HÀ NỘI — A new opera project named “Princess Anio” has been launched to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Việt Nam.
The project aims to promote Japan-Việt Nam exchange and friendship through music and will be performed at Hà Nội Opera House in September 2023.
The opera is based on the love story between Sotaro Araki, a merchant from Nagasaki, Japan, and Princess Ngọc Hoa [called Princess Anio by Japanese] in Hội An, Việt Nam, during the trading era of the Shuinsen in the early 17th century.
During the Nguyễn Dynasty in Việt Nam, Princess Ngọc Hoa was the daughter of Lord Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên who reigned from 1613 to 1635.
Since ancient times, Japan and Việt Nam have had a strong relationship as reliable and equal partners. By making an opera based on this, the project aims to create a work that will become a symbol deepening the relationship between the two countries.
Japanese Ambassador to Việt Nam Takio Yamada will take part in the project as an honorary advisor. It is supported and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Việt Nam, the Embassy of Japan in Việt Nam and other organisations from both nations.
The production team includes conductor Honna Tetsuji as general director; composer Trần Mạnh Hùng as music author; Oyama Daisuke as a playwright for Japanese; Hà Quang Minh as a playwright to Vietnamese; artist Ando Saeko as image director; artist Oyama Daisuke as director; artists from the Việt Nam National Symphony Orchestra; artists from Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet Theatre; Art Creation JDC; and researcher Phan Hải Linh as historical consultant and more.
The ambassador said the opera would help people of the two countries reminisce about the good relationship between Japan and Việt Nam in the past and further tighten their bonds in the future.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tạ Quang Đông said he appreciated the project, emphasising that the Việt Nam-Japan cooperation relationship had achieved many strong and wide-ranging development steps in many fields.
“This is a good opportunity for us to review the tradition and friendship of the governments and people of Việt Nam and Japan and have a deeper understanding of the significance of this event,” he said.
The deputy minister also said Japan and Việt Nam would coordinate on a variety of activities to mark the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.
The general director of the project Tetsuji said the artists performing in the opera would sing in both Vietnamese and Japanese.
Composer Hùng said both sides had met online often to carry out the project.
“We have agreed three parts of the opera, but only one part is being worked on,” he said. “We have worked very hard to find common satisfaction for all personnel involved in the project.”
Hùng said he found it challenging to compose music for various scenes in Japan and Việt Nam based on dialogue and songs in Japanese.
“I believe we will succeed as we have been working well as a team,” he said.
Trịnh Tùng Linh, director of the Việt Nam National Symphony Orchestra, said in the context of the pandemic, the team had a plan B to ensure the safety and success for the project. — VNS