In 1999, about 20 people, laymen as singers but well-known professionals in their own fields, got together to perform at an AIDS charity benefit concert. Soon thereafter, the group was formally constituted as Roppongi Men’s Chorus Club until November 2015. Members hail from a wide range of backgrounds: politicians, businessmen, academics and cultural figures, ranging in age from 24 to 86. They perform and raise money at various charity events for causes such as the Children’s Earth Fund, the Afghanistan Ambulance Fund, Indian Ocean Tsunami aide and assistance for the victims of “311,” the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Activities also extend outside of Japan. The first tour in 2003 went to Vienna, Graz and Berlin. The tour to Cuba followed in 2005. In 2006 the chorus performed in Honolulu, Hawaii, and they made their opera debut at the Festival Puccini in Italy in August of this same year. In 2007, they performed at Salle de Garnier in the Monte Carlo Opera House, attended by Prince Albert of Monaco. The performance at Sala Sao Paulo, was recognized as an official program of “100 Years of Japan-Brazil Friendship” in 2008. In 2009, they performed at Madeleine Cathedral in Paris and at the National Opera in Bordeaux as an official program. In 2010, Milano Duomo invited the chorus to perform at their Cathedral. The chorus then sang at a mass in St. Peter’s Basicila in the Vatican the following day. In 2011, they performed “The Last Message” composed by Shigeaki Saegusa in Geneva as an official concert for The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. In 2013, Volgograd Oblast organized a concert in Volgograd City. In 2014, they appeared at a re-performance of Saegusa’s opera “Jr. Butterfly” at the 60th Puccini Festival in Italy. In January 2015, the chorus performed their original musical “Waist Size Story” in Tokyo. On September 8, 2015, they performed “The Last Message” at the Philharmonia in St. Petersburg as a memorial concert for the Anniversary of the beginning of the Siege of Leningrad.
The chorus has appeared in TV commercials and recorded theme songs for television shows and international events, in the process releasing eight CDs, each of which has been met with critical and commercial success.
In February 2016, the chorus changed its name to “Roppongi Male Chorus ZIG-ZAG” and restarted their activities.
There are more than 90 members, who come together to declare the beauty which music provides throughout our lives.
In June 2018, the chorus will stage a performance of “The Last Message” at Carnegie Hall, New York, followed by a follow-on concert at Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Representative Members: President: Shigeaki Saegusa, Composer
Honorary President: Tsutomu Hata, Late Ex-Prime Minister of Japan
Vice President: Hiroyuki Watanabe, President, Lead-off Japan Co., Ltd.
Vice President: Etsuo Nakahara, Managing Director, Clinique DUBOIS