Exploring the world of Hiroshige’s Tokaido Road: new chamber opera comes to Kent

Currently touring the UK after a successful premiere at the Cheltenham Festival last year and its recent London premiere at Milton Court Theatre, we are very pleased to be bringing the chamber opera, Tokaido Road: a journey after Hiroshige, to Kent on Saturday 23 May.

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Nancy Gaffield

The chamber opera, an evocative fusion of music, poetry, art, mime and photography comes to the University in a few weeks as part of the University’s fiftieth anniversary celebrating the work of members of the University community; the libretto is written by Nancy Gaffield, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing in the School of English, and is based on her own award-winning cycle of poems of the same name. Commissioned by frontier-challenging Okeanos Ensemble, and composed by Nicola LeFanu, the work is inspired by Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road, a series of woodblock prints evoking the Japanese landscape and its people along the ancient route linking Edo and Kyoto. The chamber opera sees Hiroshige reflecting on life, love and loss on his journey along the Tokaido Road, unfolding against a backdrop of projected images of both Hiroshige prints as well as photos of modern-day Tokyo.

Hiroshige_ShinagawaThe score combines Western instruments with Japanese sho and koto, and the first half of the performance sees members of Okeanos perform traditional Japanese music.

 

50th-ribbon-smlCome along The Road when it arrives at the Gulbenkian Theatre on Saturday 23 May; details and tickets here. You can find out more about the chamber opera, including image galleries and audio extracts, here.

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