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Friday, Dec. 18, 2009

Kids sing holiday classics

Special to The Japan Times

When a concert bills itself as being "from age 0," you can be sure it'll be a family affair.

News photo
Young sopranos: Pianist Keisuke Shimatani hosts children of all ages. YUKIE MIKAWA PHOTO

Tokyo Opera City is presenting Japanese pianist Keisuke Shimatani in "Christmas Concert: Piano Recital from Age 0" on Dec. 25.

Tokyo Opera City is one of the most prestigious classical music venues in Japan and, under the usual circumstances, a parent would need to find a baby sitter to attend one of their shows. This time, however, the concert is all about kids.

The menu will include pieces such as Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel," Ludwig van Beethoven's "Waldstein," Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" and more.

Before each song, children will come on o the stage to perform a short narration about the song, and proud parents can push their kids up to the stage as well. With a ticket purchase, parents can sign up for the narration portion free of charge (but with a mandatory rehearsal prior to the concert on Dec. 25).

Another opportunity to involve your kids in the experience is to sign them up to take part in the chorus. The lesson fee is ¥10,000, with rehearsals on Dec. 19 and 20 in Omotesando. There is no deadline to sign up for the chorus, which will be conducted by Shimatani himself.

So dress up, take your newborn and treat them to a night of the classics. Who knows, maybe your kids will ask Santa Claus for a grand piano instead of a drum set.

"Keisuke Shimatani's Christmas Concert: Piano Recital from Age 0" will be held from 11:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 25 at Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall. Tickets cost ¥2,500. For more information, call 0120-649-041 or visit www.acj.ne.jp (Japanese only)

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