Western civilisation has always looked East as far as the dramatic arts is concerned, and the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre of Japan might seem like a very short time period for a country with such a rich history in stage performance stretching back thousands of years.
This anniversary also marks the birth of the Japanese Arts Council in 1966 and is part of a much longer term plan for the National, involving the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and eventually leading to a total renovation of the building starting post-2020 and to be completed in 2024.
The National Theatre actually consists of two performance stages – seating approximately 1600 and 600 and home to a host of traditional Japanese theatrical styles, including Kabuki and Buyo (both traditional dance, with Kabuki including dramatic retelling of traditional stories), Hogaku (traditional music) and Bunraku (puppet theatre).
Promotion of these traditional art forms to foreign visitors is a priority for the arts council over the next four years running up to the Olympics, with “appreciation classes” being staged, and to facilitate this , the National complex has had a complete sound system refit, complete with three SSL digital mixing consoles, and 32 XTA DS8000 audio distribution systems.
The 32 DS8000s will offer a total of 256 mic or line inputs and 1024 outputs in both analogue and AES digital formats, for both distribution and broadcast split purposes.
The equipment refit was overseen by Otaritec in Tokyo, who also supplied the XTA 4 Series Audio Management used for speaker processing throughout both venues.
Kunitaka Fukatsu, of Otaritec commented “We are honoured that the eminent National Theatre should have chosen to work with us on this very significant update to their audio and production facilities. The DS8000s were chosen for their superior mic pre-amps and incredible low noise performance, and the convenience of a 96kHz digital output of all input channels available in addition to the 4 x 8 split outputs.”
Waring Hayes, Technical Brand Manager for XTA added “With the line-up of all anniversary performances having just been released running through to the middle of 2017, this will be a very busy year in the life of these renowned theatres. I am delighted that we are a part of this auspicious anniversary and, looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, our equipment will be performing as well in four years is it is today!”