Ballet & Dance

The New National Theatre Tokyo The Pit Opera #3 - Double Bill
Abu Hassan/Die Opernprobe
Operas in 1 Act (Sung in German with Japanese Supertitles)

Stage Director : Hikaru Inoue
Artistic Director : Kiyoshi Igarashi
Libretto by
: Franz Carl Hiemer
(Abu Hassan)
Music by
: Carl Maria von Weber
(Abu Hassan)
Music and
Libretto by
: Albert Lortzing
(Die Opernprobe)
Conductor : Hirofumi Misawa
Set Designer : Sachiko Osawa
Costume Designer : Katsura Hasegawa
Lighting Designer : Kazuhiro Naruse
Stage Manager : Kiminori Sato
: New National Theatre The Pit Opera Ensemble
: New National Theatre The Pit Opera Chorus
Presented by : New National Theatre, Tokyo

Carl Maria von Weber: Abu Hassan
Explanatory Notes
Among the operas by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), Der Freischutz (The Free-Shooter), which is considered the first of the German national operas, is by far the most famous. Although his other operas are known only for their overtures, many of them are unique works with elaborate plots and in Abu Hassan, which will be presented during this season, a comic story based on A Thousand and One Nights unfolds at a fast pace with exotic music. In addition, this opera is uniquely structured in that nearly half of the major characters have only spoken dialogues and this indicates Weber's brilliant talent. It will be highly interesting to see which aspects of this opera the promising and energetic stage director, Hikaru Inoue, will focus on.

Deeply in debt, Abu Hassan recalls that when a family member dies, the surviving family will collect the funeral payments and a silk shroud, so through prearrangement, he and his wife, Fatime, plot to collect the funeral payments and a silk shroud by claiming that each other's spouse has died. Meanwhile, Omar, a money exchanger who is in love with Fatime, tries to woo her in return for canceling her husband's debts, but Fatime gives him a noncommittal answer to evade his advances, making him irritated. Abu Hassan successfully obtains condolence money for himself and his wife, but he gets into a state of panic when he learns that Caliph Harun al Raschid and his wife, Zobeide, will come to his house for confirmation. Harun is puzzled to see both of them lying on a sofa and declares that he will offer one thousand gold coins to any who can say which of the two died first. Then Abu Hassan sits up abruptly and thanks the caliph, saying that it is he himself who died first and that he was revived because of Harun's virtue and power. Subsequently, Fatime resuscitates, Harun hands over one thousand coins to Hassan as promised, and Omar is driven away. Thus the opera comes to a happy ending.
December 2000

Saturday 23

Sunday 24 Monday 25 Tuesday 26
Fatime Harumi Kobayashi X   X  
Saori Adachi   X   X
Abu Hassan Yasuhiko Idane X   X  
Kosei Hayama   X   X
Omar Shigeru Imao X   X  
Takehiko Maiya   X   X
Caliph Harun
(Dialogue only)
Tetsuya X X X X
(Dialogue only)
Ibuki Tanaka X X X X
Albert Lortzing: Die Opernprobe (The Opera Rehearsal)
Explanatory Notes
Albert Lortzing (1801-1851), who left his name to posterity with his opera, Zar und Zimmermann (Tsar and Carpenter), was a multi-talented person who was active not only as a composer but also as a conductor and actor. Die Opernprobe is the last of his operas, which was first performed the night before his death. The plot involves a row over the marriage of a young baron and rehearsals for the performance of an opera hosted by a count, an opera enthusiast, at his house, making this opera lively and clean-cut. Interspersed with many points worthy of note, including scenes for rehearsal presented as a play within a play, the story advances at a delightful tempo toward a conclusion which incorporates a brilliant idea combining the row over the marriage and opera rehearsals.


At the count's house, where the count and his family love opera so much that they even converse in recitatives, operas are performed every day and the servants who are forced to participate in such performances are privately bored to death. One such day, a young man who looks like a nobleman and his servant appears outside the house. This young man is Adolph, Baron von Reintal, who fled from his house because he resented the marriage arranged by his uncle, and he was attempting to creep into the count's house in some way or other because he was captivated by Louise, the count's daughter, at first glance. Learning about this, Hannchen, Luise's maid, is surprised to find that Louise is indeed the fiancee originally arranged for Adolph. She tells Louise about this but the two promise that they will keep this between themselves. Then the count receives a letter from Adolph's uncle, who says that he is going to visit the count's house. Adolph and his servant, Johann, who were welcomed into the house on the pretext that they are itinerant players, immediately sing for the count with the voice they are proud of and win applause. As the rehearsal enters its most interesting part, the uncle appears and Adolph's utterance of "Uncle!" surprises the whole company. Sensing the strange mood of the situation, Johann works out a plan, and...
December 2000

Saturday 23

Sunday 24 Monday 25 Tuesday 26
Louise Harumi Kobayashi X   X  
Saori Adachi   X   X
Adolph Yasuhiko Idane X   X  
Kosei Hayama   X   X
Der Graf Shigeru Imao X   X  
Takehiko Maiya   X   X
Die Gräfin Michiko Hayashi X   X  
Yumiko Kono   X   X
Hannchen Noriko Ieda X   X  
Yuka Hashizume   X   X
Der Alte Baron von Reinthal Masamichi Yabunishi X   X  
Masakazu Sano   X   X
Johann Hideki Hofuku X   X  
Naoki Ota   X   X
Martin (Dialogue only) Tetsuya X X X X

December 2000

Saturday 23

Sunday 24 Monday 25 Tuesday 26
3:00pm X X    
7:00pm     X X

Available from Sunday 15 October, 2000 at 10:00am.
To order tickets, please call +81-3-5352-9999 (10:00am-6:00pm).
Internet ticket reservation available through the following Website.(Japanese only)

All Seats Reserved: ¥4,200
Seat Z(¥1,500) is sold only on the performance day at the Box Office and a part of Ticket Pia Offices.