to Seoul, “It was difficult. “I made it to the 100th episode,” he said, smiling brightly. When told to take good care of your neck, you say, “Of course.” “I don’t do anything (other than performing),” he replied. As always, he is honest about his emotions and does not add or subtract from his expressions. Cho Seung-woo, who is performing in Busan, Seoul and then on to Daegu, celebrates his 100th performance this week.

One day, Seungwoo Cho was changing his costume in the middle of a performance and said to the staff, “I think this work is truly a masterpiece.” He revealed that he confessed, “I’m really happy right now.” At the same time, he said, “I thought that if I don’t stay still and endure the pain, I might be able to move forward, even if it’s not just one step.”

Musical actor Cho Seung-woo’s representative works include ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, ‘Man of La Mancha’, ‘Hedwig’, and ‘Werther’ I can pick one. Cho Seung-woo performed these works several times over a period of 20 years, showing changes with his age.

In a past interview, he said, “Every time, “This is the last time.” Do it while doing it. However, he said, “Every time I do it, I feel emotions and messages that I have never felt before, and I even become more curious about the story and the characters.”While playing the same character for a while and focusing on reinterpretation and change according to changes in perspective, the ‘Phantom’ of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was truly a challenge.

For someone who has reached a certain level, taking that “one step” is difficult. You may not feel it is necessary or valuable. The value of challenging and achieving is valuable regardless of time and age.


◆ ‘Hakjeon’ was the beginning of Cho Seung-woo… The birthplace of famous actors in Chungmuro

“I will dedicate the entire honor of this award to Hakjeon and teacher Kim Min-ki.”

At the end of his speech at the awards ceremony, Cho Seung-woo said that he would like to dedicate the honor of the award to ‘Hakjeon’ and CEO Kim Min-ki. He said of ‘Hakjeon’ that, as the name suggests, it was “a place for learning, a place like home, and a place for memories.”He also described Kim Min-ki, who led the academic study, as “a teacher and a father, but also a friend and his closest and most comfortable colleague.”

Hakjeon was the place where Cho Seung-woo started his career as an actor and blossomed. He made his screen debut at the age of 20 in the 2000 film “Chunhyang” directed by Im Kwon-taek. It passed the 1:1000 competition audition and was selected by Im Kwon-taek, and this work entered the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival and won the Best Director Award.

Cho Seung-woo’s next move after returning from the Cannes Film Festival was not filming a movie. It was the musical ‘Own Brothers’, which opened in August of that year. This work is also the starting point for musical actor Cho Seung-woo. The following year, Cho Seung-woo filmed the movie ‘Wani and Jun-ha’, and in the same year, he also appeared in Hakjeon’s masterpiece, ‘Subway Line 1’. From this point on, the path between movies and musicals was established. Afterwards, regardless of his position and popularity, Cho Seung-woo continued to work as ‘sworn brother’ and ‘Subway Line 1’ He took the stage and ignited the purest passion of his performance.


Moon Eun Hakjeon, held in Daehakro, Seoul in March 1991, is the name of a small theater and the name of a theater company. This was the space where Yeonwoo Theater Company was supposed to move in, but when this was not possible, CEO Kim Min-ki took over the management of the theater. The musical ‘Subway Line 1’ opened here, creating a legend in performance culture (approximately 8,000 performances, cumulative audience of 700,000), and acoustic guitar singers such as Wild Chrysanthemum, Yoo Jae-ha, Kang San-e, Zoo, and Ahn Chi-hwan held live concerts. Culture blossomed.

‘Hakjeon’ was not just Cho Seung-woo’s learning center. Famous actors from Chungmuro, including Sol Kyeong-gu, Kim Yun-seok, Hwang Jeong-min, and Jang Hyun-seong, ignited the purity and passion of acting at the school exhibition.

The school, which has been running for 33 years, announced its closure on March 14th. This is due to continued management difficulties and the deteriorating health of CEO Kim Min-ki, who is battling cancer. But it doesn’t end like this. Singers Park Hak-ki, Park Seung-hwa, Yoon Do-hyun, composer Kim Hyeong-seok, actors Sol Kyeong-gu and Jang Hyun-seong, and director Bang Eun-jin, who were active in Hakjeon, joined forces to create ‘Hakjeon Again’ Prepared the project. The performance is scheduled to run from February 28th to March 14th.

CEO Kim Min-ki also spoke through the words of actor Jang Hyun-sung, saying, “Now it’s starting again.” “I will rise again,” he promised her resurrection.

Peter Brook, the legendary British theater director, once said, “It is not enough for the writer or actor to feel this obsessive need to live without the play; the audience must also be able to experience this need.” .

What can prevent the current reality of Daehakro’s legendary theater company disappearing into history is the public consensus that “it must be saved.”Everyone will have at least one performance that their heart remembers. It is not difficult to find the theater company ‘Hakjeon’ in that list. We may have moved too far from the exciting memories of visiting Daehakro to see a performance, but the memories are recorded in our hearts. And the door to academic exchange is still open.


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