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Sunday, Sept. 18, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Free tickets available for Fukuda opera recital:
Soprano Mika Fukuda is offering readers of The Japan Times the chance to win one of five pairs of free tickets to her recital at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Kyoto Furitsu Fumin Hall "ALTI" in Kamigyo Ward.

Fukuda, who mastered the bel-canto style of singing in Italy, has been promoting the tradition and culture of Italian opera in Japan. She will sing seven songs of Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest Italian opera composers, commemorating the upcoming release of her CD dedicated to Puccini's songs. The repertoire includes "S mi chiamano Mimi" from the opera "La Boheme and "Un bel d, vedremo" from the opera "Madama Butterfly."

Those interested in the free tickets should send a postcard stating your name, address and phone number to Mika Fukuda Recital/J. Times at 20-102-501 Saga Kitabori-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 616-8367.

The postcard must arrive by Sept. 27.

For more information, e-mail mikasop@ezweb.ne.jp

Noh, kyogen evening with English aids:
An evening of noh and kyogen will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Kongo Nohgakudo theater in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, with some aids for English-speaking members of the audience to better appreciate these traditional theatrical arts.

A set of earphones to hear the lines in English, and written material introducing the plots in English will be offered at no extra charge.

The programs consists of "Chidori" (kyogen) and "Kanawa" (noh), both from the popular repertoire.

Admission is 2,000 yen for students and 3,500 yen for others.

For tickets, call the organizer Japan Foundation Kyoto Office at (075) 211-1312, or call the venue Kongo Nohgakudo (075) 441-7222.

English excursions to Hikone and Otsu:
The Osaka YWCA Senri Center is organizing English-speaking excursions to Shiga Prefecture on Oct. 1 and Oct. 9.

On Oct. 1, participants will visit the 400-year-old Hikone Castle and then stroll in its Genkyu-en garden after dark, listening to the songs of insects.

Participants will meet at 3 p.m. at the ticket gate of JR Hikone Station.

Reservations must be made by Sept. 24.

The fee is 1,500, yen not including transportation.

The Oct. 9 outing will take participants to the Otsu Festival. The annual festival has a history of 350 years and is known for its procession of decorative floats. Thirteen floats ridden by musicians, puppeteers and others are pulled by ropes along the streets all day. One of the most spectacular events is the performance of mechanical puppets shown on each float.

Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the ticket gate of JR Otsu Station.

Reservations must be made by Oct. 2.

Participation is 1,000, yen not including transportation.

For reservations and more information, call the events' coordinator at 090-9253-7150 or e-mail usagi9999@yahoo.co.jp

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