North Korean Opera Loves Leader

northkoreanopera29iht-sea-inline1-articleLargeIn this story about the North Korean Sea of Blood Opera Company and its recent tour to China, my favorite sentence was: ‘Chinese media…[gave] rave reviews to its operatic production of the classic Chinese novel “Dream of the Red Chamber”’ and called it “the biggest hit since ‘Avatar.” When asked to explain the opera company’s success, the Sea of Blood performers — remembering, no doubt, that failure to mention North Korean panjandrum Kim Jong-il could result in career-ending banishment (or worse) — responded, “We took the guidance and suggestions of our Dear Leader.” That Dear Leader is listed as the founder and director of the opera. Can you imagine George W. Bush as director of the Dallas Opera Company in a production of, oh, “Girl of the Golden West”?

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