Bringing opera to Tokyo 2020

Stage | CULTURE NOTES Jul 25, 2019

Bringing opera to Tokyo 2020

by Chiho Iuchi

Among the many absurdist opera stories in existence, nothing is more preposterous than the happy ending generally used for Giacomo Puccini's final opera "Turandot," in which Princess Turandot suddenly accepts Prince Calaf's wooing right after the suicide of Liu, a slave, as if her ...

Rethinking noh for the opera crowd

Stage | Backstage Pass Mar 1, 2018

Rethinking noh for the opera crowd

by Chiho Iuchi

Artists have long mined older works to create new forms of expression, just look at the continuing relevance of Shakespeare's stories. Among the oldest surviving performing arts of Japan, noh has been a source of inspiration for many in Japan. Combining narrative chanting, slow movements ...

Giving Cio-Cio San a better ending

Stage | Backstage Pass Aug 3, 2017

Giving Cio-Cio San a better ending

by Chiho Iuchi

Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" tells the story of a young Japanese girl named Cio-Cio San ("chō-chō" is the Japanese word for "butterfly") marrying and getting dumped by an American naval officer named Pinkerton. First performed in Italy in 1904, the opera is one ...

Opera Theater Konnyakuza perfects a union of stage and song

Music Jan 28, 2016

Opera Theater Konnyakuza perfects a union of stage and song

by Chiho Iuchi

The world of opera has always found inspiration in the works of William Shakespeare, but adapting them for the stage requires flexibility. Kyoko Hagi, a composer who serves as the representative of Opera Theater Konnyakuza, points out that Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi transformed "Macbeth" into ...