New chamber opera Tokaido Road London Premiere

Photo: greg Trezise

Photo: Greg Trezise

Last night I went to the London premiere of chamber opera Tokaido Road at the new Milton Court Theatre on Silk Street. I say chamber opera but it might more accurately be described as music theatre as it tells its tale through a fascinating mixture of music, poetry, mime, dance and visual imagery.  It’s based on Hiroshige’s series of woodblock prints depicting the fifty-three stopping points of the Tokaido, the ancient Eastern Sea Road that ran from Tokyo to Kyoto. Travelling the Tokaido Road was harsh and dangerous and the opera depicts its perils as well as its pleasures. Continue reading

New opera Tokaido Road premieres in July

Tokaido_Nihonbashi2

Setting out on the Tokaido Road – Nihonbashi

It’s a day (or maybe an overnight) trip from London, but I couldn’t resist telling you about a new multi-media chamber music opera, Tokaido Road, which is premiering at the Cheltenham Music Festival in July. It’s based on Hiroshige’s series of woodblock prints depicting the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido, the old road that ran from Tokyo to Kyoto. And, as a special treat, I have an exclusive interview with the librettist, Nancy Gaffield. Continue reading

A rare chance to hear music from Japan in London

Geisha playing musical instruments - Utagawa Kunihisa hanging scrollIf you’re interested in Japanese music, I’ve got some good news for you. The BBC Symphony Orchestra is doing a Sounds from Japan week, including a concert of traditional music from Japan on 31st January and a whole day (2nd February) at the Barbican devoted to the music of Japanese composers, featuring Toru Takemitsu. Don’t know Toru Takemitsu? Continue reading