Ichikawa Danjuro will direct opera for the first time at 2003/2004 season opera "NARUKAMI/SHUNKAN"

As regards to 2003/2004 season opera production of "NARUKAMI/SHUNKAN" (to be staged from January 30, 2004/Co-production with Nikikai Opera Foundation), the stage director and cast were decided as follows.
Please look forward to Ichikawa Danjuro XII's first direction of opera, the traditional art of Europe.

"NARUKAMI" (Music and libretto by Mamiya Michio)
"SHUNKAN" (Music by Shimizu Osamu)
  Performance Schedule : January 30(Fri), 31(Sat), and February 1(Sun), 2004
  Conductor : Akiyama Kazuyoshi
  Stage Director : Ichikawa Danjuro
: Fukushima Akiya, Kai Eijiro, Sasaki Noriko, Koshigoe Mami,
Naono Tasuku, Kuroda Hiroshi, etc.
  Orchestra : Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

Ichikawa Danjuro
Kabuki actor. Ichikawa Danjuro XII. The eldest son of Ebizo IX (Danjuro XI). In October 1953, under the name of Ichikawa Natsuo, he made his debut at Kabuki-za Theatre as Sanboshi-gimi in Daitokuji. In May 1958, he acquired the name Ichikawa Shinnosuke VI when he played the role of Ushiwakamaru in Kaze Kaoru Kurama no Irodori at Kabuki-za. In November 1969, he became the successor to the name of Ichikawa Ebizo X when he played the role of Sukeroku in Sukeroku Yukari no Edozakura and Togashi in Kanjincho at Kabuki-za. Subsequently, he succeeded to the name of Ichikawa Danjuro XII, the most illustrious acting family line associated with Edo kabuki, and acted as Musashibo Benkei in Kanjincho, Narukami Shonin in Narukami, Kamakura Gongoro in Shibaraku and other roles in a series of performances given at Kabuki-za and other theatres from April to June 1985 in commemoration of his succession to the name. He participated in kabuki performances given in New York in June and July of the same year, as well as those given in Australia in 1988 and in Europe in 1989. He aimed to restore the kabuki of the Genroku period (1688-1704) and was active in presenting kabuki plays from this period on his own, as exemplified by his revival production of Naritasan Bunshin Fudo in 1992 (written by and starring Danjuro I in 1703), the first of its kind in 290 years. In 1998, in an effort to create contemporary gidayu kyogen (kabuki play based on bunraku play) he staged on his own Tsuruga no Matsu Chitose no Taihei in which he attempted a kabuki style production, and this play was performed by the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre as part of its scheduled program in September 2002. This ambitious play was highly acclaimed for its refined story development accentuated by fast and slow motion, as well as for the producer's efforts to take up the challenge of breaking new ground. He has appeared in many TV programs, including his appearance as Ashikaga Yoshimasa in NHK's Taiga Drama series Hana no Ran in 1994. Awards he has received include the 1998 National Arts Festival Excellence Award, 2000 Seventh Yomiuri Drama Grand Prize Best Actor Award and the Mayama Seika Award Grand Prize. A star actor of the Ichikawa family, which supports the kabuki of the Heisei period, he is expected to become even more active in the future. This is the first time for him to appear in an opera.