Sneak preview: The End

Door: Henri J Sandront


Composer Keiichiro Shibuya begins to play, hidden by a holographic geometrical shape, part of a decor of screens that challenge my sense of perspective. A buzzing sound of violin overwhelmingly reverberates in the opera house. Hatsune Miku appears. The stage of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet looks a little small for her.Photo 1Photo: Miku took a group selfie. Left to right: evala, YKBX, Hatsune Miku and Keiichiro Shibuya hiding behind my big head.

Hatsune Miku is a hologram, a computer animation. Her soul lies in a dozen MacBook’s  backstage. Yet in The End, she ponders upon the meaning of life and death. “I know I'll die one day. I know it because I am human.”Photo 2Photo: Miku's inner heart

Before the beginning of the rehearsal, I got the chance to ask Keiichiro Shibuya what it is like to collaborate with a fictional character. “She never complains that she is tired”, he says. Evala, Miku's sound designer looks at her “as an instrument.” YKBX who takes care of the girl's visuals sees her as a human being. “Sometimes I try to be her to get a sense of the situation”, he explains.

The End sounds and looks to me like an ode to the Japanese pop star. Shibuya composed a soundscape that caters to her voice. The high-pitch Japanese vocals and the Lolita-outfit reminds me of my recent visit to a maid café in Akihabara, Tokyo, where I ate a teddy bear shaped curry rice served by waitresses that awkwardly combined sexiness with kawaii.

Determined to keep the rest of the surprise intact for the day of the Amsterdam premiere I left the rehearsal. For the lucky Holland Festival Young card holders (both dates are sold out), the performance on Thursday will be followed by a festive Dutch borrel with The Stress behind the DJ booth. PS: I heard that Shibuya might also join him for a set.Photo 3

The End, Keiichiro Shibuya & Hatsune Miku, thursday 4 & friday 5 June at 8.00pm, Dutch National Opera & Ballet.