Sunday, July 17, 2011

Japanese Mix: Acis and Galatea from Aix (webcast)

When you travel for some time open-minded in Japan, you realize the true meaning of cultural differences. It is a whole different level of communication, and the subtle surprises are endless. It is not then surprising to see more and more Japanese directors producing baroque operas, and the Japanese composers doing contemporary operas that are embraced by the Western public.

When planning my trip to Berlin, Matsukaze by Toshio Hosokawa was on my must-see list. Since it is a contemporary opera I thought I could buy the ticket in Berlin. Well, no! Today is the last show and it has been sold out [on the second thought it is not all that surprising since Pablo Heras-Casado is conducting, Sasha Waltz is directing the show, with the phenomenal Barbara Hannigan singing --> see trailer here and here]
After its success this year at La Monnaie in Brussels and at Narodowa in Warsaw this production is finally on at the Staatsoper (DSO-UdL) and the Berlin cultural crème is ecstatic about it.
Acis and Galatea in Aix-en-Provence [production pic by Patrick Berger]

As for the Japanese directors bringing something special to the baroque repertoire, I believe it is their meticulous sense for details that resonates with the finesse of the baroque music.
Tonight [July 17 at 21:30 (cet)] you can see the webcast of a new production of Handel's Acis and Galatea live from the Festival in Aix-en-Provence, via Arte Live Web. Directed by a famous choreographer Saburo Teshigawara, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon will conduct, and the cast includes Joelle Harvey, Pascal Charbonneau, Grigory Soloviov, Rupert Charlesworth, Zachary Wilder.
Video link is embedded below

See in the preview below how Teshigawara describes Galatea:



  1. I saw it at the Grand Saint-Jean yesterday. While it might be good to watch via telecast or the web, it's really another thing to experience it live under the sky in the beautiful countryside of Provence. I loved it!


  2. Thanks for the heads up Eric. Lucky you!
    With the Salzburg Festival going down the drain, next year I'll definitely come to Aix for 1 week of Festival.

  3. I live in Japan and would have loved to see Hosokawa Toshio's "Matsukaze" in Berlin. Nice to know that Japanese operas are getting some recognition. I liked what I heard and saw on the two preview videos posted here.

    Regarding another Japanese artist, I'm finding that Ono Kazushi is quickly turning into one of my favorite conductors. Bravo to him and the Lyon Opera for an excellent performance of Shostakovich's "Nose".