文化庁オペラ研修所を土台にした今のオペラ研修所永井 和子 オペラ研修所長
The Opera Studio was modelled on the Opera Training Course
of the Agency for Cultural AffairsNAGAI Kazuko
Director of NNT Opera Studio
- I’m NAGAI Kazuko, Director of the Opera Studio at the New National Theatre. The New National Theatre has now reached its 20th anniversary thanks to all your support.
- 【About the Opera Studio】
At the Opera Studio, our students already have an advanced musical education, and our classes are designed to equip them with what they need to become professional opera singers. The first is language ability. Then of course there’s singing, but we also provide programs in ballet, Japanese dance and others to build up physical fitness and hone physical functions as a way of developing powers of expression. And because opera cannot be performed alone, working together in an ensemble with other students is a central feature of our classes.
Our senior tutors are the director AGUNI Jun and the head of music, KAWAHARA Tadayuki. AGUNI Jun has a great affinity for Italian culture, and he is a tremendous inspiration for us as singers. KAWAHARA Tadayuki is primarily an outstanding pianist, but he has recently been conducting many operas and other works. It is wonderful that they not only give coaching in vocal technique but also give consideration to the trainees’ repertoire as singers.
Every year, one of our major goals is to produce an operatic work performed by our 3rd year students as a “final showcase performance”. And as well as amassing experience in solo performance through demonstration pieces in the Pit and gala concerts in the Playhouse, students also have opportunities for overseas training in Milan in summer and Munich in winter.
- 【Memories from the Opera Training Course of the Agency for Cultural Affairs】
- I underwent very strict training and was hugely inspired by the director KURIYAMA Masayoshi at the Opera Training Course of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the forerunner of the Opera Studio. In fact, I still invite him to give special lectures at the Studio. I also have memories of being taught by AGUNI Jun’s father, Yasuhiko.
- 【Beginnings of the Opera Studio】
- At one time, there was some doubt as to whether the theatre could really take shape and whether the plans for an Opera Studio would see the day. But the theatre was built, and the Opera Studio did start in the same year. The Opera Studio was modelled on its forerunner, the Opera Training Course of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, but with further improvements to its content.
- 【Overseas Training in Milan】
- Overseas training at the Academy of Lyric Opera at La Scala in Milan started in the summer of my first year as Director. I went to observe their classes at the Academy, and the sight of our students training so passionately and freely in Italy, the home of opera, left a big impression on me. We also presented a show of Japanese dance there, and I have great memories of the tremendous reception we were given.
- 【ANA scholarships】
- We were only sending students to Milan for training, but thanks to sponsorship from All Nippon Airways, we were able to extend the opportunity of overseas training to Munich as well. In Munich, we were asked to sing Japanese songs other than opera. I think the students found this really stimulating. I was pleased to think that people in other countries wanted to hear Japanese songs sung by Japanese singers. This gave us a good opportunity to study Japanese songs.