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JAL Otobutai 2005 Musical Event to be Held at Kyotos Ancient Ninnaji Temple

Travel News Asia 20 July 2005

The JAL Group-sponsored annual musical performance of Otobutai (Sound Stage) performed in the grounds of Japans most historic temples and held annually since 1989, will be staged at the ancient temple of Ninnaji in Kyoto on September 10, 2005.

JALs Otobutai is a unique performance of Japanese and Western music and was conceived as an event where East meets West. It is staged at a different temple each year, through the cooperation of the Kyoto Buddhist Association. JAL has been a major sponsor since its inception.

Among the star performers for the 2005, and 18th, performance are the Norwegian popular singer Sissel and Rolando Villazon, a young Mexican tenor.

Sissel was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1969. As a young girl she joined a local childrens choir and later developed a solo career. She performed in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 and as a result was introduced to millions. Her records are bestsellers in her native Norway. At the age of 16, she made her first album Sissel and her albums sales to-date total 1.5 million. Her reputation spread globally after the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

Rolando Villazon, born in Mexico City in 1972 has established himself as an international star. He studied the performing arts since the age of 11 and in 1990 he came to the attention of baritone Arturo Nieto, who introduced him to the world of opera. He entered the national Conservatory of Music in 1992. He made his international debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York and has since appeared in leading opera houses all over the world including Londons Royal Opera House at Covent Garden where he drew rave reviews for his appearance in the Tales of Hoffman. Villazon will make his Salzburg Festival debut this summer in a major new production of La Traviata.

Ninnaji temple was founded in 888 and once served as a residence for the ex-emperor. Today it is the headquarters of the Omuro School of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Over the centuries it has suffered repeated destruction in civil wars and fires but today its numerous gardens and buildings present a picture of beauty and tranquility. It belongs to Kyotos UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The 2005 JAL Otobutai will feature two evening performances.

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