The final production of Wakasugi Hiroshi's last season as Artistic Director (Opera) will mark the world premiere of a newly commissioned opera: Rokumeikan. Wakasugi has poured all his energies into the project, for which he himself chose the text, the composer and the director. The original play is a masterwork by Mishima Yukio, which premiered November 27, 1956, at Dai-ichi Seimei Hall in a production commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Bungakuza theatre company. Rokumeikan has since become one of the better-known plays of Japan, having been adapted for the big screen, the stage and television. The story is told in language both beautiful and infused with tension; it feels as fresh today as at the time of its premiere, nearly 60 years past. The music is by Ikebe Shinichiro, a prolific artist who has composed many orchestral works, choral pieces and operas, as well as theme music for NHK's Taiga Drama series, music for animated television productions, and film scores. Fans wait with anxious ears to hear what he has created for Rokumeikan. Uyama Hitoshi will direct the production, in what will be his second turn as director of an opera at the NNTT. The script for this operatic adaptation is one of Uyama's own creation.
Opera fans won't want to miss this production, which represents the coming together of a composer, director and conductor who all rank among Japan's finest.
It is November 3, 1886, the Emperor's birthday. At the Rokumeikan, a ball given by the Count Kageyama is about to begin. His wife Asako, a former geisha, is stunned when she hears the name of the man with whom her friend's daughter Akiko is romantically involved. It is Hisao. Hisao was a child born of an affair between Asako and Kiyohara, leader of an anti-government faction. Hisao resents his father, and is planning to assassinate Kiyohara at the ball. Upon learning this, Asako gets involved to try and resolve the matter between Hisao and Kiyohara, whom she still loves. But it turns out that the person behind the assassination plot is Kageyama himself. On a fateful evening, Asako makes up her mind and goes to the ball.