Tomorrow our next adventure begins, and I have a feeling this might be one of our biggest yet: we're off to Tokyo, where the New National Theatre will present Willy Decker's production of Peter Grimes, recently seen at the Royal Opera. It's going to be a whole new world for me; we've travelled plenty in Europe, Australasia and the U.S., but my experiences with Asia are much more limited, and I've never been to Japan. We're doing the thing properly, too: a six week stay, right in the heart of Tokyo. I genuinely have no idea what to expect; I'm a little nervous, but mostly intrigued and excited.
The Grimes itself is a pretty fabulous prospect too. Not only do we have the guy recently described in the London press as the "greatest Grimes alive", we also have Susan Gritton, with whom I have been in love ever since she sang Ellen Orford in Sydney three years ago. And a recent cast change has thrown up yet another bonus for me: Australian baritone Jonathan Summers as Balstrode. I'll always remember the season of Otello in Sydney in which Jonathan Summers (again substituting at short notice, this time for Peter Coleman-Wright) sang Iago. Seven times I went, and seven times his Credo made me forget I was there for the Desdemona. I've been spoilt for Balstrodes: Peter CW in 2009, Iain Paterson just a week ago, and now Jonathan. Lucky me.
As I say, I know almost nothing about Tokyo beyond what I've picked up while skimming through my Lonely Planet Guide. So if you've any tips to share, be they practical or touristical, please feel free to share them.