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Yesterday, I had a wonderful experience talking with Shugo Ikoh, stage director.  I met him at the TOMODACHI Beyond Tomorrow  luncheon in March. We happened to sit at the same table and started talking.  When I found out that he is a stage director of Opera, in Vienna  I told him about my interest in directing  (performing arts etc. in general, and  not necessarily for opera.)

I wanted to have another opportunity  to talk with him,  and I got lucky.  I received his note informing of the interview article in Asahi Globe.  As I found out about his background (he wanted to work for UN and switched to opera!), I became even more intrigued.

Then yesterday, I had a chance to meet with him again.  We talked about many things and time went by so quickly.  I asked him “what is directing an opera like?” ” what exactly do you do?” “how do you learn to be a stage director for opera?”etc. etc.

I had become intrigued by the totality (not sure whether this is the right word or not) of the skill/requirement of performing arts–to generate  script, make it into the show/play, market it to attract audience and operate it day in and day out.   Fascinated by the different aspects of the performing arts, I had become interested in directing shows (mainly musical, play etc.)

He told me about the difference between directing in opera and in other performing arts,  between that in Europe , US and Japan, how  traditional performing arts in the West and in Japan compare, which was so interesting.

We talked about our desire to make arts such as opera more accessible to many more people by lowering the hurdle to enjoy them AND to maintain the quality high at the same time.  I think many of  the fields have the same issue.  We want to make the field accessible and relevant to many people,  at the same time, to maintain and even improve the quality.

He told me about the upcoming  Opera@Noh-Theatre European Tour  and a musical project for children in Matsushima,
Sendai, as a part of ARK NOVA festival by Lucerne Festival. All these plans are so exciting that I want to think of ways to support them.

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