A Chorus No Stage Can Be Without
Widely Active, and Acclaimed Domestically and Abroad
The New National Theatre Chorus was inaugurated at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, and since the 1998/1999 season has performed in about ten operatic works every season. As such, the Chorus has been a vital element of the Theatre's history, which it has helped to create. But the activities of today's New National Theatre Chorus go beyond operatic performances at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. The Chorus appears at other opera venues and music festivals, with symphony orchestras and in concerts. In addition, the Chorus actively organizes or participates in educational cultural projects for elementary- and junior-high school children throughout Japan. This wide-ranging variety of activities only grows in scope every year.
The members comprising the New National Theatre Chorus are rigorously selected by way of public recruitment activities. Numbering over 100 in any given year, they perform throughout the year in a variety of productions, under the direction of the chorus master. Each member is characterized by top-level vocal ability and outstanding performing skills. The Chorus's superb ensemble and abundant vocal power draw on its members, chorus master, producer and support staff, and earn its media accolades both domestically and internationally.
Chorus Master MISAWA Hirofumi
Misawa Hirofumi graduated from the department of voice of the Kunitachi College of Music, and pursued further studies in conducting. In 1984, he graduated top of his class from the Conducting course of the Berlin University of the Arts. He first wielded the baton in 1985 for a production of Britten's Curlew River, and has been active as a chorus master for opera and oratorio ever since. In 1999, he was invited to be part of the chorus instruction staff for the Bayreuth Festival. Besides his role as chorus master at the New National Theatre Chorus, he has conducted performances of Hänsel und Gretel, of Abu Hassan and Die Opernprobe at the Pit Opera, run an Educational Programme for High School Students using Madama Butterfly, and arranged and conducted the operas for children, Get Back the Ring! and Space Turandot. He oversaw the performance of Get Back the Ring! at the Vienna State Opera and the Zurich Opera House. From April 2011, he studied for three months at La Scala in Milan under the auspices of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.