Young Artists Training Programme

Training the next generation of performing artists is a core function of the NNTT.

The Young Artists Training Programme consists of three divisions: The NNT Opera Studio, NNT Ballet School and NNT Drama Studio. Each offers training for young artists with aspirations for a professional career in the performing arts.

Each division has its own curriculum involving either two or three years of training, taught by a faculty of seasoned instructors who have a passion for what they do. All students will be called on to put what they've learned on display by appearing in study productions and performance demonstrations at the NNTT. Within the programme, in the Opera Studio, young singers, have the chance to study overseas for a portion of their training, while in the Ballet School, young dancers have the chance to take part in the International Ballet Academy Festival. And, in an effort to help students develop into well-rounded artists, we host a series of special talks and lectures by a diverse group of internationally recognized artists and cultural leaders. The students in our programme do work hard, but for the few who make it in, the rewards can be just as great.

NNT Opera Studio

Director : Nagai Kazuko

Training Programme for Opera Singers

The NNTT Opera Studio opened in April 1998, with the goal of training opera singers to go on to pursue international careers. Since 2001, the innovative curriculum has incorporated an international training system as part of efforts to broaden the scope of the program. It is a three-year training program headed up by a staff of experienced instructors, many hired from overseas. They select a repertoire for each trainee to suit his or her voice type, conduct private lessons with a focus on the arias, and also lead ensemble lessons that feature groupings of vocalists in different years of the program.

The students receive instruction in vocalization and the basics of acting, and attend lectures on a diversity of subjects essential to the education of a proper opera singer. The program also includes foreign language instruction, vital to the understanding and performance of the works. Because the Opera Studio is affiliated with the NNTT, students have a unique opportunity to observe opera rehearsals and performances, attend special lectures and master classes led by people involved in the productions, and get the latest on what's happening in the world of opera.

Students also get the chance to perform themselves, in trial productions held twice a year and an opera performed at the end of the academic year. The trial productions, in summer and autumn, focus on ensemble work as students perform a number of opera scenes. For the year-end opera, all students take part in development and performance of a full-scale work. Students also perform in concerts organized at the NNTT and other venues throughout the year.

NNT Ballet School

Director : Maki Asami

Training Programme for Ballet Dancers

Started in April 2001, the Ballet School is a two-year program with space for eight students, who work diligently day in, day out toward the goal of becoming professional ballet dancers.

The curriculum focuses on ballet class, variations, pas de deux and character dance, with lessons designed to hone the skills required to perform works of the classic repertoire. Students also take lessons designed to prepare them for performance of contemporary works. In addition, dancers practice an ongoing regimen of body conditioning to ensure a healthy balance between body and mind. The curriculum includes basic dramatic training, aimed at enhancing the dancer's skills in acting, interpretation and vocalization.

The students are also instructed in ballet history, ballet and music, theatre history, notation, human anatomy, etiquette, art history, sketch, foreign languages and nutritional science to give them the knowledge they will need as professional dancers. The NNTT also organizes events that give students the opportunity to meet the artists and production staff involved in various areas of the performing arts.

Using the theatre facilities of the NNTT, several recitals are held over the two-year term so students can showcase what they have learned, and the students also get practical experience by performing in regular productions of the New National Theatre Ballet.

NNT Drama Studio

Director : Kuriyama Tamiya

Training Programme for Actors

The NNT Drama Studio opened in April 2005. The aim of the programme is to train talented candidates to give them the physical and verbal skills they need to take the lead as our next generation of fine stage actors. The programme lasts three years, and young actors follow a full-time curriculum, five days a week. Lessons are taught by accomplished instructors who are working, leading actors from Japan and abroad. As they progress through the programme, actors receive fundamental training in the use of voice and body — including a focus on Japanese traditional performing arts. Their studies also cover improvisation, the Method and other acting techniques, as well as analysis and interpretation of the text, scene studies, and actual acting practice.

The fifteen students of the 1st year entrants are currently taking part in this intensive programme, held in specially allocated studios in the Geino-Kadensha (operated by the Japan Council of Performers' Organizations) in Nishi-Shinjuku.