Japan Society to Present World Premiere of ‘Note to a Friend’

By Francisco Salazar

Japan Society is set to present the world premiere of “Note to a Friend,” a new opera from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Bang on a Can co-founder David Lang.

The work is commissioned and presented by Japan Society and co-produced by Japan Society and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan as part of the 2023 PROTOTYPE Festival.

“Note to a Friend” is Lang’s reimagining of three texts from the renowned Japanese novelist Ryūnosuke Akutagawa and is widely regarded as the father of the Japanese short story.

Paris-based opera director and longtime member of Peter Brook’s international theater company Yoshi Oida will direct the world premiere and will star New York vocalist Theo Bleckmann. Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Japan will be presenting the opera’s featured string quartet members.

The work will first appear in New York from January 12 to 15, 2023 and then in Japan from Feb. 4 to 5, 2023. Finally, in the Fall 2024, the work will be presented in Taiwan.