Yukio Mishima's New Opera HANJO Comes to the Japan Society Next Month

There will be a talk with the creative team on September 14.

By: Aug. 08, 2022
Yukio Mishima's New Opera HANJO Comes to the Japan Society Next Month

On September 14, come to Japan Society for a talk with the creative team behind the reality-bending opera Hanjo, based on Yukio Mishima's modern noh play and reimagined by the internationally-acclaimed Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa.In advance of the work's full US premiere at the NYU Skirball by Catapult Opera Company in late September, the Italian director Luca Veggetti and Catapult's founder (and Hanjo conductor) Neal Goren will discuss Hosokawa's music and the staging of his opera. The evening begins with an introduction to Mishima's original script by Prof. Satoko Naito of the University of Turku, Finland, and culminates with live singing of the opera's centerpiece aria.

Inspired by the long-distance love between Hanako, a geisha girl, and her young paramour Yoshio, Hanjo tells the story of Hanako's dizzying experience when a man calling himself Yoshio finally reappears after a long absence. For Catapult Opera's production, the inner life of each of the opera's three characters will be expressed in movement by an analogous dancer. Classical chamber musicians from the Talea Ensemble will provide the work's orchestral element. Hanjo expresses the fragility of the lives that we construct for ourselves when challenged by events beyond our control.

Hanjo was originally commissioned by and premiered at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2004. Since then, it has been presented at several European opera houses and Japanese concert halls. Catapult's production is directed and choreographed by Luca Veggetti, a frequent collaborator of Hosokowa, who will be reuniting with Catapult's Artistic Director, Neal Goren, to conduct this production. Veggetti and Goren presented the US premiere of Hosokowa's The Raven for the first New York Philharmonic biennial in 2014 and the US stage premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Tempest Songbook in 2015.

This event will take place on September 14 at 6:30pm at Japan Society, located at 333 East 47th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at japansociety.org or by phone at the Japan Society Box Office, Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm at 212-715-1258. Limited free tickets to this event will be offered to patrons who have purchased tickets to Hanjo at NYU Skirball; please visit the Skirball website for more information. View Japan Society's up-to-date visitor policies and safety protocols by clicking here.