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Special interview for the "12th Fresh Concert"! Yui Yokomori & Naoki Kawada talk about a spectacular collaboration between up-and-coming young musicians

「第12回フレッシュ・コンサート」開催特別インタビュー!  横森由衣&川田直輝が語る〜新進気鋭の若き演奏家による華やかな競演〜

Up-and-coming young musicians taking on Mozart's works

-Do you both have any feelings about Mozart's ``The Marriage of Figaro,'' which will be performed at the Fresh Concert?

[Yokomori] I played the role of Susanna in a regular opera performance at my graduate school. It's the first opera I studied through all the acts, so it's very memorable, and I'm very happy to be able to perform it again. I want to be fully prepared for the actual performance.

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[Kawada] This is my first time speaking with Yokomori-san, but I actually participated in that opera as a chorus member.

[Yokomori] That's right. I remember. So, it's not the first time, but it's the first time we've met on stage in two years... (lol).

[Kawada] Yes, that's true (lol). Personally, my only experience of performing The Marriage of Figaro in front of an audience was the chorus. That's why I want to approach it with full of freshness and sincerity.

-What are the highlights of each song?

[Yokomori] Susanna's aria in Act 4, ``At last, when I'm happy'' is a very graceful song about her love for her lover, Figaro. I would like to express the warmth and kindness of Susannah's heart.

[Kawada] Before that, in the third act, ``So you won the lawsuit?'' This is a scene where a man of noble status, a count, is angry. How much can you convey the raw emotions of an angry person? That's what we struggled with, but we hope you can enjoy the realism.

-When performing, do you ever rediscover Mozart or his works?

[Yokomori] I feel that the greatness of Mozart's works is that they are simple and rich. Therefore, a high level of skill is required for performance. The works are all really difficult, but they are both rewarding and fulfilling. Does it mean that everything is honed? He's a great composer.

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[Kawada] Also, it's very "natural". Whether you want to cheer up or relax, Mozart's works will accompany you.

The path to becoming an advanced musician from the inspiration I found myself

-We would like to ask you about your past activities. What first made you want to become a musician?

[Kawada] For me, it's very simple and pure fun. However, I definitely felt this way when I was in high school. Although I had been familiar with music since I was little, partly due to the influence of my mother and grandmother, up until that point, I had only had a vague feeling about it. It all started with a class called "Harmony." I learned about the structure of music, but when I applied the knowledge I gained there to the music I listen to on a daily basis, I was surprised and moved in a new way. From there, my interest deepened, and various other factors such as my teacher's recommendation also came into play.

[Yokomori] In my case, my father studied in the vocal music department and my mother studied in the piano department, so music was around me, but I didn't always aspire to be a musician from an early age. When I was in the third year of junior high school, I saw the musical ``The Phantom of the Opera'' and it inspired me to start singing. I had been studying classical ballet since I was a child, so I had an interest in theater, but I was really excited to see how interesting musicals would be because they included dancing and singing. After that, I started studying vocal music and aimed to go to music college. I decided to major in opera when I entered graduate school. It's really difficult to sing while acting, but I want to become a singer who can perform on an opera stage.

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−I heard that in addition to performing professionally, you are also currently involved in activities rooted in the local community.

[Kawada] I am the representative of "Ebina Citizen Opera." We were able to launch the company due to various connections. I hope that the participants will be able to experience the experience of how my perspective on opera changed when I participated in the opera chorus. Above all, I wanted to give back to my local community through what I do. Many of the members are veterans of their lives, and they are all full of vitality, which I find to be a great source of inspiration.

[Yokomori] I am active as a member of the Yokosuka Musicians Support Association (YMSA). Musicians from Yokosuka gather and hold concerts at various locations. We perform not only at concert halls, but also at neighborhood halls and museums, and even people who are not normally familiar with classical music enjoy them. Most recently, a New Year's concert was held at Yokosuka Bunka Kaikan, and 40 members with ties to Yokosuka gathered. I feel truly blessed to be able to have so many opportunities to perform in my hometown.

The big dream of a young musician who will play a role in the future of the classical world

-Performance, practice, and community activities. You must be busy, but do you have any ways to refresh yourself on holidays?

[Yokomori] I like watching baseball games. Invited by a friend from university, I went to Tokyo Dome without knowing which direction was right or which left... However, I found myself enjoying it and cheering for it because it was so interesting (lol). When I think about it, I think that the stage and baseball are similar. The same goes for the open feeling of a baseball field, and also the feeling of being able to raise your voice effortlessly when you hit a home run and say, ``I did it!'' I often go to watch Giants games.

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[Kawada] On the other hand, I often spend my time relaxing in my room. I love books, so I think reading is refreshing. Also...how about a movie? Sometimes I go to the movie theater. I basically watch Western movies, and ``Shin Godzilla'' that was shown in 2016 was very good. The information density was so appealing that I went to the theater four times when it was screened (lol).

-Finally, please tell us about your future activities and dreams for the future.

[Kawada] I'm sorry that I'm not talking about playing, but my immediate goal is to complete graduate school. I am working towards completing my thesis by December of this year and successfully completing my studies. After that, it's a new start. My dream for the future is to study vocal music in Italy. Also, I would like to think about how the stage should be performed as a Japanese person. I think the latter is a proposition that will come true for us eventually. Both songs and musical instruments are born from the climate of each country, so I would like to explore things that are uniquely Japanese.

 

[Yokomori] I am currently studying while attending the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Training Institute. In the future, I would like to hone my vocal skills and improve my acting skills so that I can perform not only in various concerts but also on opera stages. Also, since I like works written in German, J. I would also like to try some fun operetta works, such as Strauss's Die Fledermaus. I want to become a singer who can make my customers happy.

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“The 12th Fresh Concert ~Gorgeous competition by up-and-coming young performers~”
Start date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Show time: Doors open 13:20~ Show starts 14:00~
Venue: Kanagawa Prefectural Music Hall 9-2 Momijigaoka, Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220-0044

Access: 10 minutes walk from JR/Municipal Subway Sakuragicho Station (West South Gate, West North Gate), 13 minutes walk from Hinodecho Station on the Keikyu Line, 20 minutes walk from Minato Mirai Station on the Minatomirai Line.

Ticket price: All seats reserved S seat: 3,000 yen A seat: 2,000 yen Youth (under 25 years old) are half price for each seat type *Preschoolers are not allowed to enter.

Inquiries: Kanagawa Philharmonic Ticket Service 045-226-5107 (Weekdays 10:00-18:00)
Organizer: Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra

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