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Guide to Classical Music, Opera and Dance in Japan

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TokyoRichard Wagner: Die Walküre

Richard Wagner: Die Walküre
Wagner: Die Walküre
Kazushi Ono; Götz Friedrich; New National Theatre; Masahiro Joya; Gottfried Pilz; Daniel Kirch

TokyoDance Concert: Afternoon of Fauns and Nymphs 2021

Dance Concert: Afternoon of Fauns and Nymphs 2021
Bach, Various
Tetsuo Kaikawa; Motoko Hirayama; Satoshi Nakagawa; The National Ballet of Japan; Hana Sakai; Mirai Moriyama; Kaori Kagaya; Yuya Yoshizaki

TokyoStravinsky & TchaikovskyNew production

New National Theatre Tokyo
Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky
Ken Takaseki; Yannis Kokkos; New National Theatre; Rie Miyake; Michiko Hariu

TokyoGaetano Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Speranza Scappucci; Jean-Louis Grinda; New National Theatre; Rudy Sabounghi; Jorge Jara; Mattia Olivieri; Irina Lungu

TokyoRoland Petit’s Coppélia

Roland Petit’s Coppélia
Delibes: Coppélia
Roland Petit; The National Ballet of Japan; Misato Tomita; Luigi Bonino; Ezio Frigerio
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An awakening kiss for the National Ballet of Japan

Ayako Ono (Aurora) and Yudai Fukuoka (Désiré) in the Act 3 pas de deux © Takashi Shikama
In the National Ballet of Japan's Sleeping Beauty, the fulfilment and joy of being able to dance was apparent in the whole company and the result was glorious. 
****1
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Radiant Szymanowski from Isabelle Faust in Tokyo

Isabelle Faust plays Szymanowski © NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo

One of the few upsides to the current Covid-19 pandemic for the classical music world in Japan is that it has given opportunities to young home-grown talent.

****1
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Fantasy-filled recital from Kirill Gerstein in Tokyo

Kirill Gerstein © Kioi Hall
After an eight-city recital tour of Japan with duo partner Daishin Kashimoto, Kirill Gerstein gave a recital of his own at Kioi Hall, arguably Tokyo's best acoustics for solo piano.
****1
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New Year Ballet creates a buzz with “Still Life” at the Penguin Café

Yui Yonezawa in Paquita © Kiyonori Hasegawa
New Year Ballet displayed the versatility of the National Ballet of Japan, from the 19th-century classic Paquita, to three works by Japanese choreographers and David Bintley's “Still Life” at the Penguin Café.
****1
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Nott reunited with Tokyo Symphony in Beethoven's Ninth

The Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and soloists conducted by Jonathan Nott © T. Tairadate | TSO
Seven months ago, when Tokyo’s musical scene was brought to a standstill by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was hard to envisage any orchestra performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by December, an important year-end custom in Japan.
*****
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