Bringing together the codified and traditional worlds of Japanese noh theater and European opera seems impossible. Such ostensibly different histories, sounds and visuals: How could it work?

It's a challenge that Vienna-based Japanese opera director Shugo Ikoh has been playing around with for some time — the fruits of which he debuted in Tokyo in 2011.

And late last month, at the Maison du Culture du Japon's theater in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, he premiered his mélanges in Europe. The first tranche saw kyōgen (traditional Japanese comic theater) mixed with commedia delle'arte in a production of the "Livietta e Tracallo" intermezzi for three singers by Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-36).