Toshio Hosokawa’s HANJO to Have North American Premiere at NYU Skirball


Friday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October at 2:00 p.m.

NYU Skirball – 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square

Admission: $50

NYU Skirball will present the North American premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Hanjo, directed by Luca Veggetti and produced by Catapult Opera. Neal Goren conducts.

About Hanjo

An example of Japanese storytelling brilliantly realized by one of Japan’s most important living classical music composers, Toshio Hosokawa’s mesmerizing and haunting opera is based on Hanjo from Yukio Mishima’s “Five Modern Nō Plays” which was inspired by a 14th-century Noh play. First performed in Aix-en-Provence in 2004, this internationally celebrated opera has since received numerous productions throughout Europe and Asia.

Renowned Italian choreographer Luca Veggetti, a frequent collaborator of Hosokawa, will direct this new production. Veggetti has staged critically acclaimed productions of Hanjo in Germany and Tokyo. Neal Goren, Catapult Opera’s Founding Artistic Director, will conduct the Talea Ensemble. The production also features lighting/scenic design by Clifton Taylor, visual design by Moe Yoshida, and costume design by Peter Speliopoulos.

Soprano Eri Nakamura heads the cast in the role of Hanako (last month she created a sensation for her portrayal of Madam Butterfly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), with mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer as Jitsuko, and baritone Adam Richardson as Yoshio. Theater artist Saori Tsukada will perform Silent Figure. Hanjo will be performed in English with a libretto by Hosokawa based on Mishima’s Hanjo translation by Donald Keene.

The musical language of Hanjo is spare and often otherworldly, full of ethereal bowings, a shimmering celesta and harp, but also capable of erupting in unexpected violence as notes are aggressively bent and even ricocheted across the orchestra.”
– A. J. Goldmann, Opera News, 2013

Miwako Handa in Luca Veggetti’s production of Hanjo at Suntory Hall Tokyo in 2009. Drawing by Moe Yoshida. Photo courtesy of Suntory Music Foundation.

Plan to Attend

To purchase tickets, please visit NYU Skirball’s website. Please note that NYU Skirball mandates proof of vaccination for all audience members, performers, crew, and venue staff. Guests must wear face masks at all times. For complete COVID precautions, please click here.

About Catapult Opera

Catapult Opera’s mission is to expand the operatic canon by presenting masterpieces from non-Western and under-represented cultures in order to build new audiences while engaging and retaining existing audiences. Hanjo is the company’s first live production.

Talea Ensemble. Photo Courtesy Beowulf Sheehan.

Talea Ensemble is comprised of nineteen of New York City’s finest classically trained musicians, with a mission to champion musical creativity, cultivate curious listeners, and bring visionary new works to life with vibrant performances that remain in the audience’s imagination long after a concert.

Toshio Hosokawa. Photo ©Kaz Ishikawa.

About Toshio Hosokawa

Toshio Hosokawa is Japan’s pre-eminent living composer and is among the foremost opera composers of our time. His opera Matsukaze received its American premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2013 to rapturous reviews. He has composed operas, oratorio, and instrumental music and is co-founder and artistic director of the Japanese Festival for Contemporary Music.