A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR - THOMAS ISRAEL

When opera meets Noh

A migrant woman lost on a beach shore meets another woman lost in the snow for 9 centuries. They share a tragic fate, caused by men’s wars, but their encounter might change their paths. This is the unusual premise for this cathartic and trans-historic piece, mixing the codes of Noh Theater and contemporary lyrical opera.

Lady Shizuka’s story is more than 900 years old, but it continues to move us as it is filled with timeless dramatic elements: absolute love beyond death, abandonment, bravery, fratricidal quarrels, unquenchable pain and a quest for liberation. This strong yet abandoned woman who defies authority for love, also questions the status of women.

Each era adapts Lady Shizuka’s story in the light of its preoccupations. The fate of migrants is at the heart of our civilization. It will shape our humanity and pose questions whose answers will forge tomorrow’s societies. Thus, it is important that this question merge here with the drama of Lady Shizuka – despite the centuries between them, the tragedies of these two women expose the fragility of every human civilization.

The space of this opera, like usually in Noh theater,  is at the edge, in this “in-between” space where humans can communicate with ghosts. We have dealt with it as it is was the third character of this opera,  Its an interactive space that is evolving symbiotically with the music of Toshio Hosokawa.