SON OF HEAVEN (Chamber opera)
A MASTERPIECE AT VADSTENA ACADEMY
"Moto Osada’s opera Son of Heaven puts high demands on its audience but it is also very rewarding. Vadstena Academy comes back with a sterling masterpiece, excellently performed. Moto Osada’s music forms a strong organic entity together with the libretto. His musical language is very appealing but difficult to categorize. It is very intelligent music that is at the same time friendly to both ear and brain. During its more than forty years of existence Vadstena Academy has staged many memorable operas. Son of Heaven is an addition to their treasure chest as, undoubtedly, one of the major jewels.”
– Lars-Erik Larsson, SKÅNSKA DAGBLADET (The Skånska Daily) (July 18, 2015)
“Just like [Osada’s] last opera, [Son of Heaven] feels completely cohesive and full-fledged. He has full power and control over his tools. The Royal [Swedish] Opera in Stockholm has stated that it will introduce a new modern opera every year in the future. Commission one directly from Moto Osada.”
– Per Feltzin, RADIO SWEDEN (Sveriges Radio) (July 20, 2015)
A MODERN OPERA LIKE NO OTHER
"The music is alternately playful and dramatic. This is a modern opera unlike anything else I have seen before. It is something extraordinary. Minimalistic and expressive at the same time. A real sight to behold. All participants really contribute to Son of Heaven, and it becomes an operatic feast.”
MOTALA & VADSTENA TIDNING (The Motala & Vadstena Magazine)
(July 18, 2015)
AN OPERA HIT AT THE VADSTENA CASTLE
"Vadstena Academy’s premiere of the opera Son of Heaven became a veritable hit. It is very striking. …and when [the Immortals] together burst into singing the text lines like quilts, it is so wonderful to hear that you wish it would never end. It is not often one hears such a tight and comfortable ensemble singing. In contrast to different clusters of sounds are the sounds most often sparse and short cut, and just like strict scenic pictures, tight and seemingly effortless. The word counterpoint comes to me again and again as well as the important pauses, contrasting silences to the melodic course of events.”
– Michael Bruze, NORRKÖPINGS TIDNINGAR (July 20, 2015)
SON OF HEAVEN – ADORABLE, BEAUTIFUL, DIVINE AGONY
"Osada, born in Japan and living in New York, is an unusual composer with a highly personal musical idiom. The individual instruments emerge as playful opponents to the vocal parts, sometimes reminiscent of Britten in a seductive mood. The show is visually impressive and stunningly beautiful.”
– Bo Löfvendahl, SVENSKA DAGBLADET (July 20, 2015)
“... the intro with the female chorus, the Immortals… is incredibly beautifully written and well-performed by David Björkman and the ensemble. This is a solid opera experience.”
– Hanna Höglund EXPRESSEN (July 20, 2015)
FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM (Chamber opera)
“With the auditorium dressed entirely in white Vadstena Academy's first performance of Moto Osada's four Japanese dreams becomes a therapy of light. It is surreal, beautiful and extremely strong. This dream may be at least as crisp and clear as the waking life. That makes this journey through dreams one of the strongest performances I have ever seen from Vadstena Academy."
- Sara Norling, DAGENS NYHETER (July 20, 2008)
"A dreamy wise move in Vadstena! The performance is interpreted with a clarity and inventiveness that is a pleasure to experience and the opera is presented with a mixture of action and commented storytelling, a bit like ancient choirs, settled for six singers and a mime. This is Osada's first opera. May we see many more from him!"
- Per Feltzin, SWEDISH RADIO CULTURE NEWS (July 21, 2008)
"Irresistible dreams... The music is easily accessible, dynamic and often breathtakingly beautiful... It is not the night's darkness, but the symbolic theatrical interpretation and the music's fascinating force that create the dream of this different, fascinating and very notable opera event."
- Karin Helander, SVENSKA DAGBLADET (SvD) (July 22, 2008)
Click here to read the entire review (English).
Click here to read the entire review (Swedish).
"Moto Osada’s Four Nights of Dream, excellently directed by Nils Spangenberg, is a unique, extremely worth-seeing, and highly fascinating opera with its beautiful set, Japanese-influenced costumes and masks, and the strengths and beauty of the magnificent music. The work breaks boundaries, opens up new possibilities, and widens the horizons - philosophically, musically and theatrically."
- Gunilla Edström, ENKÖPINGS-POSTEN (July 29, 2008)
"And now one more piece of the puzzle falls into place for those who have learnt to love Studio Ghibli’s Japanese anime films. It is highly entertaining. Zen Buddhism and samurai culture, vanity and fantasy, Noh theatre and horror film, Impressionism and Sleeping Beauty. There is no effect-seeking exoticism, but if anything could sound like Japanese wooden interior design without being the least bit New Age, Osada achieves this with his instrumentation for woodwind, horn, percussion, piano and string quintet."
- Gunilla Brodrej, EXPRESSEN (July 20, 2008)
Click here to read the entire review (Swedish).
KAGUYAMA DANCE FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
“...the works, by [Japanese] composers of the last two generations were cosmopolitan and up to date… their works are steeped in color, texture, and visceral power... Jessica Meyer, the violist and Blair McMillen, the pianist, threw themselves headlong into Moto Osada’s “Kaguyama Dance,” to good effect. The viola line’s rhythmically sharp edges are first mirrored, then magnified, in the dense piano line, which edges toward jazz in its energy and drive.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES (March 13, 2007).
Click here to read the entire review.
SYLVAN LAY AND PASTORAL AIR FOR MARIMBA SOLO
-Koichi Nishi, ONGAKU GENDAI (January, 2010)
"...difficult, tonally challenging, intensely cerebral work."
LUCID CULTURE (February 21, 2008)
ATOMOTIUM FOR PIANO
“...[Sachiko Kato] again sat down at the piano to play a substantial work as an encore, a fascinating and original recent opus by Moto Osada called Atomotium.”
- Anthony Aibel, NEW YORK CONCERT REVIEW (Summer 2004)
MIFUNE FOR VIOLA SOLO
“The two [musicians] showed their versatility in solo pieces: Katz with the very original and individual composition for viola solo Mifune by the contemporary Japanese/American composer Moto Osada. “
- FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU (November 27, 2002)
and stimulating for European listeners, Mifune for viola solo by Moto
Osada. Osada, a Japanese composer who lives in the United States, had
dedicated the piece to [the violist] his friend and former classmate
Shmuel Katz, and [Katz] performed it with much artistry and insight,
and even created the sound of a temple gong on his viola.”