“Hosokawa succeeds in creating a remarkable synthesis of poem and music, by integrating movement, all of it under the sign of contemplation.” – Forum Opera

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’sFive Modern Nō Plays,” inspired by a 14th-century Noh play.

First performed in Aix-en-Provence in 2004, this new production of the internationally celebrated opera makes its US Premiere directed and choreographed by the renowned Italian choreographer Luca Veggetti, a frequent collaborator of Hosokawa. Neal Goren, Catapult Opera’s Founding Artistic Director, will conduct the Talea Ensemble.

The cast is headed by soprano Eri Nakamura in the role of Hanako (who last month 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. Silent Figure will be performed by theater artist Saori Tsukada. The production also features lighting/scenic design by Clifton Taylor, visual design by Moe Yoshida, and costume design by Peter Speliopoulos. 

Hanjo will be performed in English with a libretto by Hosokawa based on Mishima’s Hanjo translation by Donald Keene.

Tickets include an access code to book FREE tickets to an artist talk at the Japan Society on Wednesday, September 14 at 6:30pm. Ticket buyers will receive the code in a separate email within 24 hours of their purchase.

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 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 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.


  • Audience members must be 5 years of age or older to enter the theater.
  • Audience members must show a valid government-issued photo ID.
  • All audience members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a COVID-19 booster shot (if eligible for the booster based on CDC criteria). Documentation must include name, birthday, dates of doses & vaccine manufacturer. Documentation must be in English.
  • All audience members will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible), with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine.
  • It is strongly recommended that audience members wear a well-fitted mask while in the theater.

Policy subject to change. Read our full health and safety policies & FAQs here.

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NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and by Howard Gilman Foundation, FACE Foundation, General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA, Collins Building Services, Consolidated Edison, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Marta Heflin Foundation, as well as our valued donors through memberships and commissioning fund support.

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(c) Ian Douglas
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(c) Ian Douglas
A man wearing a black suit with his arms crossed grinning with his face towards the camera.
Toshio Hosokawa
A group of people in black suits and dresses stand looking at one another.
The Talea Ensemble photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Go Beyond

Prep School: Hanjo

Readings, videos, interviews and more.

Found in Translation

Learn more about other shows with related themes.