My chorus, Sapporo Academy Chorus, has a web site, but the text is in Japanese only. We sing primarily classical music. In 1994 I was a member of the chorus in the opera Orpheus Descends Into Hell by Offenbach. We have also sung a number of requiems including those by Verdi, Mozart, Fauré, and Andrew Lloyd-Weber. Our next concert is Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, on July 2nd, 2006, conducted by the superb Maestro Michiyoshi Inoue.
The photo below is of my chorus in 1995.
Sapporo is well-known for the Pacific Music Festival founded by Leonard Bernstein. In the summer of 1996, my chorus [see above] sang in the opera Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, conducted by Maestro John Fiore of the Metropolitan Opera.
On July 4, 1997, Sapporo opened a concert hall with a beautiful organ where musicians come from all over the world to play. Its nickname, Kitara Hall, was chosen because it suggests the Kithara a musical instrument played by Apollo, the mythical god of music and Kita which means north in Japanese. The concert hall happens to be only a 3-minute walk from my apartment!
I've performed at Kitara Hall a number of times, including one week after 9/11, when the chorus expressed its compassion by singing "Amazing Grace" as the opening number. Other of the most memorable concerts was on June 28, 1999, when we performed Mozart's Requiem (only 5 months after my father passed away), and Beethoven's 9th Symphony with 264 other performers in September, 1998. Since then, I have sung the Beethoven at Kitara more times than I can count.
Another highlight was participating in the world premiere of an orchestral/choral piece, Kita no Daichi. The poem for the lyrics was by Hokkaido-born poet Bunichiro Kawamura, and a young composer, Kazuki Kuriyama set it to contemporary music.
The piece expresses the many aspects of Hokkaido, the "frontier" prefecture or state where I live. Although only about 20 minutes long, it was one of the most challenging I've ever sung with its modern harmonics, syncopated rhythms, and poetic Japanese lyrics. There are even some Ainu words included. The soloists--soprano Yoshimi Tasuno and baritone Toshimitsu Kimura--did a remarkable job, as did Tadaaki Otaka in conducting the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and a special Kita no Daichi chorus. Sponsored by the Hokkaido International Music Exchange Society, or HIMES, this was one of the most exciting performances I've ever sung in.
I am a member of the Sakkyo Club for the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, which often plays at Kitara and rehearses at Sapporo Art Park [The website is in Japanese, but there's a button for the information in English].
JAPAN | HOKKAIDO | SAPPORO | CA'S NEIGHBORHOOD
MUSIC | CALLIGRAPHY | YOGA | PEACE AND ENVIRONMENT SITES
CA'S WORK | CA'S BACKGROUND | CA'S FAMILY | CA'S LATEST NEWS | CA'S HOME PAGE