Frank is writing a new musical with Shuichiro Koike (book and director) and Jack Murphy (lyrics), titled Mitsuko. The show focuses on Mitsuko Aoyama (1874-1941), who was the first Japanese woman to marry a westerner. In 1892, she married the Austro-Hungarian ambassador, Count Heinrich Coudenhove-Kalergi. Almost five years later they moved to Austria, where their family would grow to include seven children. Following Heinrich's death in 1906, Mitsuko stayed in Vienna to provide the best opportunities possible for their children. Their second son, Richard Nikolaus, became the founder of the first movement for a unified Europe, editing the "Paneuropa" journal and publishing a manifesto of the same name. Mitsuko is therefore sometimes referred to as "the mother of European unification." She remained in Vienna even through anti-Japanese sentiments during the First World War, and until her own death in 1941.
Material from the show was premiered at the "Mitsuko Musical Concert" in Vienna on Friday, 9 December 2005. Ten selections from the show were performed by Uwe Kröger (as Heinrich), Maki Ichiro (as Mitsuko) and Yoshio Inoue (as Richard). They were backed by the Musical Festival Orchestra Vienna, conducted by Adrian Manz. Most of the songs were performed in German, with translations by Ulrich Peters, while the rest were presented in English. The concert also included selections from Jekyll & Hyde and other shows. The event, which was produced by Kyodo Tokyo, took place at Museumsquartier-Halle E, at 3:30 and 7:30 pm. More information can be found at eventpromotion.net.
A combined concert of "Frank Wildhorn & Friends" and Mitsuko was presented in Japan in March 2010. Performances took place on 11-14 March at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo, and on 18-21 March at Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka. Act One was a concert presentation of material from Mitsuko, and Act Two was a presentation of the Frank Wildhorn & Friends concert. Kei Aran and Máté Kamarás sang the parts of Mitsuko and Heinrich, respectively. The part of Richard was performed by Yoshio Inoue in Tokyo, and by Lukas Perman (20th March) and Mario Tashiro (other dates) in Osaka. The concert was directed by Shuichiro Koike and presented by Asahi, Umeda Arts Theater and Kyodo Tokyo. It is hoped that a full production of Mitsuko will take place in Japan in 2011.
©Frank Wildhorn Productions 2012