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Among this year’s many events celebrating the 1,300th anniversary of Nara as Japan’s first capital is one with a decidedly international tone. From Oct. 2 to 3, Nara’s Akishino Music Hall welcomes some of the most talented singers from throughout Asia as it hosts the regional preliminary contest in the International Francesco Paolo Tosti Singing Competition.

The competition, which was started in 1996, honors Italian composer Tosti (1846-1916) and is held every four years in the Italian town of Ortona, where Tosti was born. Since the most recent competition, which was completed in 2008, the Asian preliminary contest has been held in Japan.

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