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Event Report
No.046
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Maternity Concert

The Maternity Concert held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre on March 6 (Tue), 2018 was a unique opportunity for mothers-to-be and their unborn babies to relax to the calming sounds of beautiful vocals and gentle lute. We asked soprano singer and also as a mother, Sara Kobayashi, about her thoughts and feelings that led to this concert.

© Hikaru.☆

© Hikaru.☆

Bringing music to new listeners

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre has held programs for parents and children in the past, but the Maternity Concert is the first attempt at staging music for pregnant women and their developing babies.
The original idea came from Kobayashi, a soprano signer who became a mother herself a year and a half ago.
Looking back, she says, “The first year after having my child was completely filled with taking care of the baby. I had more free time when I was pregnant.”
The delicate sounds of the lute performed by Takashi Tsunoda accompanied Kobayashi’s voice, helping to inspire the concert mood. A popular instrument throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries over the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the lute was an important element in the theatrical music poet and playwright of the time, Shakespeare.

Meeting precious new beings

The concert featured such songs as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, a favorite of Kobayashi’s child, and “Lavender’s Blue”, one of her own nostalgic favorites. Toru Takemitsu’s “Meguriai – The Encounter” is a song that reminisces about encounters with all types of people, including lovers, friends, and family. When Kobayashi was pregnant, the song spoke to her about the child she was about to meet.
An audience member due to give birth in June said, “I’m not usually thinking of prenatal educations every moment, but today the baby and I enjoyed this experience together.” This was a concert that reminds one of the power music has to uplift.

Kobayashi says, “I felt the need when I was pregnant to rejuvenate myself by listening to music. I wanted to create a musical performance where mothers-to-be could relax and feel calm, even if they were not necessarily in the mood for a concert.”
Introducing the lute and showcasing songs of Shakespearean plays written during the period that the lute was so popular. © Hikaru.☆

Left: Kobayashi says, “I felt the need when I was pregnant to rejuvenate myself by listening to music. I wanted to create a musical performance where mothers-to-be could relax and feel calm, even if they were not necessarily in the mood for a concert.”
Photo: Norihisa Kushibiki
Right: Introducing the lute and showcasing songs of Shakespearean plays written during the period that the lute was so popular.
© Hikaru.☆

The audience waits for the first performance to start at 14:00. Pregnant women and music fans alike enjoyed the concert. Photo: Norihisa Kushibiki
One of the mother-to-be answers our questions.

Left: The audience waits for the first performance to start at 14:00. Pregnant women and music fans alike enjoyed the concert.
Photo: Norihisa Kushibiki
Right: One of the mother-to-be answers our questions.
Photo: Norihisa Kushibiki

Original Japanese text was written by Yoichiro Takemi.

Sara Kobayashi (Soprano)

Graduate of Faculty of Music Tokyo University of the Arts, where she also completed a postgraduate degree. Left Japan in 2010 to study in Vienna and Rome. Received a 27th Idemitsu Music Award in 2017.

Takashi Tsunoda (Lute)

Tsunoda plays the lute, a string instrument beloved in Europe from medieval times through the Baroque period. Director of the early music band Tablatura.