The Performing Arts Journal 25 March 2005

Supple Music-Making by the Conductor Joji Hattori

…Sometimes we encounter a staging which „defies expectation“ in the positive sense. On such occasion, there are new discoveries in the performed work as well as the performers. The production of Zazà at the Pit Theatre of the New National Theatre, Tokyo, revealed the theatrical talent of Leoncavallo, generally known as the composer of Pagliacci, who vividly depicted the life and love of the people involved in the stage, and furthermore, Joji Hattori, making his opera debut in Japan […] In particular, the conductor Joji Hattori deserves special mention. Although his foray into opera is relatively recent, his supple ability to create the music with the singers is unrivalled in the young generation of Japanese conductors. In spite of having to conduct at the back of the stage without seeing the singers, his firm grasp of the libretto helped him to overcome such limitations…