When I heard that Uangel (http://uangelvoice.com), a Korean popera group, was going to be performing at the Korean Cultural Centre I jumped at the chance to go. Recently performing at the Edinburgh Fringe and on a humanitarian tour of hospitals, this last minute addition to their tour was a real treat. The hall at the Cultural Centre was quite full with audience members seated on the floor as well as packing the seating area.
The five singers and one pianist kicked off the evening with the familiar pop ballad “You Raise Me Up” giving us all a chance to get used to their voices and style. The quintet, made up of three tenors, a baritone and a bass were well dressed and came across as quite serious until the rendition of an ABBA medley that began to show off their sense of humour and the more fun aspect of their performance.
Usually a few songs in, they would serenade a member of the audience who has a birthday or anniversary, but as there were none, they selected a lady sitting in front of me to serenade with “You are my fate” and present with red roses. The roses, hidden within their costumes were on occasion a little difficult to extract much to their amusement, but they didn’t miss a beat and it added to the light, comfortable atmosphere of the evening.
Highlights of the evening for me was of course a wonderful rendition of “Nessun Dorma” and “Le temps des Cathedrales” which I had not heard of before. Of course, the fan dance rated highly with me too! An encore of the humorously choreographed “We are super handsome” and “Funiculì, Funiculà” brought the evening to a close.
As someone who loves opera I really appreciated the pieces they chose, a mix of the known and the less popular. It was with the operatic pieces that their voices truly seemed the most comfortable and natural, and even during these their sense of fun came through without overacting. That we were treated to a fan dance and a double encore really made it a very memorable night, and one that was just not long enough!
The Cultural Centre once more put on a wonderful spread of food and drink afterwards and I would like to thank them very much for arranging this performance of Korean talent. I hope they are able to return soon.