The New York Metropolitan Opera is the first major performing arts company to visit Japan since the earthquake to hit the nation on March 11. Other performing artists have cancelled their tours to Japan due to fears of radiation. Some of the artists include the Vienna Boys Choir, the Lyon Orchestra and the Stuttgard Chamber Orchestra.
However, not all of the Met’s performing stars were able to commit to the trip. The soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Joseph Calleja decided to stay home due to radiation fears.
To assuage the fear and risk of the performers, the opera company enlisted the help of radiation expert David Brenner of Columbia University in New York. He stated that “the radiation doses in Tokyo right now are the same as they were last year” and that “they basically returned to the same dose levels that were the case before the radiation accident.”
The New York Metropolitan Opera has ignited business in the tourism and theater world; two areas that have seriously struggled since the crisis. Many stage hands and backstage crews have been unemployed since the radiation accident.
The company has spent four years planning the tour and with Soprano Marina Poplavskaya and tenors Marcelo Alvarez, Rolando Villazon and Alexey Dolgov are enjoying much success entertaining Tokyo.
The company ended its tour Sunday.