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This afternoon (June 24), I went to see the opera La Boheme at Nissay theatre. It was the second performance in Tokyo of the Nissay Opera Series. Though I love performing arts and often go to shows whether in Tokyo or in New York, I rarely go to see the Opera. (I usually stay in the Lincoln Center area and often “think” about going to Met. But so far I have not, partly because I understand it is so long.)
La Boheme at Nissay theatre was done in Japanese and directed by Shugo Ikoh, my friend. I have known Shugo for some time, and have written about him on my blog a few times before, though I have not had opportunity to see live performance of his opera. So when I heard that they will perform twice in Tokyo, I was delighted and very happy to accept the invitation.
As I do NOT know much about the opera, even one of the most popular ones like La Boheme, I read the story in program so that I could follow. Performance in Japanese is relatively rare these days, I heard, and it was interesting experience. Because the script is quite complicated and the Japanese has much less information than, say, Italian, concentration was needed.
I loved the beginning and the end, as well as setting, costume, not to mention the music. Opera requires so many different forms of art well integrated and directing is critical. I also find that live performance of arts of any kind touches very sensitive and deep part of my heart that I almost feel like crying  as I recall moments with  those who passed away, but have played significance role in shaping my life.
I also found after talk by Shugo who won the Goto Memorial Opera award very interesting.
At the invitation of Shugo, I visited him backstage after the show. (Too bad I did not take a photo!) As I realize how big a scale opera performance is, I am glad that they will perform in other cities in Japan, after two shows in Tokyo.
I met Shugo a few years ago at the luncheon of charity event. I always find meeting with him very inspiring and informative. I am grateful that I have friends in variety of fields who are very talented with activities beyond borders.

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