A unique spin on traditional Japanese Nōh theatre will be staged in the UK in early September. At this event, British audiences will be able to experience Nōh theatre in a double-bill of Sumidagawa/ Curlew River alongside Benjamin Britten’s first Church Parable in a unique Anglo-Japanese collaboration.
In the first half of the programme a celebrated company of 15 Nōh actors and musicians will perform Kanze Motomasa’s 15th century play Sumidagawa,The River Sumida, in full traditional costume, in Japanese. This will be followed by a staged performance of Britten’s Curlew River (1964) performed in English by Japanese soloists and instrumentalists, with a British chorus ensemble, under the Musical Direction of Dominic Wheeler, with stage direction by David Edwards.
Tokyo University of the Arts will bring one of the great Masters of Nōh, Sekine Tomotaka to the U.K especially for Sumidagawa.This heart-rending tale of a crazed woman in search of her lost son was seen by Britten on his visit to Japan in 1956 and was the inspiration for his work Curlew River. Britten’s version follows the same story and is cast like the Nōh play with only male performers, but it is set in the form of an English medieval mystery play. The fusion of East and West through the filter of Britten’s genius created a new genre of music-theatre in the 1960s, and this production eagerly anticipates the Britten centenary celebrations of 2013.
The performances will take place at Christ Church Spitalfields, London on September 7th at 18.30 and at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Orford on September 9 at 15.00.
This production of SUMIDAGAWA/CURLEW RIVER is presented by Tokyo University of the Arts with the generous support of:
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Rohm Music Foundation
The Asahi Shimbun Foundation
Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research
Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry
Embassy of Japan
Tokyo University of the Arts Douseikai
Tokyo University of the Arts Association for Promotion of Music Education
Tokyo University of the Arts International Exchange Foundation
H.Matsuo Musical Instruments Co.,Ltd
Mr Masahiro Shima, Mrs.Kazuyo Shima
For further information please contact the U.K. Project Administrator:
Yuki Kosuge (Ms)
+44 078 10016745
August 22, 2012
Image credit: Yoshihiro Maejima