2023/2024 Season Opera at the New National Theatre Tokyo
We are delighted to announce the 2023/2024 Opera Season at the New National Theatre Tokyo.
9 Productions in Total including 2 New Productions
- Suor Angelica / L'Enfant et les Sortilèges NEW PRODUCTION
- Simon Boccanegra NEW PRODUCTION
- Die Fledermaus
- Eugene Onegin
- Don Pasquale
- Tristan und Isolde
- La Traviata
- Così fan tutte
- Educational Programme for High School Students La Bohème
Message from Ono Kazushi, Artistic Director of Opera
The New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT) has not escaped the impacts of the challenging global circumstances that surround us currently. The 2023/23 season lineup will feature two new productions and seven repertoire productions.
In recent years, NNTT has become a global presence in the operatic world: it has been featured in specialist publications such as Opera Now (UK) and Opernwelt (Germany), and the first opera in our series of commissioned works by Japanese composers, Asters by Nishimura Akira, was nominated in the International Opera Awards. We strongly believe in the power of music in difficult times, and everyone at NNTT is committed to bringing memorable musical experiences to our audiences.
Firstly, we present a new production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra for the first time at the NNTT: an important work that would lead to the creativity of his late works. To direct this work, we welcome Pierre Audi, who is currently the Artistic Director of the Aix-en-Provence Festival. The world-class cast includes Roberto Frontali in the title role of Boccanegra, Irina Lungu as Amelia, his daughter, eminent bass Riccardo Zanellato as Fiesco, and Luciano Ganci as Gabriele, Amelia's lover. The drama, which centres on the conflict between the aristocracy and the plebians, and between Boccanegra and Amelia, will surely capture the audience's hearts.
The other new production is a double bill of Puccini's Suor Angelica and Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges. Suor Angelica, which forms part of Puccini's Il Trittico, is a unique opera which is set in a convent and features only female characters. The principal character, Angelica, was sent to a convent because she gave birth to an illegitimate son, but she cannot forget him. When she learns of his death, seven years later, she dies and is taken to heaven. The music in this final scene is full of heavenliness, and is unlike any of Puccini's other operas.
The other half of the double bill, L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, is a story about a naughty child who throws tantrums and troubles his mother. One day, the animals and toys that he bullied plot a revenge to punish him, and the child becomes trapped in a nightmare situation. In the end, the magic word that saves him from the nightmare is his beloved "Maman". The theme of this double bill is the purest form of love between the mother and child.
The production is conducted by Numajiri Ryusuke, who has held the post of the Artistic Director of Biwako Hall for sixteen years and is at the height of his powers in opera. The role of Angelica is sung by acclaimed soprano, Chiara Isotton, and the Princess by the distinguished Marianna Pizzolato. In L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, the child is sung by Chloé Briot, who is in demand internationally in this role. The cast also includes leading Japanese singers, Saito Junko, Kono Teppei, Shiozaki Megumi, Goke Akiko, and Kobayashi Yuka. The brand-new staging will be directed by Aguni Jun.
One of the highlights of our repertoire productions of the 2023/24 season is undoubtedly the revival of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde for the first time in thirteen years. David McVicar's highly acclaimed production, which expresses ecstatic love and deep despair through light and darkness, will return to the NNTT stage. We have assembled a superlative cast: Eva-Maria Westbroek as Isolde, Torsten Kerl as Tristan, Egils Silins as Kurwenal, Wilhelm Schwinghammer as King Marke, and Fujimura Mihoko as Brangäne. We hope you will be immersed in the world of love without resolution, as symbolised by the Tristan chord.
For the revival of Johann StraussⅡ's Die Fledermaus, we welcome rapidly rising conductor, Patrick Hahn. The cast includes the stylish mezzo-soprano Tamara Gura as Prince Orlofsky and Kerstin Avemo as Adele.
In Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, the role of Tatyana will be sung by soprano Ekaterina Siurina who is sought after at the world's leading opera houses. Onegin will be sung by Yuriy Yurchuk, whose recent portrayal of the role at La Monnaie in Brussels gained high praise.
Donizetti's Don Pasquale features the renowned Italian bass Michele Pertusi in the title role in his much-awaited debut at the NNTT. He is joined by an excellent cast of bel canto singers: Kamie Hayato as Dr Malatesta, Juan Francisco Gatell as Ernesto, and Lavinia Bini as Norina. It should be an unmissable production.
In Verdi's La Traviata, Violetta is sung by our very own Nakamura Eri, internationally acclaimed soprano. As her voice matures further, we look forward to how she will portray the role of Violetta. She will be expertly supported by the skillful Francesco Lanzillotta in the pit, and Riccardo Della Sciucca as Alfredo.
Mozart's Così fan tutte is conducted by Iimori Norichika, who is a highly accomplished opera conductor. The lovers are performed by Serena Gamberoni, Daniela Pini and Joel Prieto, and Don Alfonso by Filippo Morace. Kushima Kanae plays the bubbly Despina.
To conduct Puccini's Tosca, we are happy to welcome again the acclaimed Italian maestro Maurizio Benini, who is soon to conduct our new Rigoletto in May. He first impressed our audiences in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1998) twenty-five years ago, but this time he will conduct a much more dramatic work. The title role is sung by Joyce El-Khoury, Lebanese-born soprano who studied at the University of Ottawa. Subsequently, her talent has been recognized by maestros such as Lorin Maazel and Riccardo Muti. Returning to the NNTT as Cavaradossi is Teodor Ilincăi, who made his Japanese debut as Calaf in Turandot in our "Summer Festival Opera 2019-20" project. We can expect a dazzling production.
Furthermore, there will be plenty of opportunities to showcase the outstanding New National Theatre Chorus in the coming season.
We look forward to welcoming you all at the theatre.