Tomo Sugao

Guest of the Opera

Tomo Sugao, Japanese stage director, was born in 1979, grew up in Chicago, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Michigan and Tokyo. At the age of 4, he started to play the violin; he was a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra, and the Junior Philharmonic Orchestra Tokyo.  Ever since he directed and conducted Die Zauberflöte  at the age of 18, Tomo Sugao has been producing plays and operas both in Asia and Europe, including Hamlet, A Midsummer night's dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hänsel und Gretel, Idomeneo, Le nozze di Figaro (Nissay Theater Tokyo), L'enfant et les sortilèges (Kinderoper Köln), The Firmiana Rain by contemporary Taiwanese composer May-Tchi Chen (world premiere at National Theater Taiwan), Offenbach’s operettas Monsieur Choufleuri & Pomme d’api (Japan premiere), Frank Schwemmer’s Robin Hood (Opernhaus Zürich) or Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Nikikai Opera). He has received numerous scholarships and awards such as Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award, Key Miho Music Prize, Scholarship of the International Wagner Societies, and of the Agency for Cultural Affairs Japan. Sugao worked at New National Theatre Tokyo (2004–2008) and Komische Oper Berlin (2008–2012) as an assistant director with producers such as Andreas Homoki, Josef Ernst Köpplinger, Benedikt von Peter, Marco Arturo Marelli, Jonathan Miller, David Pountney, Sebastian Baumgarten, Hans-Peter Lehmann, Jetske Mijnssen, Yukio Ninagawa, Hideki Noda, Tamiya Kuriyama, Amon Miyamoto and many others. In 2013, Japanese leading Bungei Shunju magazine named him in the list of 108 promising young talents, who "represent the future of Japan”.