At the end of 2009

On 20th March, 2009
Minoru Miki

After completed "Ai-en", my 8th full length opera along Japanese 1600 years history, I planned to compose 9th opera "Happy Pagoda" based on 20th Century materials. On the way, in case of Tokushima National Cultural Festival in 2007, I premiered a folk opera "Happy Pagoda" in smaller scale which style was half speaking and only four instrumentalists on the stage.
Then after its premiere, the librettist: Tatsuji Iwata rewrite libretto more than 50%, and I started to compose "The Happy Pagoda" as the 9th full-length opera which totally sung and use full orchestra in the pit.
In October 2008, I completed its vocal score, and immediately entered orchestration of the opera. However a theatre who expressed much interest to premiere this work didn’t answer any more by reason of the general director change.
So I need to find out another theatre or organization to do the world premiere of the opera. Naturally I changed my plan to complete whole orchestration from Spring to the end of the year 2009.

In November and December 2008, my two music dramas toured local Japan both getting support by Japanese governmental funds . First, music Legend "Hagoromo” which I conducted Aura-J, toured three schools in Kinki region.
Second, folk opera “The Monkey Poet” produced by Tokyo Chamber Opera Company toured 8 schools in Tohoku-Hokkaido region.

On the other hand, I did many medical checks in Kyorin University Hospital on December. One of them, MRA-MRI for head part found a plenty blood under dura space (between hard and soft head skins). And it needed sudden surgery to take out blood.
Unfortunately after the first operation on 18th December which taking out blood (120gram) from under dura space, the doctor said that after the operation appeared another blood space, so 40 gram blood left in the head Alas!  I needed to do surgery again in this last 26th January.
It was a little heavier than former one because the space became three, and had to cave two holes. The operation needed almost one hour (first time was 15 minutes) and during caving bone I was passably pain even under local anesthesia. I came back home on 1st February, our 51st wedding anniversary.

When I knew operation need, I completed orchestration only first scene of 9th opera. But suddenly I felt strong pressure as “If I don’t finish full score now, the opera surely become an uncompleted work”. So I started again its orchestration not only at my home but also at the non-private hospital room, and without any holiday. I was a demon for work, the labor was unnatural.
Finally after second leaving hospital, on 7th February, I finished 450 pages orchestration of the opera. It means “The Happy Pagoda”, the 9th full-length opera is almost completed. I have special plan to compose a play within a play which discuss “What was the Pacific War?” by all singers on stage as the second version of the play. However the librettist didn’t write it yet according its difficulty. I am only waiting it now.
I am very exciting to almost complete “Minoru Miki, nine full-length operas along 1600 years Japanese history”, like run-through the Himalayas as my long dream!!!

Fortunately I became fairly well now. But after two operations, I feel slight difficulty to compose big opera or orchestra piece for any aim now. Two days ago I became 79 age old.
I am starting preparing 45 minutes one act tiny opera use only 4 singers, female chorus and Pf. for Omaezaki-city commission which will be premiere on 31 October, 2009.

In last Autumn, I knew a big present from the Theatre Heidelberg. They wrote me that they want to have German premiere of "Ai-en" in Japanese with German sub-title and wrote me "What a beautiful masterpiece!". As I am very touched, naturally I gave them permission to do.
Later I knew the data below:
premiere: 20.2.2010
10-15 performances till july/august 2010
pipa: Yang Jing
conductor: Dietger Holm
derectrisse: Nelly Danker
orchestra: Orchestra of the city of Heidelberg
Theater: Theater und Orchester der Stadt Heidelberg; Intendant Peter Spuhler

To realize Japanese singing by German singers, it is very need to put in Roman letter on the score. For this job, my 4 friends paid much efforts to fix Roman leter and frequent proof readings on the score.
And also Mr. Naoyuki Maruyama who has a printing company did electric typewriting on the score devoted his valuable months without any profit,Thanks for all members.

On 18th March, Aura-J which consisting by all Japanese instrumentarists and composers under my directing had their 23rd regular concert at Yotsuya Kumin-kaikan, Tokyo with full house audience.
I prepared a parody of Joruri-hime Story (Strange Tales of Joruri-hime Monogatari) as 72 minutes non-regionable oratorio played by Sop, Mez, Ten, Bar, and Japanese inatruments ensemble based on big choral drama "Toge no mukau ni Naniga aruka" (libretto: Masakazu Yamazaki, music: Mioru Miki, 1982) since last August.
The premiere was conducted by Toru Sakakibara, and all members played So well. They hope next performance will be soon.

We are starting prepare the 4th Hokuto International Music Festival Which will be held in early August in Yatsugadake area.
Please wait a little more time to know precise data.

I received Artistic-Cultural Award of 20th Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize as the first Japanese artist very recently.
You could watch the reason of prize winning at

The prize was founded in 1990 by Fukuoka City, the biggest famous city in Kyushu who has strong aim to establish an Asian cultural interchange metropolitan. The first prize winner was Mr. Akira Kurosawa etc. as the founding special prize winner. Then in every year four prizewinners including a Grand Prize, 2 Science-technical Prizes, and a Artistic-cultural Prize got awards. In every September, Fukuoka city is holding its formal awarding ceremony & Citizen forum including a concert of the Artistic-cultural Prizewinner.
Concerning Artistic-Cultural Award, the first winner was Dr. Donald Keene and following years we never find out Japanese artist name. So I am the first Japanese artist who won the Artistic-Cultural Award of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize in their 20 years history.. It is very honorable for me who paid long efforts since post second war to realize Japanese – Asian – Western cultural exchange keeping Japanese identity.
Unfortunately from last December I suffered frequent physical problems, two times operation to remove a subdural hematoma and recent blockage of the intestines etc. But this prize winning is giving much energy to succeed composing one act tiny opera for the premiere in coming Autumn and also directing “Hokuto International Music Festival” 2009 which will be held from 7th  to 11th August at southslope of Yatsugadake mountain.

Blockage of the intestlines caused by cancer of the colon.

On 23rd May, I went to Tokushima city for a job by JSL flight. But just that night I brought to the hospital because of heavy intestinal obstruction by an ambulance car. The doctor said that this is caused by cancer of the colon after checking CT scan. Very need to hurry doing surgery.

Just after came back from hospital, I went to my summer house on 6th August. I needed to direct the Hokuto International Music Festival 2009 which opened on 7th August.  I have just on time !!!
After original planning in March-April I couldn’t work for precise preparation. Mr. Toru Sakakibara, the Executive producer and Mr. Takebumi Kawashima, the managing director prepared every thing very well. I could sit on audience seat every concert except workshop on 10th Aug. in which I needed talk about opera "The Tale of Genji" with DVD performance and live performance by Yang Jing (Pipa) and Reiko Kimura (21-string koto).
After concluding all concerts, I wrote long reviews for each concert in Japanese. Please refer website of HIMF 2009.

The Award Ceremony of Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize has done on 17 September in Fukuoka International Congress Center, and also as the public forum on 20th “Minoru Miki Music World” project has done at Fukuoka Bank Concert Hall with full audience. -->more

"Voice Calling You", an opera in one act (six scenes) was completed on 9th September in Tokyo. Omaesaki is famous cape toward Pacific Ocean in middle Japan, but population of the town is only 12.000. This project participated "National Cultural Festival in Shizuoka 2009", but the budget is too few as making an opera. It was 1/20 of usual budget for an opera production. So I needed to consider unusual plan. Finally I composed just Eco-opera?economical opera?, because the opera can perform without expensive scenery, special costume etc. -->more

On 6th December, several executive members belonging Japanese instrumental field were planning "Minoru Miki Celebrating party for receiving Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize and his coming 80th birthday". My most important life work is "Minoru Miki, Nine Opera Series along 1600 year Japanese History", but ninth opera will be complete during next year. So I agreed this plan which concentrates Japanese and Asian music fields. -->more【NB】 

Minoru Miki