The 15th anniversary of the New National Theatre, Tokyo coincides with the bicentenary of Verdi's birth. In celebration, we will present this festive opera that has become a staple of the NNTT Opera repertory. This magnificent production is the creation of Franco Zeffirelli, and premiered as the NNTT's inaugural production in 1998. It has since been performed here numerous times at special occasions, such as our tenth anniversary. The production has been an enduring favorite with audiences, and one we are asked to bring back again and again. It has also been an important production from the standpoint of broadening the fan base for opera. Zeffirelli's Aida is a spectacular production involving dynamic scene changes that take advantage of the NNTT's unique production capabilities, and a "triumphal scene" performed by over 300 singers, supporting performers and even a ballet troupe. This truly is one production that should be seen by everyone, whether they are an opera fan or not. In the title role this time will be Latonia Moore. Carlo Ventre will sing the role of Radames. Mr. Ventre gave an impassioned performance as Cavaradossi in the NNTT production of Tosca in 2009. The cast is rounded out with an impressive roster of talent from Japan and overseas. On the podium will be conductor Michael Güttler. Mr. Güttler conducted the 2010 revival of Le nozze di Figaro, a production which was praised as having outdone the premiere. Artistic Director Otaka Tadaaki had the following to say about the opera. "Watching a performance of Aida in Milan, which was going through hard economic times, it struck me that, even in the midst of a financial crisis, here was a country and a people that placed great value on the arts. At the time of the NNTT Opera's inaugural production in 1998, the great Franco Zeffirelli said, 'Japan is a wonderful country with a great traditional culture. Her people see hope in culture and music, and in the way they pursue that hope, I think Japan may be a step ahead of the rest of the world.' * We value this treasure Mr. Zeffirelli has left us, and through this production and the power of the arts, we hope to be a source of invigoration for our patrons and the world at large."

*From comments originally translated into Japanese for the performance program.

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