CHOSEI Komatsu, musical director ofthe National Symphony, has announced hisprojects for the upcoming 2005 season.Continuing his commitment to young people,Maestro Komatsu will conduct twoweeks of concerts in schools outside themetropolitan area under the “outreach concerts”program. He will also present a specialnon-subscription evening in San Joséfeaturing three young Costa Rican pianists.The National Symphony is scheduledfor a tour to Japan in September that willinclude seven performances in the Nagoyaarea and in Tokyo. Private and institutionalgrants are helping to underwrite theexpenses of this undertaking as part of thecelebration of the 70th anniversary ofCosta Rican-Japanese relations.The regular symphony series at theNational Theater opens March 4 and featuresYumi Takagi in Rachmaninoff’sSecond Piano Concerto. Two Costa Ricanconductors, Marvin Araya and AlejandroGutiérrez, will direct programs, and 15Tico soloists will perform during the season.These artists include José A. Castillo,Álvaro González and Jacques Sagot, whowill be soloists in Beethoven’s TripleConcerto for violin, cello and piano onMay 6 and 8.Other highlights of the season includeMendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah,” Mahler’sFifth Symphony and five Mozart works.MAESTRO Komatsu will be in chargeof six of the 12 concerts in the 2005 season.Christine Komatsu, American sopranoand vocal coach, has been appointed thenew director of the National OperaCompany. In cooperation with the Operaof Orlando, Florida, she will present“Popera” (scenes and arias from popularoperas) in December at the Melico SalazarTheater. In March she will initiate a youngartists program, in which four students willwork with established professionals tohone their musical and interpretive skills.The company will mount GiacomoPuccini’s “Madama Butterfly” in late Julyat the National Theater. Two Japanesesingers will play the female leads of Cio-Cio-San and Suzuki, and Japanese fabricartists will help give an authentic touch tothe production.The government of Japan and privateindividuals are supporting this undertakingin celebration of the 70th anniversary ofties between the two nations. ChoseiKomatsu will be on the podium for his firstlocal appearances in opera.The scenery for Butterfly will be constructedhere, but many costumes will bebrought from Japan. Members of theJapanese community will help with themakeup, costumes and movements of thelarge cast.PUCCINI’S sixth opera celebrated itscentennial last year and continues to be anaudience favorite. Nine repetitions havebeen scheduled to be performed by twocasts. Returning to the stage are two U.S.-Tico artists lauded in previous seasons:tenor Scott Piper, who will portrayBenjamin Franklin Pinkerton, the U.S.naval officer who marries and leavesButterfly; and baritone Guido LeBron,who comes to Tiquicia after performancesin New York, San Francisco andWashington to sing the role of Sharpless,the U.S. consul in Nagasaki.“I love singing Puccini,” remarksLeBron. “He writes so beautifully for thebaritone voice.”Ticket prices will range from ¢1,000-20,000 ($2.15-43.50), ensuring that all willhave a chance to enjoy this highly anticipatedproduction.