Since establishing the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in 2000 with the support of Ken Sato (then-president and current Chairman Emeritus of ROHM Co., Ltd.), I have been working with my most trusted Saito Kinen Orchestra colleagues to teach young musicians selected by audition, through the production and performance of operas.
For this production, we will present Carmen, which we performed to great accolades in 2017. The compelling opera will return with the memorable Carmen and other main cast members reprising their roles under the direction of David Kneuss. The orchestra again this year will comprise young musicians who passed rigorous auditions in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. Developing an opera alongside a successful world-class director and singers under the guidance of coaches will be an amazing experience for them.
Again this year, we will invite students from more than 50 elementary schools in Kyoto to create an opportunity for children to experience and enjoy live opera.
This educational project is unparalleled in the world, and the opera productions created here brim with the joy and energy of music.

Seiji Ozawa, Director and Artistic Director of Seiji Ozawa Music Academy

  • Seiji Ozawa Profile

    photo: Seiiji Ozawa

    Born 1935 in Shenyang, China. Seiji Ozawa studied piano from a young age, and after graduating from Seijo Junior High School, went on to study conducting under Hideo Saito at the Toho School of Music.
    In 1959, he won first prize at the International Competition for Young Conductors held in Besançon, France, and was invited the next summer to Tanglewood by Charles Munch, who was a judge at the competition and music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the time. He proceeded to study under Karajan and Bernstein and went on to serve as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Ravinia Festival, music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the San Francisco Symphony. In 1973, he became the 13th music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where his tenure of 29 years was the longest in the history of American orchestras.
    As music director of BSO, he built the orchestra’s reputation internationally, with successful concerts in Europe in 1976 and Japan in March 1978. In March 1981, BSO toured 14 cities in America to commemorate its centennial and then executed a worldwide tour in fall of the same year, with stops in Japan, France, Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom. It went on to perform in Europe in 1984, 1988, and 1991, and Japan in 1986 and 1989, all to great acclaim. In 1978, Ozawa was officially invited by the Chinese government to work with the China Central Symphony Orchestra for a week. A year later in March 1979, Ozawa brought the Boston Symphony Orchestra to become the first American orchestra ever to visit China, facilitating significant cultural and musical exchanges. He has since continued to build a strong relationship with China. He has also taken the San Francisco Symphony to Moscow (the USSR at the time) in June 1973 to perform with Mstislav Rostropovich.
    In autumn 2002, Ozawa became music director at Wiener Staatsoper, a position he held until spring 2010. His reputation and popularity are enormous in Europe, where he has conducted many orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Vienna Philharmonic. He has also appeared in prominent opera houses such as l’Opéra in Paris, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Opera di Firenze, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
    In Japan, Ozawa conceived the Saito Kinen Orchestra to commemorate his late mentor, Hideo Saito. Formed with Kazuyoshi Akiyama and other colleagues, the orchestra held greatly successful concerts in Tokyo and Osaka in 1984 and went on to tour Europe in 1987, 1989, and 1990. In 1991, its concerts in Europe and America were received with great accolades. These activities led to the inception of Ozawa’s artistic dream in 1992: the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto. Ozawa became director of this international music festival, a role that continues to this day. SKO continued to tour, with overseas concerts in 1994, 1997 and 2004. In 2015, the festival entered a new stage to become the “Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival.”
    Ozawa has been particularly focused on education. The Chamber Music Academy Okushiga evolved from the Saito Kinen chamber music study group sessions that started in 1997, and in 2011, this became the non-profit organization Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy Okushiga, Asia, to provide opportunities to outstanding students from countries in the region. Ozawa also founded the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project in 2000 and the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra Project in 2009, working actively to cultivate young musicians through performance. In 2005, he established the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland to educate European music students. Ozawa has also worked closely with the Mito Chamber Orchestra since its foundation in 1990, serving as general director of the orchestra as well as director general of Art Tower Mito from 2013. He has also worked regularly with the New Japan Philharmonic since its founding.
    Ozawa has won many awards in Japan and abroad, including: the Asahi Prize (1985); an Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University (2000); the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class (2002); the Mainichi Art Award (2003); the Suntory Music Prize (2003); an Honorary Doctorate from the Sorbonne University of France (2004); Honorary Membership from the Wiener Staatsoper (2007); France’s Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (2008); Foreign Associated Member in the Académie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France (2008); the Order of Culture, which is the highest honor in Japan (2008); Giglio D’Oro by Premio Galileo 2000 Foundation of Italy (2008); the first Japanese national to be bestowed honorary membership to the Vienna Philharmonic (2010); the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association (2011); the Akeo Watanabe Foundation Music Award (2011); and the Kennedy Center Honors (2015). In 2016, the Ravel L’enfant et les sortilèges album conducted by Seiji Ozawa and performed by the Saito Kinen Orchestra that was recorded at the 2013 Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto won the 58th Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. In the same year, he was named Honorary Member by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Honorary Citizen of Tokyo.


Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVII Bizet: Carmen

  • poster
  • Four Acts / Alkor Edition (In French with Japanese supertitles)
    Script: Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

    Tour Schedule

    March 15, 2019 (Fri) 18:30 ROHM Theatre Kyoto Main Hall
    March 17, 2019 (Sun) 15:00 ROHM Theatre Kyoto Main Hall
    March 21, 2019 (Thu/Holiday) 15:00 Yokosukua Arts Theatre
    March 24, 2019 (Sun) 15:00 Tokyo Bunka Kaikan


    Carmen: Sandra Piques Eddy
    Don José: Chad Shelton
    Micaela: Caitlin Lynch
    Escamillo: Edward Parks
    Frasquita: Katrina Galka
    Mercédès: Alexandra Rodrick
    Zuniga: Jeffrey Beruan
    Morales: Andrew Lovato
    Dancaïro: Kei Kondo
    Remendado: Takashi Otsuki

    Artistic Director: Seiji Ozawa
    Conductor: Christian Arming, Seiji Ozawa
    Director: David Kneuss
    Set Designer: Robin Don
    Costume Designer: Robert Perdziola
    Lighting Designer: Tatsuo Takasawa
    Choreographer: Sara Erde
    Chorus Master: Takuya Nemoto
    Vocal Coach/Assistant Conductor: Dennis Giauque
    Orchestra: Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra
    Chorus: Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Choir
    Chidren's Chorus: Kyoto City Junior Chidren's Choir

    Presented by: Seiji Ozawa Music Academy / VEROZA Japan
    Kyoto City, ROHM Theatre Kyoto (Kyoto City Music Art Cultural Promoting Foundation)
    Co-presented by: Rohm Music Foundation
    Sponsored by: ROHM Co., Ltd
    Produced by: VEROZA Japan
    In cooperation with: ANA

  • Conductor, Director

    • photo: Seiiji Ozawa
      Artistic Director, Conductor
      Seiji Ozawa
    • photo: Christian_Arming
      Christian Arming
    • photo: David Kneuss
      David Kneuss
  • Cast

    • photo: Sandra Piques Eddy
      Sandra Piques Eddy
    • photo: Chad Shelton
      Don José
      Chad Shelton
    • photo: Caitlin Lynch
      Caitlin Lynch
    • photo: Edoword Parks
      Edward Parks
    • photo: Sasha Djihanian
      Katrina Galka
    • photo: Alexandra Rodrick
      Alexandra Rodrick
    • photo: Jeff_Beruan
      Jeffrey Beruan
    • photo: Andrew_Lovato
      Andrew Lovato
    • photo: Kei Kondo
      Kei Kondo
    • photo: Takashi Otsuki
      Takashi Otsuki

Christian Arming (Conductor) Message Video


Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVII Bizet: Carmen

  • Four Acts / Alkor Edition (In French with Japanese supertitles)
    Script: Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

  • TICKETS GO ON SALE: December 8, 2018 (Sat) 10:00
    S:¥25,000 A:¥21,000  B:¥17,000 C:¥13,000 D:¥8,000
    *All seats reserved/tax incl.

  • NOTE:

    *Artists and programs are subject to change without prior notice. All ticket sales are final and there are no refunds or exchanges. Refunds are issued only in the case of cancellation or postponement of the performances. Please carefully review these conditions before purchasing your tickets.
    *As Artistic Director, Seiji Ozawa is scheduled to conduct one portion of the opera, in addition to participating in rehearsals and coaching.


Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVII
Bizet: Carmen

March 12, 2019 (Tue)
ROHM Theatre Kyoto Main Hall

Artistic Director:Seiji Ozawa
Conductor: Tatsuya Shimono
Director: David Kneuss
Orchestra: Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra
Chorus: Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Choir
Children Chorus: Kyoto City Junior Children’s Choir

*Intended for primary school students only (close to general public / entry free of charge)
*Performed by cover cast

Organized by Seiji Ozawa Music Academy / VEROZA Japan,
Kyoto City, ROHM Theatre Kyoto (Kyoto City Music Art Cultural Promoting Foundation)
Co-organized by Rohm Music Foundation
Sponsored by ROHM Co., Ltd
Produced by VEROZA Japan


To celebrate the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVII, we will have "Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Exhibition 2019" for nearly 4 months at ROHM Theatre Kyoto Music Salon. You can see 5 sets of valuable wardrobes from "Carmen" at the Part 1. There are brief introduction of the background of the opera and about the great writer G.Bizet himself. In Part 2, we will have exhibition to introduce the history of Seiji Ozawa Music Academy using photos and old poster visuals.
You may also enjoy salon concerts performed by artists who joined Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra before during the exhibition period.

Part 1: "Carmen" wardrobes display
Dec 4, 2018 (Tue) - Jan 17, 2019 (Thu)

Part 2: History of Seiji Ozawa Music Academy
Jan 22, 2019 (Tue) - Mar 28, 2019 (Thu)

Venue: ROHM Theatre Kyoto "Music Salon" (Park Plaza 3F)
Open: 10:00AM - 7:00PM (Closed on ROHM Theatre Kyoto closing days)
<Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Photo Exhibition> will be concurrently held with above at 1F promenade.