Interviews: SATOMI YANAGIBASHI

Lyric, Interculture, pedagogy, classroom, refinement, and above all an invaluable site. These vibrations perceived in meeting with the Japanese soprano Satomi Yanagibashi, which I had the honor to meet within the framework of the concert that is building in the city in favour of the Japanese Red Cross. The smile, kindness and the delicacy of this artist gave me one of the most beautiful moments of my journalistic path.

A testimony of the life of the International World of Opera from which it follows the original path, characterized by an unshakable faith in their artistic skills voted love for music and to the transmission of this passion and dedication to new generations, represented primarily by the choirs and MiraiBo PicaBo, two examples of musical excellence town still little known and valued. Satomi has a big heart, who does not forget the wounds of the native land, which devotes many of its current initiatives, and is at the same time, tireless in bringing forward projects of intercultural music education, encouraging twinning with schools abroad. A dream that deserves to be better supported, and meet the largest possible audience. Can only be a hug in a world of notes that are in accordance with the universal emotions that unite all civilizations, such as the European (in our case) and the Japanese.

FM: International voice and historical world of Opera. You started in the early childhood playing piano and singing, studying between Tokyo and Bologna, where you currently live. You have chosen to stay here because of its tradition of Music City, since the days of Mozart?

SY:It’s a story that begins from features of my voice, so peculiar, almost no Japanese. I have politically at home, where from elementary to high school I studied the classical repertoire, culminating in the encounter with Bach and Baroque music, which I later dedicated his degree. Training in contrast to Europe, focusing on the scale DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DO. Pena, who couldn’t pronounce the sharps. Then came the French repertoire, in fact I run in my studies also works by Debussy. But not having had many possibilities in that scope are returned to the German sphere. Had become my home arrived years later in Europe and instead, I ended up in Italy, in Rome. Only after I chose to move to Bologna. Two reasons … Its strategic geographical position, at the Centre of the peninsula. And above all, because it was the city of Mirella Fregni, wonderful opera singer that hit me right from the first listen. Wife of the great and famous Lion Magieral conductor of the Conservatory of Bologna. Were the years ‘ 80, and I dreamed of being able to meet this great artist. So I wrote to the school (there was no Internet at the time), in order to be able to meet, but I had no reply. My dream would be realized only after passing the entrance exam to the Martini, where I would have been a student of the same Magiera. Many professional and human memories that bind me to Bologna from that period. Like the first time that accompanied me to see the work in Ravenna.

FM: The opera that allowed the European public to approach the Japanese cultural Universe is undoubtedly “Madame Butterfly”. That relationship you have with this work, poignant and delicate at the same time, almost reminiscent of the transience of cherry blossom season?

SY: Madame Butterfly is the work which, as a Japanese, I have to enter in every concert, in every part of the world where I invite, from New York to Tokyo, without forgetting Kyushu, Ambassador. There is a beautiful story related to the costume of Cho-Cho-san. It’s a red Kimono of 1943. It was the wedding gown of a young bride-to-be who died in the war. A life duration as the flowering of the cherry orchard … Her boyfriend, a gentleman who has followed me in my career, my admirer, gave me. It’s a beautiful kimono, finely embroidered by hand, I am wearing whenever I can. This year I wanted to put it up for auction to the Japanese Red Cross to raise funds that will be used for the reconstruction of the post earthquake 2011. But I have not yet decided. A sign that I indicate the time and the opportunity that this dress fulfilled his destiny.

FM: intercultural Bologna is a city, and there are many associations active in the field of promotion and awareness of Japanese culture. I think the Japanese but also the cultural association Takamori, and also to all those intellectuals and artists in your Homeland who have chosen to settle here. How to promote the best lyric in this context?

SY: The choir, live on stage, is a magic. The dream is to open one day a school of intercultural music here in Bologna, twinnings also perform music with Japan and other countries. I think a lot in my sixth sense, and I hope it is a viable project real soon. It is not easy to work in this area, there is often distrust towards a Japanese teacher, a fortiori if little-known as choirs directs Miraibo and Picabo. Intercultural choirs are few and few in number. A sin. After a lifetime in the world of Opera as a soloist, performing some of the most important scenes of the world, now I dedicate myself to teaching children we need more visibility, new and appropriate opportunities to publicize these musical realities.

FM: Your repertoire of Baroque music is rich, and this field devoted long searches. There is according to you a meeting point between the Baroque tradition traditional European and Japanese? The music is a universal language, although the cultural codes leads to paths sometimes seemingly far away from each other.

SY: In Japan there was a great import music from abroad. It’s great that the influence of German and French tradition. Suffice to say that as a child, at 6 a.m., I listened to the radio Gregorian chants. The master who averages them to me I was listening to the later rediscovered as a lecturer in music theory. I dicevasempre “you must have a light in the heart when you’re singing.” A light … universal. But it’s hard for me to find points of contact between the Japanese musical tradition and European Baroque.

FM: What do you think of Contemporary? Experimental and avant-garde music like John Cage experience have also inspired your work or consider belonging to worlds too different from that of Opera?

SY: I’ve been busy in the past of contemporary music in Opera, and are not against the genre when it is based on an in-depth study of the Baroque. And when running takes account of the actual possibilities of the instrument and vocal music. When I executed the contemporary repertories, I was asked to perform the lowest notes, immediately accompanied by other ISPs. Almost as vocal cords were machinery, and not the expression of a human voice. A colleague, guest in past editions of the biennial music in Venice, was an exception that should be taken for example in the field. When he had to compose contemporary for koto and double bass, took the tools at home, in order to study them thoroughly and create a score keeping expectations of the client but also the needs of artists. This was made possible by his wide knowledge of the traditional repertoire of European music of the ‘ 700. Without an adequate basis of traditional studies cannot run or create quality contemporary music.

FM: What does it represent for you the experience of teaching? What is the most important message that you want to convey to your students?

SY: Positivity. The beauty of classical music. The need for a serious study to create a serious growth path. It’s a path that I teach alternating between creativity and meditation to the discipline and vocalizations. In a way all mine. But there is always a moment dedicated to conviviality, where you can talk about everything. I never stopped singing because I believe in myself, and this trust has never abandoned me, despite all the adversity encountered in his career, due to external causes independent from my artistic path. For this I have always been happy. And today are in teaching children. I will always be there for them.

FM: The concerts you’re taking in bolognese are beneficial. The proceeds will be donated to Japanese Red Cross. Note of hope for a land deeply affected. What program you are developing in the performance of 15 may, at the Basilica of San Francesco Piazza Malpighi?

SY: This is an event that will house most of Bologna choirs, and not. I will be attending with the choir, with which we carry out PicaBo some classics of Japanese tradition, such as Sakura, Momiji, Yuki and Hoharu Koi.It’s a beautiful chorus girls of different nationalities. I hope that the public will welcome with warmth and affection, as always. Our singing will be for Japan. We hope to support the Red Cross. Donate to the participants a little origami, so that they can remember over the years, what has happened, with notes of hope. A wish for the future to all Bologna.

Biographical notes about the artist: Satomi begins playing the piano at the age of 3 years. She studied singing and piano at the University of Arts, Tokyo. It follows a Bachelor’s degree in arts with specialization in vocal music and the title of Master of Art degree at the Faculty of music at the State University of Art, Tokyo. Moved into Italy in 1985, he graduated at the conservatorio G.B. Martini in Bologna under the guidance of maestro Leone Magiera. He has won numerous competitions throughout his career including the first in Japan in 1982, French music, gives off his international career. In Italy won numerous competitions including the Baroque music competition G.B. Pergolesi in Rome in 1990. His numerous concerts including works of the operatic and concert repertoire by composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Schubert, Scumann, Strauss, Wolf, Debussy, Faure, Ravel, Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini, Berio. In 1996 he recorded a Greatest Hits album of Arias which follows in the 1997un ‘ other engraving of famous Arias and modern music. In the second part of the years 90, the artist works for perfecting his repertoire of Baroque music. Evidence of a personality dedicated to the study and research, finalize this work recorded together with Virtuosi Italiani CDs of Baroque music in 1998. In 2000 he recorded a CD with music by composer Manlio Maini of 900 ‘, together with Sung 51 of J.s. Bach. Of 2003 is the traditional Japanese music CDs, and 2005 the one containing songs by Mozart, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Rosenmüller. He has collaborated with the Church of the Servi in Bologna from 2001 until 2005, interpreting Baroque and classical authors in numerous concerts. In 2003 she sang at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Oratorio the lamentation of father Pellegrino Santucci. In 2005 she participated with Music along with a series of concerts in the metropolitan area. In 2006 he opened with a concert of opera Arias’s new Music Hall in Miyakonojyo in Japan. From 2008 he teaches singing and directing choirs MiraiBo and PicaBo. Satomi has made many tours in European countries and in the United States and continues to sing regularly in Japan and in Italy as a soloist in Opera and classical concerts.

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About Odile Milton

I travel through words whenever possible. Odile Milton is my signature on the web as I wanted an alter ego to indicate only my writings and works, not my personal life. Odile like the dancer in black swan, and Milton from the novel An old-fashioned girl. View all posts by Odile Milton

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