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Digital Subscriptions > Opera Now > February 2017 > A passion for opera

A passion for opera

‘Since I have synesthesia, I instinctively focus on creating a staging that harmonises music and movement’

As a college student in Japan, I came to realise that I had an unusual attribute: I am a musical/visual synesthete. Not everyone conjures pictures and images when they hear sounds, but it comes absolutely naturally to me – in fact I find it difficult to avoid.

Since my youth, I’ve been a musical actress, pianist, flautist and conductor, so the stage is a familiar place for me. Over time, my attention has been focused more and more on opera, and especially opera directing. After I graduated from a music college in Tokyo with majors in flute and conducting, I moved to Germany to study opera directing at the Hans Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. And so my long journey into opera began.

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About Opera Now

Baritone Thomas Hampson discusses his influential role as ambassador for opera and the art of singing; composer John Adams on turning 70 and his new opera about the California Gold Rush; Grange Park Opera gets ready for its relaunch at Britain's newest opera house; and the indomitable prowess of the great American soprano Leontyne Price. Plus, introducing a new opera inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall; movement and pictures in the stagings of Japanese-born director Anna Etsuko Tsuri; the revelations of Dame Felicity Lott; American opera in the age of Trump; a weekend in Boston; and our pick of the best new works coming up stateside.