The OBC and maestro Kazushi Ono begin their five-week japan tour

The OBC and maestro Kazushi Ono begin their five-week japan tour

New concert halls in the cities of Tokyo, Otsu, Sapporo, Nagoya and Hiroshima will host the ensemble, which embarks upon its third tour of Japan. The orchestra is taking part in 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, and the Concerto for two shamisens by Santcovsky. An educational concert in Tokyo will bring the music to a younger audience.
On Wednesday, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra begins a five-week tour of Japan under the baton of its conductor, the maestro Kazushi Ono. This will be the OBC’s third tour of Japan, where it will perform symphony and opera music in the country’s leading concert halls.

New production of Turandot with La Fura dels Baus
The tour is part of the Tokyo 2020 Cultural Olympiad and will begin with a concert version of the opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, which concluded the ensemble’s season last May, with tickets completely sold out for the three days of the performance at L'Auditori. This will be accompanied by a new production by Àlex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus) that will be staged at two venues in the city of Tokyo, the Bunka Kaikan and the New National Theatre, and also at the Biwako Hall in Otsu and the Cultural Arts Theatre in Sapporo.

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.

Symphonic Music
In addition to four concert halls in which Turandot will be performed, the OBC will offer two symphonic programmes. The first of these, which will take place in the Aichi Arts Center Concert Hall in Nagoya and at 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 have a Japanese component through the participation of 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 Japan tour
This will be the OBC’s third tour in 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.

The OBC releases its new CD: Picasso’s Ballets
Coinciding with its trip to Japan, the OBC has released a new CD entitled Picasso’s Ballets, edited by music publisher Tritó. It consists of the five great ballets for which Pablo Ruiz Picasso designed the sets and costumes: The Three-Cornered Hat, Pulcinella, Parade, Mercure and The Blue Train.

The CD includes the music of Manuel de Falla, Igor Stravinsky, Erik Satie and Darius Milhaud, conducted by Kazushi Ono and with mezzosoprano Marina Rodríguez-Cusí. It is accompanied by the libretto in Catalan, Spanish, English and Japanese. The CD was recorded in Sala 1 Pau Casals at L’Auditori during 2017 and 2018.

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

: Iréne THEORIN/Jennifer WILSON
Calaf: Teodor ILINCĂI/David POMEROY
Timur: ZANELLATO Riccardo / 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

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