The ‘ubiquity’ of noh. ‘Only the sound remains’

Only the sound remains, by Kaija Saariaho and Peter Sellars, is a modern opera based on two noh plays Hagoromo and Tsunemasa, which Ezra Pound rendered into English working with Ernest Fenollosa's translations of the original Japanese texts. There are several reviews of its performances available online - for example, The Guardian or Opera News. The article on the Asahi Shinbun mentions the 'ubiquity' of …

Kyogen-inspired opera The Marriage of Figaro in Kyoto

A kyogen-inspired rendition of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) will be performed at the Kyoto Furitsu Keihanna Hall (Main Hall) on March 22. While the headline is rather vague, the cast list is revealing: a small orchestra of oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and contrabass accompanies kyogen actors Shigeyama Akira and his son …

Basic questions

The other day a Noh scholar asked me if I didn't feel uncomfortable with Asian actors taking roles in opera productions. The question implied the fact that it is normal for the Japanese to be uncomfortable with non-Japanese taking roles in Noh theatre, and was supposed to merit a positive answer. My answer was simply …

Polish – Japanese Noh diplomacy: Chopin and ‘The Piano Tuner’

Inter-cultural theatre plays involving Noh and other performance forms are not mere artistic endeavours, but acts with strong political relevance. This seems to be the case of The Piano Tuner (in Polish 'Stroiciel fortepianu'), a Noh play written by Jadwiga Maria Rodowicz who is (at once) a Japanese Noh scholar, the ambassador of Poland in Japan, and …