Star Troupe "El Halcon -The Falcon-" / "Revue Orchis -A Star Named Orchis-" Press Conference
A production press conference was held on the 18th in a metropolitan Tokyo hotel for Takarazuka Revue Star Troupe's Grand Stage "El Halcon -The Falcon-" and Grand Fantasy "Revue Orchis -A Star Named Orchis-".
Among the interviewees were those concerned with the creation of the production, as well as top star Aran Kei, musumeyaku top Toono Asuka, and otokoyaku Yuzuki Reon.
Director Saitou Yoshimasa will be re-organizing "El Halcon -The Falcon-" from two works by comic creator Aoike Yasuko — one of the same title, and the other "Seven Seas, Seven Skies".
It will be a play set in the later half of the 16th century, with the English nobleman Tyrian Persimmon and his complicated upbringing giving it a dirty lead role.
The director, Saitou, explained about the stage version of the comics. "It is a mediaeval European costume production, and for Takarazuka it has a rare dirty hero. I want people to be able to feel the same wickedness, cruelty, and conversely beautiful aestheticism of the original work. That's what I empathized with. Among the current top stars, only Aran Kei can convey the strength and coldness of this man's way of life."
Aoike was one of the interviewees, and opened her heart with a meditative pose. "The first of my characters that I, who had always written normal girls comics, had a "crush" on was Tyrian. It was the work that was a turning point for me as a comic creator." She announced her hopes:" I would like to be able to simply enjoy the show as one of the audience."
Aran spoke about creating the role: "Without breaking the image of the original work, I want to act out a beautiful, passionate, evil aesthetic. In "Ryuusei" (2005) there was also an anti-hero. Actually, back then I didn't understand why that sort of person was the lead role. But then I thought that if I expressed the deep wound he carried in his heart, he would seem fascinating, wouldn't he? This time I want to study Tyrian's upbringing; I think that I can make other's realize that although he is so evil, he is wonderful.
Her partner, Toono Asuka, will play the female pirate Gilda Lavinne. "Lately I have had cute, comedic roles one after another, but this time I want to challenge myself to see if I can't project the power of a mature woman," she expressed her desire.
Yuzuki Reon, who will be playing Tyrian's worthy opponent Luminous Red Drake, spoke: "Red vows to avenge his father. I want to resolutely perform the subtleties of how his heart governs his actions."
The music will be created by the composer Terashima Tamiya, who became well-known in one bound for her work in the Miyazaki film "Ged's War Chronicles". Today Aran, Toono, and Yuzuki presented two songs, "El Halcon" and "Seven Seas, Seven Skies"; beautiful songs which exactly conveyed the splendor of the seas.
The revue show is "Revue Orchids -Stars of Orchids-", by Kusano Akira. Last year he created Cosmos Troupe's show "The Classical", themed on classical music, but "this year has been themed on orchids."
Orchids are from places like South America, and so the Argentinian tango will be featured. The choreography was commissioned from Oscar Araiz, the artistic director for the El Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón.
Oscar had added the comment: "For me, a musical is a fascinating challenge; a form of entertainment which conveys to others an aesthetic joy."
Aran said eagerly, "It will be my first time attempting an Argentinian tango, so I look forward to the choreography. I expect that even without the stage equipment and costumes we will become splendid."
Of course, for Toono it will be her first Argentinian tango, and she will "do her best." Yuzuki said, "I look forward to all that I can learn from Oscar Araiz-sensei" and was also enthusiastic.
The performance will run from Nov. 2 to Dec. 15 at the Takarazuka Grand Theater (tickets go on sale Sept. 29). It will run next year from Jan. 2 to Feb. 11 at the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater (tickets go on sale Nov. 25).
At the press conference on the 18th, Aran Kei and the other actresses made the following statements:
Aran Kei: This time in "El Halcon" I will be playing a villainous role rare in Takarazuka. Without breaking the image of the original work, I want to act out a beautiful, passionate, evil aesthetic equal to the theme songs. As for the revue show, it will be my first time attempting an Argentinian tango. I look forward now to finding out how the choreography will be. I expect that even without the stage equipment and costumes we will become splendid.
Toono Asuka: The woman Gilda, whom I play, is a French aristocrat, a pirate, and a strong, mature woman. Lately I have had cute, comedic roles one after another, but this time I want to challenge myself to see if I can't project the power of a mature woman. The Argentinian tango is stressful, but I'll do my best.
Yuzuki Reon: In the musical I play a young man named Red. He grows up innocently, and studies law, but then his father is killed and he swears revenge. I want to resolutely perform the subtleties of how his heart governs his actions. In the revue show, I look forward to all that I can learn from the choreographer of the main scene (the Argentinian tango).
--On Playing a Villain
Aran: In "Ryuusei" there was also an anti-hero. Back then I didn't understand why that sort of person was the lead role. I worried over how to make him appealing. Why was he steeped in vice? But then I thought that if I expressed the deep wound he carried in his heart, he would seem fascinating, wouldn't he? This time I want to study Tyrian's upbringing; I wonder if in this way I can't make others realize that although he is so evil, he is wonderful?
At the press conference on the 18th, those concerned with the creation of the production made the following statements:
Aoike Yasuko: This is a work injected with young energy from those still in their 20s. How will the youthful Saitou Yoshimasa (the director)'s sensitivities shape the musical? I look forward to it. I anticipate enjoying the production as one of the members of the audience.
Terashima Tamiya: My creative energy is being generated from the scale of emotion of the original work, as well as from the glamor of the cast. I'm looking forward to it.
Saitou Yoshimasa: It is a mediaeval European costume production. It is a dramatic music production. It will be a musical made from two works. Actually, I have been a fan of Aoike-sensei since elementary school. An ocean romance is a match for the current Star Troupe. The music will be by "Ged's WarChronicles"'s Terashima Tamia-sensei, a big name, which I think will support my inexperience. Furthermore, I think it will be a good showcase for the powered-up Star Troupe. It will show as a dashing costume production.
Kusano Akira: Last year a classically themed work was produced, but this time orchids are the theme. The orchid flower comes from warm countries, like Asia, South America, or Africa. So the hot world becomes our stage. The orchid has an affected image, a bewitching image. So for that we went to Argentina. I met with the choreographer Araiz-san. Araiz-san's first name is Oscar. So I wondered what kind of person he could be, and he was an old man past his 70s. But he is an excellent choreographer. He wanted to show me lots of Argentinian tangos.
--Memories of the Hero
Aoike: Up until then I drew only normal girls comics. Then when I created the character of Tyrian, I "crushed" on him immediately. I was charmed by the character, and I didn't want him to pursue the type of life he did. He was the character who I suppose you could say opened my eyes as a creator; who was my turning point. How will that Tyrian be acted out as a living person? And also, how beautifully, bewitchingly, and evilly will he be acted out? I really look forward to it.
--Have You Ever Seen One of Aran Kei's Shows?
Aoike: Yes. She is very skilled at acting, dancing, and singing.
--As a Director, What Fascination Does This Comic Have to You?
Saitou: Tyrian is the rare Takarazuka dirty hero. When I read the original works over and over again, the wickedness and cruelty conversely became a beautiful aestheticism which moved me. This is my third work with Aran Kei. If you count the dinner show I directed, the fourth. She is a very important actress. This Aran acts out not only the gorgeous and honest lives of men, but also strong and cold men. Among the current top stars, it of course had to be Aran Kei. And also the remarkably progressed Star Troupe. That's why I can speak of the challenge of a dirty hero.
--How Far Will You Allow the Stage Version to be Adapted?
Aoike: I am leaving it up to Saitou-sensei. If as a member of the audience I can watch an easy to understand, enjoyable, exciting production, that will be best.
--What is the Charm of the Revue Show?
Kusano: It will be a show with a focus on dance. Speaking of charming dance, well, Aran is very skilled at singing, but dance is her core. Asking me what kind of charm, that's a tough one.
--A Recital Called "A Star Named Orchis" Is a Perfect Fit for Aran Kei of Star Troupe, Isn't It?
Kusano: I tested my idea (to the theatrical company), and it immediately got the green light. I believe it was the president of the board who chose Star Troupe for it?
--Were You Conscious of the Music Being for Takarazuka?
Terashima: Fundamentally not. I intended to create something that was faithful to the world view of the work and the lyrics of Saitou-san. When I create something I'm not conscious of things which are unnecessary.
--How Do You Feel Currently, Having Heard Aran and the Others Singing?
Terashima: I'm very happy. The three have an expressive power and a presence. I listen and it feels good. I listened and felt as if I too was a member of the audience. I look forward to it. It's exciting.
--Taking Into Account the Characters of the Original Work, What Kind of Charm Do These Three Have?
Saitou: In Takarazuka, it is the intent to portray a relationship between men and women which can rarely be seen. Toono's character of Gilda is strong, but she is a woman with a wounded heart. She has a strong outward appearance and a fragile heart. Toono is a model of the current Takarazuka actress, and I anticipate how she will express the tiny recesses of Gilda's heart. Red is Tyrian's rival. The remarkably mature Yuzuki-kun. I want everyone to see the fresh and stylish young man of the energetic and bright Yuzuki-kun. Star Troupe is a troupe with power. They've made me look forward again to the drama acted out by the various cast members.