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HYPER JAPAN 2014 Presents: AOI Project’s VOCALOID™ Bunraku Puppet Opera!

Opera AOI

Bunraku puppets dance to VOCALOID singing!

A new Opera style in which new technologies and traditional Japanese arts meet has its world premiere at Hyper Japan 2014!

VOCALOID™ Opera AOI with Bunraku Puppets

*VOCALOID is a registered trademark of Yamaha Corporation.
*VOCALOID is singing synthesis software and a technology of Yamaha Corporation.


A 30 minute-length opera film, in which you will see no human beings acting. VOCALOID provides all the songs for the play. VOCALOID is a singing voice synthesis technology and the name of the application software based on that technology. All the actresses in the play are Bunraku puppets. Bunraku is one of Japan’s traditional performing arts with 300 years of history, designated a World Intangible Heritage by UNESCO. The trinity of lifelike puppet play, songs from VOCALOID and techno music using Japanese traditional musical instruments illustrates the deep complexity of the human psyche.

VOCALOID can sing beyond human vocal range and therefore its voice sometimes sounds otherworldly, while Bunraku puppets can act beyond the limits of human actions. Opera AOI is a collaboration of VOCALOID and Bunraku puppets which nobody has ever seen, even in Japan.

The Story of “Opera AOI”

© opera-aoi

The chapter “Aoi” is from the famous work of Japanese literature “Genji monogatari” (The Tale of Genji) that is sometimes called the world’s first novel and has been arranged in a contemporary style.
It depicts the strange things which happen to Aoi, a star singer who closely works with Hikaru, a popular musical composer. One day Aoi’s manager receives a call that Aoi has been involved in an accident and hurries up to the hospital. What she sees in Aoi’s patient room is a psychiatrist, and Aoi apparently possessed by the spirit of Midori. Midori is a VOCALOID character who had once taken the world by storm but had then been forgotten by Hikaru and the world.

Is she really possessed by Midori or is it Aoi herself tormented by her conflicting mind?

* The word “Midori” can mean Green(緑) or Blue(碧) in Japanese.

What is VOCALOID™ ?

VOCALOID is a technology for singing voice synthesis developed by Yamaha, and the name of the application software based on it. The software allows users to input melody and lyrics in order to synthesize singing. In other words, with this technology, singing can be produced without a singer. Singing voice synthesis is produced by using fragments of voices recorded from actual singers, called the Singer Library.
In “Opera AOI”, three VOCALOID libraries; Yamaha’s“VY1V3”, AHS’s “Nekomura Iroha”, and “Yuzuki Yukari” have been used to create an enchanting mood.

What are Bunraku Puppets?

Bunraku is one of Japan’s representative traditional performing arts, designated a World Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in 2003. It is a trinity of narrative recitation (Tayu), shamisen (shamisen; three-stringed Japanese musical instrument) music and Bunraku puppets in performance. The origins of present-day Bunraku date back to the seventeenth century, when older puppet shows (ayatsuri ningyo) were integrated with the medieval narratives (joururi) and called ningyo joururi, “puppet narrative”. It affected the development of Kabuki, another representative Japanese traditional performance art.

Opera AOI uses 3 Bunraku puppets and puppet players for them. Those puppets are dressed in modern haute couture dresses. For more details of Bunraku Ningyo Joururi, please refer to the following website.

© opera-aoi

Further Information

|Information About AOI (Please visit the official website for more information.)
・ Widescreen / 2K / Approx. 30 Mins.
・ Movie Director / Editor / Background Visuals: Shin Kano (Star Gate Co. Ltd. )
・ Libretto / Music / Theater direction / Stage Design: Hiroshi Tamawari (Tamawari Musical Office)
・ Cast: Kousuke Yoshida, Kanichi Yoshida, Monhide Kiritake, Tamase Yoshida, Kanjirou Kiritake (BUNRAKU-KYOKAI)
・ Supported by : AHS Co.Ltd.
・ Equipment Assistance: Blackmagic Design, KYOEISHA Co.Ltd

|Opera AOI Official Website
* A trailer for this work can be found on this page.