Winter Sonata gets the musical treatment
by | September 3, 2011 | 45 Comments

It’s been just under ten years since one of Hallyu’s biggest all-time hits, Winter Sonata, first premiered — January 14, 2012, will mark a decade since the first airing of the quintessential Korean romance/melodrama. And to commemorate the event, a musical version is in the works.

This is a popular move for lots of successful dramas and movies in Korea; it almost seems like anything attaining a measure of success gets a musical these days. (Some screen-to-stage versions include 200 Pound Beauty, Goong, Hello Franceska, Attic Cat, La Dolce Vita, and My Name Is Kim Samsoon. Sometimes the musical is a spinoff of the series rather than a direct adaptation, such as in Hwarang, inspired by Queen Seon-deok.)

Unlike those other productions, however, Winter Sonata’s musical will have its original PD, Yoon Suk-ho, onboard as one of its chief producers. PD Yoon is famed for his quartet of “Season Dramas” (also: Autumn Fairy Tale, Summer Scent, Spring Waltz), whose upcoming project will star Jang Geun-seok is its main star. He’s brought onboard a musical director with a number of hit productions under his belt, while the writer will be the same one who penned the Dae Jang Geum musical adaptation, so there are some seasoned (har har) producers at work here.

PD Yoon said, “January 14, 2012, is a date with deep meaning, marking ten years since Winter Sonata’s broadcast. As the tenth-anniversary project, I’ve assembled the best staff and am pouring my passion and effort into this musical, to make it into a memorable production. I hope it will become a valued memory to the people who have loved Winter Sonata, which will also touch hearts of musical lovers with a purity and lyricism on par with Winter Sonata.”

Birth secrets, first loves, silently noble heroes, plucky heroines, and amnesia — Winter Sonata had them all. Now watch them dance and sing about it!

The musical is set to open on September 27.



45 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. pampi

    that’s great.memories:)

  2. Y

    I feel like rewatching Winter Sonata… I love the songs used in the drama, I can still remember them. :O

    • 2.1 BellaMafia

      same here. I watched this one ten years ago and still remember the songs.

  3. Arhazivory

    I still have it on my plan-to-watch list. -_-

    • 3.1 nocutabove

      Don’t be too late. It’s already 10 years old. ^________^ Later on you’ll have to watch with your grandchildren.

  4. ajewell

    One of my first dramas, so will always be a nostalgia-favorite. πŸ™‚

  5. Dodo

    I have heard a lot about this drama but I never watched it. Is it really that good?…..

    • 5.1 jyyjc

      well..ten years ago it was a good.

      • 5.1.1 Wesley

        It was popular but that doesn’t always mean it’s good hehe

        • Wesley

          To be honest, some of the popular dramas from this period (winter sonata, stairway to heaven etc.) are overrated. I gave them a try because I heard that they were popular but I was left disappointed. That being said, Kim Tae Hee’s role as the evil step sister in Stairway to Heaven was very memorable… I can still picture those evil stares… they were really chilling…

          • shazzytree

            it was 10 years ago laaa.. it was my first korean drama.. and i fall in love with korean drama since then… if you collects all the drama in those era (10 years ago) winter sonata was one of the best ever..

        • CJ

          There are reasons why the drama was popular in Korea and around the world. You can’t just automatically discount the popularity reasons. The drama may not suit your taste, but it apparently was good to many many people, so big that it started a huge wave in Japan, and later on around the world. BYJ at the time was already popular in Korea, so you could say that viewers were watching it because of him. But to outside of Korea, they were unknown. WInter Sonata moved so many people with their story, the acting, the music, and all these integrated created magic to many of us. 10 years since the drama started, T-E-N yrs, they are making the musical theater. In 2009, an animated version of WS was released. 50,000 people showed up at Tokyo Dome to see BYJ and CJW in 2009. For this drama to be this successful and long lasting, it must have done something good and right that it resonated in people’s heart a decade later. Can’t automatically discount the success and just said it was overrated. Find me one drama that is able to reach the success like WS or Dae Jang Geum and able to capitalize a crazy amount of money off these dramas.

          • Wesley

            People’s tastes have little to do with an objective assessment of a drama’s quality. There have been countless dramas with sky high ratings and strong fanbases which have been objectively average or even mediocre. There have also been masterpieces like Flowers For My Life which have suffered from abysmally low ratings. There are reasons why an average/mediocre drama might have popular appeal (therefore enabling it to be a commercial success). I admit that I’ve enjoyed watching some pretty average dramas. The drama that got me into kdramas was none other than Goong. Although it was not the best drama from a critical perspective, there were many reasons why it appealed to me as well many others. On that same note, there are also reasons why excellent dramas fail to appeal to viewers. When making an assessment of a drama, viewers must learn how to make a distinction between an objectivity and subjectivity.

            I didn’t watch WS to the end so I guess I can’t give a fair assessment of the show’s quality. But from what I saw, it’s definitely overrated along with many other popular kdramas (overrated given the large gulf between its commerical success and its objective quality). But then again, I guess back in 2002 amnesia was less of a cringeworthy cliche than it is now of days hehe…

    • 5.2 Dodo

      Thanks everyone for your replay and after reading what Wesely said that winter sonata are same as stairway to heaven then I decided not to watch it. Because one year ago I tried to watch stairway to heaven and I only could watch four ep because I cried so match that I had headache for two days…

      • 5.2.1 CJ

        As a fan of melo dramas, Stairway to Heaven was not my favorite drama. It was good for one time only, so sad that I didn’t go to work after watching the last episode. my eyes were all swollen and felt depressed haha

        Winter Sonata on the other hand had a good ending, and I own the DVD and still watch it from time to time. never gets tired of it.
        The story truly moved me and the chemistry between the actors was unbelievable. I think every K-drama fan has to try WS once, even if they’ll end up hating it. Why? cause it’s a legend.

        • Dodo

          I am happy to hear that I am not the only one who was really depressed after watching a little bit of Stairway to Heaven. And after hearing that Winter sonata have a happy ending then I will watch it. For me it is ok to watch a melo drama as long I know it have a happy ending….

        • ladyana2j


  6. himonogirl

    Way to bring lots of japanese ahjummas to Seoul!
    And I note that javabeans never looks down on a potential pun ;D

  7. Smurfy

    Can someon please tell me where can I buy the ticket?

  8. mnstpdu08

    I still have a dubbed version of it. I don’t think I’ve actually watched the real version in its entirety. I think Winter Sonata is a classic that everyone who loves kdrama needs to see.

  9. angelsmurf

    Ah! The classic hug! The perfect match and the warmest hug of their life time. No matter how good the other dramas of CJW I get bored soon after a few episodes. Same goes to her current drama Can’t Lose. It is not that her acting is under par but there is something lack in her to bring out the utmost oomph the way she had given the viewers in Winter Sonata. The actor in Can’t lose is good by himself but he has less ability churn the natural energy of the actress. At the same time different genre different acting and different actors so we can’t compare. The weakness is my heart still want to compare.
    Winter Sonata has become a legend in history. We can’t compare or change the history. Only the history repeat itself.

    • 9.1 mjfan

      totally agree with you , winter sonata is the one and only masterpiece , nothing can be compared to it , thats all…………..

  10. 10 MsScorpion

    That was my very first K-drama ever…… but after so many others, I don’t think I can watch it again. Tooo many cliches.

  11. 11 pohonphee

    Whoa my friends gave me a Winter Sonata OST album as my birthday present since they knew I was K Drama Fan. My memories is my fave.

  12. 12 Simpli

    Oh yes! Breaking out in music during dramatic crying scenes! Winter Sonata is a legend though, you can’t really replace the actors.
    Nevertheless, I’m still excited to how the outcome will be.

  13. 13 Cynthia

    Wow! Yonsamma and Left-Eye Tear Drip – a combination for the ages. I wonder if this musical will be as odd as watching BUFFY and her Scooby Gang sing and dance?
    Some classics should be left alone.

    • 13.1 Smurfy

      Hahaha….that’s the reasons that I am interested to watch!!

  14. 14 soserious

    just wanted to say you have an extremely hot looking banner today πŸ˜‰

  15. 15 sosoxrah

    I still love the OST for this drama.

  16. 16 luraaa

    Wow. I remember rushing home after work every weekday only to tune in to this show. Even if I had to take the taxi and spend a lot on transportation because I didn’t want to miss it.

    Funny thing was, they were reruns, and that wasn’t the first time I’ve seen the drama. I was just really hooked on this show. Good times.

  17. 17 mint tea

    One of the most wonderful magical components of the original, and what I loved about it was the music composed for Winter Sonata. I am not sure how I would feel about it being sung to if used, or being replaced by other music.

  18. 18 charlotte1987

    Winter Sonata is one of my first dramas.

    it’s the reason i’m a fan of both CJW & BYJ.

    love it…

  19. 19 CJ

    I don’t like musical dramas, but if there’s one musical drama that deserves my full attention is Winter Sonata. One of the successes of this drama lied on their beautiful music. I miss “My Memory” and “From the Beginning till The End” and “First Love”

    Aah…My memory ….modu gio-khae-yo ku sun-gan . The old days:-)

  20. 20 SP

    One of the classics…will always remain one of my faves…BEAUTIFUL & CLASSIC FOREVER<3

  21. 21 kdj

    Amazing soundtrack… Haunting.

  22. 22 meri

    WINTER SONATA…… it brings a lot of memory back……. it was my first korean drama … i think it was 7 years back when i first watched it…at that time korean drama was not that popular in nepal but a new television station KANTIPUR (this television is one of the biggest in nepal now) broadcasted winter sonata dubbed in nepali language, i (actually everybody) loved it so much that we only use to talk about it all the time in school and belive me one time the electricity went off during it’s airing time, i kinda of called the electricity division 10 times (after that they kept the phone bg in order to ignore my call) to mend the electricity as soon as possible. since they didn’t have rebroadcast i missed that episode. and i had this big exam while the last episode was running i could not see the ending. 2 years after that when i found out that i can get korean drama CD from the market, Winter Sonata was what i looked for and bought….. and i still watch it on long holidays…it’s never old me….

    • 22.1 nocutabove

      Poor you. At least you managed to get a VCD as compensation for your precious loss. It will never grow old. Rest assured.^^

  23. 23 oddworld

    I think this is the most overrated kdrama ever

    • 23.1 sassyeven

      From which viewpoint? First the ratings of this drama was not great in Korea. Like 50% ratings in 2002. So is it considered overrated with 14/15%?

      Second, this drama got a social network boom on the internet world. So does that mean over rated in sense of internet users?

      Third BYJ’s popularity has gone sky rocket high in Japan and Asia as a whole while Korea is left behind and with a bit of embarrassment. Obviously Korea also tried hard not to be left behind on his own man because he singlehandedly contributed 5% of it’s national economy. CJW followed the similar fame as BYJ does.

      Do you mean that is the one, most overrated? I don’t think you mean the drama but the beloved actor and actress who got well far above from the other K actors of your choice.^^

      • 23.1.1 skylav

        Like :))

      • 23.1.2 ladyana2j

        LOVE πŸ˜‰

  24. 24 phenny salcedo

    the drama which hooked me on k-dramas. can’t get over with bae yong jun. still the best!

    • 24.1 skylav

      same here actually πŸ™‚ it is really just the best… am still watching it now πŸ˜€

  25. 25 skylav

    All I can say is that WS in the Best! and will always be :)) so as the actor BYJ and CJW πŸ˜€ best drama of all times…

    • 25.1 skylav


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