As part of its 40th-anniversary celebrations, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama will stage a world-premier version of "Legend of the Water Flame," an opera by the renowned composer Toshi Ichiyanagi that's scored around a libretto by a fellow octogenarian, the poet Makoto Ooka.

"Opera has an image of being Western, with a fixed style, but I want people to see this as a new total work of art. I want to make it something where various fields come together," said Ichiyanagi, who released a piano version of the music in 2005, though the upcoming performances will the first-ever in orchestral form.

And indeed, Ichiyanagi — who is also the general artistic director of Kanagawa Arts Foundation, which manages the public hall — has certainly brought a wide range of top-class talents to this work.