Film project delivers ‘live’ operas from U.K.


Performances by two acclaimed U.K. opera ensembles — Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House — will take place in movie theaters nationwide from Dec. 20 as the opening features of U.K. Opera @ Cinema, which is being presented by Sony Corp.

A unique cultural phenomenon, the independent Glyndebourne Festival Opera has been staged every summer since 1934 at the country estate of that name in East Sussex, England. Here, featured in cinema form, are two works: Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” performed in 2008, conducted by the young Japanese maestro Kazushi Ono; and Handel’s “Julius Caesar,” performed in 2005 under the direction of David McVicar, which won the 2006 South Bank Show Award for Best Opera.

The beautiful Royal Opera House, which, since the 17th century, has graced the central London district of Covent Garden, is home to one of the world’s top opera (and ballet) houses, whose opera company last visited Japan in 1992. Featured in the movie from the Royal Opera House are two titles, both conducted by Antonio Pappano: Bizet’s “Carmen,” performed in 2006, and Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” performed in 2007.

The operas are being distributed as digital-video content by Sony Corp. as a new way to enjoy “live” entertainment on the big screen, in cities outside Tokyo as well: Kawasaki, Chiba, Niigata, Nagoya, Osaka, Shimane, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Kagoshima.

Tickets are ¥3,000 per screening. For details and schedules, visit www.livespire.jp The Japan Times is giving away to readers two pairs of tickets for these first four operas in the U.K. Opera @ Cinema event, which are valid for all the movie houses that run the U.K. Opera @ Cinema program. To apply, send a postcard by Dec. 18 stating your name, address, phone number, age and a comment about The Japan Times to: Gakugei-bu, The Japan Times, 4-5-4 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023.