The Metropolitan Opera is debating whether to proceed with its scheduled Japanese tour in June, an ambitious trip that was several years in the planning and would be the Met's first to that country since 2006.
Peter Gelb, the Met's general manager, met on Tuesday with union representatives about safety concerns and on Wednesday issued a statement to the entire company that described the tour as being “in jeopardy at this time.”
Mr. Gelb said any risk created by problems at nuclear reactors would be fully evaluated “before the advance team is scheduled to depart in the middle of May.”
Performances in the three-week tour are to begin June 4 at the Aichi Arts Center in Nagoya. It would be the Met's seventh Japan tour, all but one of which have been presented by the Japan Arts Corporation of Tokyo. “I have indicated to them that we hope that the situation will improve so that the tour can take place as scheduled,” Mr. Gelb said of Japan Arts, with which the Met has a contract to perform.
The violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and American Ballet Theater are also scheduled to perform in Japan in the coming months at events organized by Japan Arts.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.