Under new Artistic Director Otaka Tadaaki, we continue the NNTT tradition of presenting great operas by Japanese composers in the Opera House theatre each season. Yuzuru is an enduring classic of Japanese opera, and has been performed over 650 times. In 2000, it was the first production directed by former Artistic Director (Drama) Kuriyama Tamiya, who took this tale from the world of folklore and transformed it into a human drama with universal themes. The director's stated goal was to create "infinitely beautiful and transparent stage art." Taking inspiration from Noh, the stage was set up as a simple, large space. It represents the sky – true home of the character Tsu – and is the theme of the staging. Yuzuru will be conducted by Takaseki Ken, a maestro known for his intensive study of musical scores. Don't miss this opportunity to hear beautiful Japanese language sung in all its glory.
A snowy village in ancient times. One day, Yohyo saves an injured heron. Out of gratitude for his kindness, the heron starts to live with Yohyo as his wife, Tsu, and gives him cloth, called Sembaori (cloth of thousand cranes), which is woven from her own feathers. Told by Unzu and Sodo that if he brings the cloth to the town and sells it there, he would be able to earn a huge sum of money, Yohyo urges Tsu to weave more cloth. Tsu becomes disappointed with Yohyo, who is obsessed with money, but she decides to weave more cloth in the belief that she would be able to regain Yohyo's heart if he gets more Sembaori cloth. Yohyo has been asked by Tsu never to look in on her while she is weaving cloth, but unable to restrain himself, he peeps into the room to see Tsu in the form of a heron weaving cloth. On the following day, Tsu, who has become very thin, gives Yohyo the Sembaori cloth, says farewell to him, and flies into the sky.