Ryuichi Sakamoto - Opus

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Hi Gloss Entertainment


Third screening announced! The definitive swan song of a beloved maestro in a one-of-a-kind musical and cinematic experience.

Legendary Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto lived many musical lives in his 71 years. On March 28, 2023, Sakamoto sadly passed away from cancer. In the final stages of his life, with touring and solo shows now impossible due to his health, he yearned to perform for the world one last time and leave us with one final unforgettable performance – featuring just him, his piano and a small film crew.

Directed by Sakamoto’s son Neo Sora, and produced by Sakamoto’s wife and manager Norika Sora, the film was shot in monochrome at an empty NHK recording studio in one of the finest audio dynamics in Japan. Sakamoto curated a heartfelt selection of 21 compositions from across his storied career for the final time, captured with breathtaking intimacy and emotion.

In the words of Sakamoto himself, penned prior to his death and released posthumously to accompany the release of the film, he shared the process behind the intimate filming process:

‘The project was conceived as a way to record my performances—while I was still able to perform—in a way that is worth preserving for the future. We borrowed the NHK Broadcast Center’s 509 Studio to record in… I played every piece at home which we recorded on an iPhone to construct the overall composition of the concert that will express the progression of time from morning into night. Everything was meticulously storyboarded so that the camera positions and the lighting changed significantly with each song. I went into the shoot a little nervous, thinking this might be my last chance to share my performance with everyone in this way. We recorded a few songs a day with a lot of care.

In some sense, while thinking of this as my last opportunity to perform, I also felt that I was able to break new grounds. Simply playing a few songs a day with a lot of concentration was all I could muster at this point in my life. Perhaps due to the exertion, I felt utterly hollow afterwards, and my condition worsened for about a month. Even so, I feel relieved that I was able to record before my death—a performance that I was satisfied with.’

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s final performance is a one-of-a-kind musical and cinematic experience. Opus is a celebration of an artist’s life in the purest sense – an intimate, melancholy and achingly beautiful solo concert and definitive swan song of a beloved maestro.

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‘A glorious final performance.’ – Variety

‘A uniquely affecting last will & testament’ – Slant Magazine

‘I urge you to show up for a man saying goodbye in a way that only he can.’ – Indie Wire

‘A stunning send-off for a beloved virtuoso.’ – Cinemacy