Beginning his career in theater as an actor and choreographer, Amon Miyamoto studied in London and New York for two years. Upon his return to Japan in 1987, he made his directing debut with his original musical I Got Merman, winning the National Performing Arts Festival Award, the most prestigious theatrical award in Japan.
In 2004, Miyamoto became the first Asian director on Broadway for his staging of Pacific Overtures which received four Tony Award nominations. In 2008, he conceived and directed Up in the Air, a new musical composed by Henry Krieger, which premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Other overseas credits include: Tan Dun’s Opera TEA: A Mirror of Soul at The Santa Fe Opera in 2007, The Opera Company of Philadelphia in 2010, and the Vancouver Opera in May 2013; The Fantasticks in London’s West End at the Duchess Theatre in June 2010; The Temple of The Golden Pavilion, a play based on the novel by Yukio Mishima, which was invited to Lincoln Center Festival in NY in July 2011; Mozart's opera DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (The Magic Flute) at Landestheater Linz in Austria in September 2013; and internationally renowned Japanese taiko drumming troupe DRUM TAO's DRUM HEART at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York in February 2016.
In 2015, he directed the musical The Wiz in March, and Ebizo Ichikawa's independent production KABUKI Ryugu Monogatari and Momotaro Onigashima Gaiden in June. In July, he directed DRUM TAO's newest production, as well as the revival production of Mozart's opera DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (The Magic Flute) in Tokyo. The innovative opera production was presented together with an original mobile game Magic Flute: Puzzle Adventure developed by LabLike from Poland. The artistic direction of the game is based on Miyamoto's opera production, and the iOS game, originally accessible by the opera-goers only through the QR code displayed on the drop curtain, is now available worldwide. In October 2015, Miyamoto conceived and directed an original play Kourin (The Advent) which was dedicated in commemoration of the 42nd Shikinen Sengu ceremony at Kamigamo Shrine, the oldest shrine in Kyoto and UNESCO's World Heritage Site. In December 2015, Miyamoto directed SUPERLOSERZ SAVE THE EARTH, a brand new non-verbal entertainment featuring dance, music and technology.
In 2016, Miyamoto directed: the New York run of DRUM TAO's DRUM HEART; Yukio Mishima's play The Terrace of The Leper King; Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd; Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro; the original Japanese musical Tanuki Goten; the original show The Land of the Rising Sun at the official kickoff event toward Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics games; YU GEN - The Hidden Beauty of Japan, the world's first 3D live theater featuring the Japanese Noh theater, in Singapore; and the first Japanese production of musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
So far in 2017, he has directed an original adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in March 2017, in which the entire story took place in the city of Edo (former Tokyo) instead of Rome.
In July 2017, a reading performance of Fanatic Artist Hokusai, an original fictional play based on the life of ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai will be presented at the British Museum's Great Court.1987: Made a debut as a director with the original musical I GOT MERMAN, and received the Agency for Cultural Affairs' National Arts Festival Award the next year
1998: Made a film directing debut with BEAT which was officially invited to the Venice International Film Festival
2001: Directed I GOT MERMAN at The Rich Forum Theatre, Stamford, CT, USA
2004: Directed and choreographed a revival production of Pacific Overtures on Broadway, and became the first Asian director on Broadway
2004: Directed Into The Woods in Tokyo, Japan, for which he received the Matsuyo Akimoto Award of the Asahi Performing Arts Awards
2005: Pacific Overtures was nominated under four categories for the Tony Awards
2007: Directed the U.S. premiere of TEA: A Mirror of Soul at The Santa Fe Opera, NM, USA
2008: Directed the world premiere of the original musical Up In The Air at The Kennedy Center, WA, USA
2010: Inaugurated as the first Artistic Director of the Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT)
2010: Directed the West End production of The Fantasticks, London, UK
2011: Directed The Temple of The Golden Pavilion, a play based on a novel of the same title by Yukio Mishima, adapted by Serge Lamothe, as the inaugural production of the Kanagawa Arts Theatre
2011: The Temple of The Golden Pavilion was invited to Lincoln Center Festival in NY, USA
2013: Directed the Canadian premiere of TEA: A Mirror of Soul at the Vancouver Opera, Canada
2013: Directed Mozart's opera “DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE” (The Magic Flute) at The Landestheater Linz, Austria
2016: Directed the off-Broadway production of DRUM TAO's DRUM HEART in New York, NY, USA
2016: Directed the special cultural program The Land of the Rising Sun at the World Form on Sport and Culture, an official kickoff event toward Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics games and more.
2016: Directed YUGEN: The Hidden Beauty of Japan, the world's first 3D live theater featuring the Japanese Noh theater in Singapore.
Miyamoto was born to parents who ran a café named “Sugawa” (now “Sabou Erika”) across from the Shinbashi Enbujō, one of the most prominent kabuki theaters in Tokyo. As a child, he paid frequent visits to the Shimbashi Enbujō as well as movie theaters, Kabuki-za, and other theaters under the influence of his mother who was a former dancer of the Shochiku Revue Company. In kindergarten, he began to study (Nihon Buyō) at Fujima School of Japanese Dance where Nakamura Kanzaburō XVIII was one of his peers. Around that time, he became absorbed in Hollywood films and began to learn about musicals. When he was in elementary school, he began practicing Tea ceremony. He was brought up right in the middle of Hanamachi, a Japanese courtesan and geisha district.
While in high school, he was cast as the leading role in the school's theater club production of Godspell in which he made his acting debut. This musical received positive reviews and was featured in the Kinema Shunpo magazine. He proceeded to attend Tamagawa University, where he majored in Theater in the College of Arts. In the middle of his senior year, he was cast as a dancer in the musical Pippin.
He debuted as a dancer in 1980. He performed in musicals such as Hair, Annie Get Your Gun, and Chicago, and devoted his time to dance and choreography. He visited New York repeatedly, and studied in London for two years beginning in 1985.
He made his directing debut with his original musical I Got Merman in 1987. The following year, he received the Agency for Cultural Affairs' Performing Arts Festival Award.Film “BEAT”
In 1998, Miyamoto made his film-directing debut with BEAT
which was officially invited to the 55th Venice International Film Festival's International Film Critics' Week.
Musical “Pacific Overtures”
In 2000, Miyamoto directed the musical Pacific Overtures
at The New National Theater, Tokyo. During the run of the production, Stephen Sondheim, the composer of the musical, was in Tokyo participating in an award ceremony of the Praemium Imperiale ("World Culture Prize in Memory of His Imperial Highness Prince Takamatsu"), and John Weidman, the lyricist of the musical, was also in Tokyo for a musical produced by Shiki Company. Both of them came to see Miyamoto's production of Pacific Overtures
. Sondheim, whom Miyamoto worships, spoke very highly of the production and Miyamoto’s direction during his speech at the ceremony of the Praemium Imperiale, instead of taking about his own achievements. In 2002, Miyamoto’s Pacific Overtures
was presented at the Lincoln Center Festival, and then at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In 2004, Miyamoto made his Broadway debut with Pacific Overtures
as the first Asian director on Broadway. In 2005, the production was nominated for Tony Awards under four categories.
Musical “I Got Merman”
In 2001, Amon was in New York City to direct I Got Merman
at the Rich Forum Theater, Stamford Center in Connecticut. The production opened only a few days after the September 11 attacks. On the morning of the terrorist attacks, Miyamoto was at the Grand Central Terminal, heading to the rehearsal. Even though the show did open, Miyamoto felt extreme stressed and left for Bangkok, Thailand two weeks later to escape from the chaos. On his first day in Bangkok, he was severely injured in a car accident but miraculously escaped death.
Contemporary Opera “TEA: A Mirror of Soul”
In 2007, upon composer Tan Dun’s recommendation, Miyamoto directed the first opera style production of TEA: A Mirror of Soul
, premiered at the Santa Fe Opera in the U.S. The revival production was presented at Opera Company of Philadelphia (conducted by Tan Dun himself) in the U.S. in 2010 and at the Vancouver Opera in Canada in 2013.
Musical “Up in the Air”
Up in the Air
is a musical based on “Boonah, the Tree-Climbing Frog,” a book by Tsutomu Minakami. Henry Krieger, the composer of Dreamgirls wrote the music, and the production had its world premiere at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 2008.
Musical “The Fantasticks”
He made his West End debut with The Fantasticks
in June 2010.
Play “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion”
Inaugurated as the Artistic Director of Kanagawa Arts Theatre in April 2010, he directed The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
, a play based on the novel by Yukio Mishima, as the venue's inaugural production in January 2011. In July, it was presented at the Lincoln Center Festival as Miyamoto's second production at the festival (following Pacific Overtures
). Following the successful run in the U.S., the production was revived in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka) in January 2012.
Opera “DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE” (The Magic Flute)
In 2013, he directed Mozart's opera DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE
(The Magic Flute) at the Landestheater Linz in Austria.
Japanese Noh Theatre x 3D Live Theatre “YUGEN The Hidden Beauty of Japan”
In 2016, he created and directed YUGEN: The Hidden Beauty of Japan
, the world's first 3D live theater featuring Japanese Noh theater at the Singapore River Nights Festival.