Aleix Palau | 15 July 2019

The OBC begins its tour of Japan with the premier of the opera Turandot and a new production by La ‎Fura dels Baus which 22,000 spectators will get to enjoy

The Bunka Kaikan Theatre in Tokyo, a total sell-out, was the first concert hall visited by the ‎OBC on their five-week tour of Japan. The Orchestra is part of a new production of the opera ‎Turandot directed by Àlex Ollé, and will perform, among other works, Beethoven’s Ninth ‎Symphony, accompanied by a Japanese choir and soloists. The Orchestra will also perform ‎the Concerto for Two Shamisens by Santcovsky.‎

The Barcelona Symphony Orchestra kicked off its tour of Japan with the premier of the opera ‎Turandot by Giacomo Puccini at the Bunka Kaikan Theatre in Tokyo. The production is under ‎the musical direction of Kazushi Ono, with a new staging by Àlex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus) and ‎vocally led by the sopranos Iréne Theorin and Jennifer Wilson as Turandot and Teodor Ilincăi ‎and David Pomeroy in the role of Calaf. ‎

The opera was performed at the Bunka Kaikan on 12, 13 and 14 of July and now goes to the ‎New National Theatre in the Japanese capital, where it will run from 18 to 22 July. The ‎production will then make its way to the cities of Otsu and Sapporo. The performance has ‎completely sold out and 22,000 spectators will get to enjoy this opera.‎

New production of Turandot with La Fura dels Baus
The OBC’s tour of Japan is part of the Tokyo 2020 Cultural Olympiad and will get underway ‎with the opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, the concert version of which concluded the ‎ensemble’s season in May and was a complete sell-out for the three days of the ‎performance at L’Auditori. The opera was accompanied by a new production by Àlex Ollé (La ‎Fura dels Baus).‎

Leading soloists participating in the production include the sopranos Iréne Theorin and ‎Jennifer Wilson, as Princess Turandot, tenors Teodor Ilincăi and David Pomeroy as Calaf, the ‎Japanese sopranos Nakamura Eri and Sunakawa Ryoko in the role of Liù and basses Riccardo ‎Zanellato and Tsumaya Hidekazu as Timur.‎

The images can be downloaded here. All image ‎rights are owned by: © Bunka Kaikan Theatre.‎

Symphonic music
In addition to the four concert halls in which Turandot will be performed, the OBC will offer ‎two symphonic programmes. The first of these, which will be take place in the Aichi Arts ‎Center Concert Hall in Nagoya and at the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, will include the Concerto for ‎Two Shamisens and Orchestra by Fabià Santcovsky, a work commissioned by the OBC which ‎premiered at L’Auditori in May and which will once again feature the renowned Yoshida ‎Brothers.‎

The programme concludes with Prelude to Act I of the opera Lohengrin, by Richard Wagner, ‎and El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat) by Manuel de Falla, with ‎mezzosoprano Marina Rodríguez-Cusí as soloist.‎

The second programme will consist of the Santcovsky concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‎Ninth Symphony, and will include as soloists the soprano Jennifer Wilson, mezzosoprano ‎Etsuko Kanoh, tenor David Pomeroy and bass Hidekazu Tsumaya, who will be accompanied ‎by the Tokyo Opera Singers choir. It will take place at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo and at ‎Hiroshima Bunka Gakuen.‎

Educational concert for young people
With the desire to bring music to younger audiences, Kazushi Ono has devised an educational ‎programme for young people up to 19 years of age which will be held at Suntory Hall in Tokyo ‎on 29 July with the collaboration of the Sony Music Foundation.‎

The OBC will perform Preludi (Prelude) from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet, Ma Mère ‎l’Oye (Mother Goose) by Maurice Ravel and the three dances from The Three-Cornered Hat ‎by Manuel de Falla. The ensemble will also be joined by the mezzosoprano Marina ‎Rodríguez-Cusí.‎

Third tour of Japan
This will be the OBC’s third tour of Japan. The first was in May and June 1992 with conductor ‎Luis Antonio García Navarro and pianist Joaquín Achúcarro. The orchestra returned to Japan ‎three years later, in 1995, also in May and June. On this occasion the orchestra was led by ‎Edmon Colomer, with the pianist Josep M. Colom and guitarist Ismael Barambio as invited ‎guest soloists.‎

Since then, the OBC has undertaken other major international tours, taking in the United ‎States in 2002, under the baton of Lawrence Foster, and Austria, Slovenia and Croatia in 2013, ‎with Pablo González at the head of the orchestra.‎

In addition to these tours, the orchestra has performed several concerts in some of Europe’s ‎leading concert halls. A recent example is its sell-out concert at the Het Concertgebouw in ‎Amsterdam last July, where it received a great reception. ‎

Tour programme

‎12, 13, 14 JULY 2019 (Bunka Kaikan Theatre, Tokyo)‎
‎18, 20, 21, 22 JULY 2019 (New National Theatre, Tokyo)‎
‎27, 28 JULY 2019 (Biwako Hall, Otsu)‎
‎3, 4 AUGUST 2019 (Bunka Art Theatre, Sapporo)‎

‎ ‎
‎17 JULY 2019 (Aichi Arts Center Concert Hall, Nagoya)‎
‎31 JULY 2019 (Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo)‎
Wagner: Lohengrin, Prelude to Act I
Santcovsky: Concerto for Two Shamisens and Orchestra
Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat
Marina Rodríguez-Cusí, mezzosoprano

‎24 JULY 2019 (Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Tokyo)‎
‎1 AUGUST 2019 (Hiroshima Bunka Gakuen, Hiroshima)‎
Santcovsky: Concerto for Two Shamisens and Orchestra
Beethoven: Ninth Symphony

‎29 JULY 2019 (Suntory Hall, Tokyo)‎
Bizet: Carmen. Preludi
Ravel: Ma Mère l’Oye
Falla: 3 Danzas (Seguidilla, Farruca, Jota)‎

Performers and soloists
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Kazushi Ono, principal conductor

Turandot: Iréne THEORIN/Jennifer WILSON
Calaf: Teodor ILINCĂI/David POMEROY
Timur: Riccardo ZANELLATO/TSUMAYA Hidekazu
L'imperatore Altoum: MOCHIKI Hiroshi
Ping: MASU Takashi/MORIGUCHI Kenji
Pang: YOGI Takumi/AKITANI Naoyuki
Pong: MURAKAMI Toshiaki/ITOGA Shuhei
Un mandarino: TOYOSHIMA Yuichi/NARITA Makoto
‎ ‎
Ryoichiro Yoshida and Kenichi Yoshida, shamisen

Marina Rodríguez-Cusí, mezzosoprano

Jennifer Wilson, soprano
Etsuko Kanoh, mezzosoprano
David Pomeroy, tenor
Hidekazu Tsumaya, bass‎
Tokyo Opera Singers, choir