Ballet & Dance

New Production

2004. 1-2

Libretto and Music by Mamiya Michio

Original by Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Libretto by Okamoto Kazuhiko
Libertto and Music by Shimizu Osamu

Each Opera in 1Act
( Sung in Japanese with Japanese Supertitles )


<REHEARSAL SCENE > Please click here



Akiyama Kazuyoshi


Ichikawa Danjuro
Scenery Design Nakajima Masaru

Costume Design

Hanai Yukiko
Lighting Design Isono Mutsumi
Gesture Coach Ichikawa Kobai
Assistant to Director

Hirao Rikiya

Stage Manager Sugahara Takahiro
Production Producer

Kuribayashi Yoshinobu

Chorus New National Theatre Chorus
Chorus Master Misawa Hirofumi


The Tokyo Symphony Orchestra


1/30, 2/1
Narukami Fukushima Akiya Kai Eijiro
Kumo-no-Taema Sasaki Noriko Koshigoe Mami
Haku-un-bo Idane Yasuhiko Onuki Iwao
Koku-un-bo Matsumoto Susumu Wakabayashi Tsutomu
1/30, 2/1
Shunkan Naono Tasuku Kuroda Hiroshi
Naritsune Inoue Ryoji Nikaitani Yusuke
Yasuyori Shikano Yoshiyuki Kubo Kazunori
Tanzaemon Motoyasu Hoshi Yoji Makikawa Shuichi


Jan-Feb 2004 Friday 1/30 Saturday 1/31 Sunday 2/1

Doors will open 60 minutes before the opening of performance.

Available from Sunday 23 November, 2003 at 10:00 am.
To order tickets, please call +81-3-5352-9999(10:00am.-6:00pm.).
Internet ticket reservation available through the following Website.(Japanease only)



Seat S

Seat A

Seat B

Seat C






Seat Z(¥ 1,500) is sold only on the performance day at the Box Office and exclusive Ticket Pia Offices.

The Encounter of Traditional Japanese Art with its Western Counterpart Imbues Opera with New Life

This program is a double-bill with two operas dealing with subjects from Japanese classics. Ichikawa Danjuro XII, the kabuki actor who has been a supporter of Heisei period kabuki, will take on the challenge of directing opera for the first time. In particular, Narukami is one of the kabuki juhachiban (eighteen kabuki plays) in the repertoire of the Ichikawa acting-family dynasty. High expectations surround the question of how direction under the head of the Ichikawa family will change the temporal and spatial dimensions of opera.
Narukami was first performed as an opera in bunraku format and presented in a visual manner, and the delicate, fine performance by Yoshida Tamao and other bunraku puppeteers won the grand prize in the international competition for the Salzburg TV Opera Prize in 1974. Even a high priest can be tempted by a woman’s charms and become depraved, leading to his own ruin. The plot of the opera depicts this sort of human weaknesses, which is a universal theme. The opera features a unique structure in which the love affair in the first part of the play forms a marked contrast with the harsh business of the second part, thereby creating striking scenes. The subject of Shunkan is taken from historical facts that appeared in Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike). The story of solitude and separation, which has been handed down from generation to generation in the various forms of noh, bunraku and kabuki plays, has the power to deeply move an audience. The libretto uses the noh version as its text. Shunkan made its debut as a radio broadcast in 1964 and was first performed on stage in 1965.
Danjuro’s direction will incorporate into the opera techniques developed by traditional Japanese entertainment. Particular attention should be paid to the singers who will have the challenge of breaking new operatic ground. The opera will also feature the technique of applying the flat beauty particular to Japanese performing arts to the staging of an opera. The direction, which is backed by a deep understanding of the work, will bring out remarkable effects in terms of both acting and the art of staging.

[Narukami] A long, long time ago, there was a high priest named Narukami Shonin who lived high up in the mountains. One day, dissatisfied with the court, the priest confines all dragon gods throughout the world to the bottom of a waterfall, thereby causing people to suffer from a drought. Perplexed by his deed, the emperor sends the Princess Kumonotaema, a beautiful lady in waiting, to the priest. The princess uses her beauty to seduce the priest and serves him wine with the aim of putting him to sleep. When she cuts the sacred straw festoon, hung at the bottom of the waterfall, to release all the dragon gods, it immediately begins to rain heavily and irrigates the entire country. Awakened, the priest turns into a god of thunder and rages. Then he jumps from cloud to cloud, chasing the princess, but it is too late.

[Shunkan] The setting is the coast on the island of Kikaigashima off southern Kyushu at the time when the Heike family was at the height of its prosperity. Caught in a conspiracy aiming to vanquish the Heike clan, the Buddhist priest Shunkan is banished to the island together with Tamba Lesser Captain Naritsune and Taira Police Lieutenant Yasuyori. Shunkan and his fellow exiles look back upon their former gay lives in the capital of Kyoto and think about their wives. Then a boat with a messenger carrying a letter of pardon arrives. The messenger tells them that a general amnesty has been granted to Naritsune and Yasuyori but that he was ordered to keep Shunkan on the island. He also informs the priest that his wife Azumaya was beheaded because she gave offense to the will of Taira no Kiyomori. The boat sails away leaving Shunkan bemoaning his fate, having lost his will to live.