Radiation Spooks Opera

The Bavarian State Opera arrived in Japan Sept. 23 for an 18-day tour, but 80 regular members of the troupe opted to stay home.

Shortly before the tour started, the Munich-based company said the members refused to make the trip out of fears concerning possible radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor.

The non-participating members, who are taking non-paid holidays while the tour takes place, will be replaced with auxiliaries and outside artists.

In addition, the company will airlift its own drinking water from Germany to Japan, and radiation experts will accompany the tour to monitor radiation levels in the members’ meals.

Photo: AP Photo
Tens of thousands of protesters pack a park during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Tokyo, Japan.

The tour is part of a year-long series of events that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the start of cultural and other exchange between Germany and Japan.