Press Release

July 09, 2018

Mostly Mozart Festival Theater Advisory

Mostly Mozart Festival

Mostly Mozart Festival

Theater Advisory



July 21—25


Final Performances of Landmark Production by Legendary Director Yukio Ninagawa;

Revival of Original 1980 Staging, the Last Overseen by Ninagawa Before his Death in 2016,

to be Retired following Mostly Mozart Festival Engagement


This summer’s Mostly Mozart Festival marks an expansion, as it significantly increases the size and scope of its multidisciplinary presentations, enhances its commitment to the music of our own time, and extends its geographical footprint to include Central Park and Brooklyn. Paying homage to Mozart’s artistry and ingenuity, this summer’s programs encompass major landmark international productions in all disciplines, concerts by both emerging and eminent creative voices, and commissions and world premieres.


The 1980 premiere of Yukio Ninagawa’s Japanese-language production of Macbeth was a watershed moment in global theater. Transposing Shakespeare’s tragedy from medieval Scotland to feudal Japan, Ninagawa created a breathtaking world filled with samurai, kabuki witches, a highly expressive cherry tree, and a musical score of Buddhist chant and western classical music.


This revival—the last production overseen by the legendary director before his death in 2016—stars two of Japan’s most acclaimed actors, Masachika Ichimura in the title role and Yuko Tanaka as Lady Macbeth. The four Mostly Mozart Festival performances will be the work’s final, before it is retired.


Additional details on NINAGAWA Macbeth follow below. Music and dance presentations round out the Mostly Mozart Festival’s offerings later this month and into August. The full festival lineup, including a film screening and discussions with artists and outside experts that delve further into the season’s themes, is available at



Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, July 22 at 5:00 pm

Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 pm

David H. Koch Theater

By William Shakespeare

Translated by Yushi Odashima

Masachika Ichimura, Macbeth (Mostly Mozart Festival debut)

Yuko Tanaka, Lady Macbeth (Mostly Mozart Festival debut)

Yukio Ninagawa, director


Created in 1980, Yukio Ninagawa’s exquisitely striking “legendarily beautiful” Japanese-language production of Macbeth (Independent, U.K.) is a landmark of global theater. The painterly director, who died in 2016, transposed Shakespeare’s Scottish play to feudal Japan, where the title character is an honor-bound samurai, kabuki witches cast spells, and Buddhist chants alternate with works by Samuel Barber and Schubert. This revival of the original production stars Masachika Ichimura as Macbeth and Yuko Tanaka as Lady Macbeth. Lincoln Center will present the final staging of this beloved production before it is retired.


Performed in Japanese with English supertitles


The 2018 Mostly Mozart Festival presentation of NINAGAWA Macbeth is made possible in part by the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.


Additional support is provided by The Japan Foundation, New York.


Corporate support is provided by Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, J.C.C. Fund, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc.




Born in Saitama, Japan, in 1935, Yukio Ninagawa (director) was a renowned theater director. He joined the Seihai Theatre Company as an actor in 1955 and later established the Gendaijin-Gekijyo Theatre Company. He made his directorial debut in 1969 with Shinjo Afururu Keihakusa (Hearty but Flippant), written by Kunio Shimizu. He directed his first commercial theater production, Romeo and Juliet, in 1974, and this paved the way for his series of Shakespeare productions. He directed his first Greek tragedy, Medea, in Europe in 1983 and was highly praised. His NINAGAWA Macbeth was staged at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1985. The unique Japanese aesthetic of these productions greatly impressed overseas audiences, and Ninagawa’s work, including Hamlet, NINAGAWA Twelfth Night, Shintoku-Maru, MUSASHI, Trojan Women, and Kafka on the ShoreI, has received various performance invitations since then. After becoming the artistic director of Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon in 1999, Ninagawa became the artistic director of Saitama Arts Theatre in 2006 where he founded the Saitama Gold Theatre and Saitama Next Theatre. He also aimed to direct all the works of Shakespeare as the “Sai-no-kuni Shakespeare Series.” He died on May 12, 2016, at the age of 80.


Masachika Ichimura (Macbeth) is from Saitama prefecture and was formerly with the Shiki Theatre Company. Under Ninagawa’s direction, he played many of Shakespeare’s leading roles, such as Richard III, Hamlet, Pericles, and for the first time in 2015, Macbeth in NINAGAWA Macbeth. He has also appeared in a wide range of works including Miss Saigon, Sweeney Todd, Lust for Life, Sorekara no Bun to Fun, Art, Love Never Dies, Ichimura-za 2016, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. He was awarded the Grand Prize in the Kazuo Kikuta Drama Award, Best Actor Prize in the Yomiuri Theatre Award, Individual Prize in the Kinokuniya Drama Award, and in 2007, received Japan’s Purple Ribbon Medal, a national honor recognizing artistic and academic achievement. Upcoming appearances include Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles, and Mozart!.


Yuko Tanaka (Lady Macbeth) is from Osaka prefecture and was formerly with Bungakuza. Her film credits include Amagi Goe, Hotaru, Itsuka Dokusho Suruhi, and Fire. She has also appeared in many acclaimed television dramas such as Oshin, Mukouda Kuniko Shinshun drama series, Mother, and Soukyu no Subaru. She has won various film and drama awards both in Japan and abroad. She has appeared in many Ninagawa productions, including The Tempest, Chikamatsu’s Suicide for Love, Pericles, Yabuharakengyo, The Winter’s Tale, Kafka on the Shore, and for the first time in 2015, Lady Macbeth in NINAGAWA Macbeth.




Now in its 52nd year, the Mostly Mozart Festival is one of several summer programs offered by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts that annually activate the campus’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Midsummer Night Swing (June 25–July 14) brings top bands from around the world, dance instructors, and New York’s social dance community to Damrosch Park for three weeks of dancing under the stars. Lincoln Center Out of Doors (July 25–August 12) presents a wide array of free performances, including film, music, dance, spoken word, film, and more, reflecting the diversity of New York City. The David Rubenstein Atrium’s robust calendar of free events, including world-class performances, illuminating conversations, dance parties, kids’ programs, and more, also continues through the summer.


Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone via CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or by visiting the David Geffen Hall or Alice Tully Hall Box Offices.


The Mostly Mozart Festival is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA), which serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are—physically and digitally—has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. For more information, visit


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center at [email protected] or 212.875.5375.




American Express is the Lead Sponsor of the Mostly Mozart Festival.


The Mostly Mozart Festival is also made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser. Additional support is provided by The Shubert Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, J.C.C. Fund, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc, Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council, Friends of Mostly Mozart, and Friends of Lincoln Center


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center

NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center

“Summer at Lincoln Center” is supported by Bubly

Artist Catering provided by Zabar’s and




Twitter: @LincolnCenter #MostlyMozart

Instagram: @LincolnCenter #MostlyMozart




For more information, please contact:

Isabel Sinistore

[email protected]

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