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The ‘Prix Champagne de la joie de vivre’, Japan

“I associate Champagne with the best moments in life – moments of intense joy, or happiness or great personal satisfaction.  For me, whatever the occasion – First Night, last night or family celebration – there is nothing that brings out the magic better than Champagne!”

So began the acceptance speech of Japanese performing artist, Lei ASAMI, star of the Takarazuka Theater and the international stage alike. After making her name in Japan as an otokoyaku (male-role actress), Lei then went on to play some of the greatest characters in classical and contemporary theatre.

A French-speaking Francophile, she was the ideal candidate for this year’s ‘Prix Champagne de la joie de vivre’ – the fifth of its kind, awarded on 16 May in Tokyo.
Lei’s closing words, spoken in perfect French, were the perfect ending to the ceremony: “May the soft sound of popping Champagne corks forever remain a feature of my life.”

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