Byungkoo Ahn's first directorial work ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ was presented at the National Theatre of Korea as part of the Young Theatre Festival when he was 20. Since then his opera, theatre and dance productions have been seen in the US, Korea, Italy, and Czech Republic for over 20 years.
Born into a Korean theatre family as a third generation artist, Byungkoo Ahn studied theatre directing and design in Korea and the United States. After his graduate study at UCLA on scholarship as the first recipient of the MAMPIST Award by Samsung Foundation of Culture, he formally trained in singing in Italy and the Czech Republic. He also studied music interpretation of opera arias and art songs under the late Dr. Natalie Limonick, a world renowned opera coach, for many years. After completing internships at Los Angeles Opera, Opera National de Paris, and Long Beach opera, he served as a stage director at California State University, Long Beach, where he directed four productions. Currently, Mr. Ahn works as a freelance director.
His recent New York production, Hamyul/Hamlet at La MaMa ETC, New York City, was very well received by The New York Times, NYTheatre.com, the Villager, etc. Also, his own experimental musical vignettes, which integrate German art songs, visual images, movement and a laptop computer orchestra, were presented in Korea, Germany, and Italy. As a performer he has appeared in numerous productions. Recently, he appeared in Il Corvo, the opening production of The Venice Biennale. He is a board member and resident artist at La MaMa. As a full-time professor, he currently teaches Directing, Acting and Voice at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea.
Gihieh Lee is a composer, lyricist, librettist and translator. Korea and Japan credit includes: Composition/Lyrics/Libretto: Infinite Power, Arirang Kyungsung 1926, Composition/Lyrics: The Devil, 200 pounds Beauty, The Great Janguem, Composition: House of Words, Danton’s Death, Translator: The Lion King, Wicked, Kinky Boots, Man of La Mancha, Doctor Zhivago, American Idiot, How to be a Megastar (Blue Man Group), Guys and Dolls, The Producers, Legally Blonde, I love you, You’re perfect, Now change, USA credit includes: Composition: Tock Tick (with Tim Nevits), Songs of Innocence and Experience (with William Finn), Shakespeare: the Remix (with Aaron Jafferis) Songs from an Unmade Bed (with Mark Campbell), Vocal Arrangement: Elegies (For William Finn) Jonathan Larsen Award, American Dramatists Guild fellow(USA), The Musical Awards (Korea) M.F.A. New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
Martin Herman is a composer whose acoustic and electronic works have been performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He is Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Laptop Collective, which supports the creation and production of new media and sound art works. He was Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Downtown Opera, which commissioned and performed new experimental short operas in Long Beach and the Czech Republic between 2000-2002. He has collaborated on sculpture/sound installations as sound designer and programmer in “GArdenME”, 2016-17, “Arquitectura Sonora” with sculptor Mayte Alonso in 2008 and 2006. More recently he has worked as composer and music director with the theatre director, Byungkoo Ahn, on “Voyage”, a theatre piece for singers, actors, live instrumentalists and laptop ensemble that was premiered at the 2013 Spoleto Festival de Due Monde as part of LaMaMa Spoleto Open and toured in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany in 2017. Martin is the Chair of the Department of Design at California State University, Long Beach as well as Professor of Music at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, where he teaches electronic music and composition.
Singing Actors Repertory Company (General Director: Jayoung Chung, Artistic Director: Byungkoo Ahn), a.k.a. SARC, was founded in 2012. This experimental musical theatre group based in Seoul, Korea is a collective of classically trained singer/actors in search of new outlets other than traditional operatic repertoire for the dramatic expression of their musical passion and impulse. Since its first production of 'Love and Dream, Painted with Songs' premiered at the National Theatre of Korea in February 2013, SARC’s seven theatrical productions were seen at various venues in Korea, Italy and Germany.
The Los Angeles Laptop Collective is a group of composer/performer/sound artists based in Long Beach, California who explore and explode the boundaries between contemporary sound art, computer music and interactive technologies. The ensemble brings together performers and composers in experimental sound practices and cross-disciplinary projects and concerts. The Los Angeles Laptop Collective has premiered over 30 compositions written especially for it by members of the group as well as other prominent composers and sound artists, most recently in theatrical performances in Germany and Spoleto, Italy. These pieces run the gamut of works exclusively for laptops to pieces that incorporate live video, live acoustic instrumentalists performing alongside the ensemble, modular synthesizers, and hyperoperas that are fully staged. The ensemble has been featured in various webcasts and performance spaces for experimental sound artists throughout LA, such as Monkspace, LA Artstream’s “Ear Meal” and as part of the SoundPedro, SoundWalk and MERGE Festivals in San Pedro and Long Beach, California.