Messages from the Artistic Directors
At that moment, I was in the Playhouse, watching the performance by the Opera Studio. Il Tabarro was nearing the end when the earthquake struck. I immediately evacuated and went to the theater's disaster prevention center. I was told that the epicenter was in Miyagi prefecture, and I thought, "It must have been really strong up there. Is there going to be a tsunami?" But I never could have imagined that it would be such an enormous disaster. When I heard about all those who had perished and all those who had lost everything, I wanted to go straight to Tohoku to help clear away the rubble.
Afterwards, we were met with the difficult reality of having to cancel our performance of Manon Lescaut. It was very sad for us since it was really expected to be on of the best performances to date. Every day there was more gloomy news as the opera and concerts were cancelled one after another. Our thinking became increasingly negative.
That won't do. We need to think positively and move ahead. No matter what happens, I want to put on Der Rosenkavalier. Although my resolve was strong, the reality was quite difficult. Some of our foreign cast members wanted to cancel. I started to get depressed, but then I thought, rather than going to "pick up the rubble," we as musicians can help pick up Japan's spirits by putting on a terrific show. In addition, I also hope to contribute to fundraising efforts.
In order for Japan to recover, all Japanese people must come together as one and do their best. We here at the New National Theatre Opera will strive to do our best as well.
Otaka Tadaaki, Artistic Director of Opera
As I write, it is a beautiful day once again in Tokyo. It's almost impossible here to see any sign of the catastrophic disaster which was visited upon Japan last Friday, but this apparent calm belies the scenes of devastation which are emanating from coastal regions. The thoughts and prayers of us all here at The National Ballet of Japan go out to the hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by this great tragedy.
In light of these terrible events and as a result of the uncertainty of this present time the N.N.T.T. has decided to cancel all of it's performances for the rest of this month. We in the company are as disappointed as you our audiences will be, that all our hard work over the past few months has come to nothing. But, as Japan recovers from the effects of last Friday, so too the National Ballet of Japan will return, made stronger by this trial.
David Bintley , Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance
I would like to express my deepest condolences and prayers for the many people who lost their lives in the recent earthquake. And to those who survived, I fervently hope that you will be able to return to your peaceful lives as quickly as possible.
When faced with the fury of nature, mankind is powerless . . . . We are frozen in fear when confronted with that harsh reality.
In addition, as we get daily reports on the unbelievable situation at the nuclear power plant, those of us who were in a sense accomplices in that we enjoyed the benefits of that electricity now feel as if we are being censured.
On the long road that lies ahead toward recovery, our tenacious spirit, physical strength, and intellectual strength will certainly be tested.
As theater people who love our fellow human beings and believe in their potential, all that we at the New National Theatre can do at this time is to convey the "power of humanity" through the stage.
At this time, rehearsals for Waiting for Godot, which opens on April 15, are making steady progress. The national tour of Yakiniku Dragon is also scheduled to begin.
I will continue to offer my deep prayers for those affected by this earthquake, and at the same time, I hope that by putting our hearts and souls into each production, we can in some small way be a source of courage to those who come to see our plays, and that we can nourish that power of humanity.
Miyata Keiko , Artistic Director of Play