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JAPAN

The Met tours Nagoya, Tokyo

by Eriko Arita

Staff Writer

After cancellations by two of its singers, the Metropolitan Opera has found replacements, so that it can carry out performances in Nagoya and Tokyo from June 4 to 19.

Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday that he felt the Met has a responsibility to be in Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

“There are many orchestras and other opera companies around the world who are canceling or thinking about canceling their tours to Japan. I think we are setting an example to the rest of the world by being here,” he said.

Replacement singers include soprano Marina Poplavskaya from Russia. Gelb cited her as a dynamic new opera star who has performed main roles in “Don Carlo” and “La Traviata” at the Met last season. Also appearing will be Rolando Villazón, a tenor singer from Mexico known for his powerful voice and passionate acting. Villazón first sang at the Met in 2003. He has recently completed a run in the title role of “Werther” at the Royal Opera House in London. Tenor Marcelo Álvarez canceled a trip home to Argentina to join the tour, too.

The opera company will perform “La Boheme” and “Don Carlo.” Tokyo audiences will see additional performances of “Lucia di Lammermoor” in addition to the other two operas.

“La Boheme” takes place at Aichi Prefectural Art Theater in Nagoya on June 4 and at NHK Hall in Tokyo on June 8, 11, 17, and 19. “Don Carlo” takes place on June 5 in Nagoya and June 10, 15 and 18 in Tokyo. “Lucia di Lammermoor” takes place at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan on June 9, 12, 16 and 19. Tickets cost from ¥24,000-¥64,000. For more information, visit cte.jp/special/met2011 or japanarts.co.jp/MET2011.